When the world was struggling to cope up and handle the worsening situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, its greater impact surfaced on the retail industries, which got on its last breath. The dire need to evacuate crowded public places, shut people inside their homes, eliminate every human-human contact sends urged the retailers to adapt. They have to improvise their business model; hence, strived to create multiple sources to sustain operations.
However, where the brick and mortar stores had to shut down, the e-commerce industry boomed exponentially. The impact of coronavirus reflected differently on both the two modes of retail. As per the Statista report, e-commerce websites generated around 22 billion visits by the end of June 2020. Due to the nationwide lockdown, people had no other option than to browse the online websites.
The Brick and Mortar Stores During COVID-19 Outbreak
In the United States, due to the pandemic, sales of retail stores dropped by 89.3%. All of the luxuriously decorated stores that once depicted lavish lifestyle shutdown for over 6 months period. Only those having an online presence managed to sustain their sales.
The big names survived whereas thousands of small scale stores couldn’t have managed to restart tier operations. Many labors lost their job and retailers stayed home, with no source of income. However, during this time the need to acquire an online presence surfaced. Many industries, who have yet bene lagging behind struggled to create their online profiles and set up platforms to interact with the consumers who were distressed for drifting away from their normal routine.
The Psychological Impact of a Prolonged Lockdown
From getting restricted to dine out to enjoy the fulfilled rides at the amusement parks, people were locked away from everything. They were sent back from offices and schools and the cities got shutdown making sure that none stays out. Restrictions on public gatherings and family events were placed. The world turned into a completely different place, which one has never comprehended. Where the officials were enforcing SOPs to eliminate the risk of COVID-19 outbreak, people experienced serious mental and health issues. Huge increase in anxiety, depression and obsessive-compulsive behaviors were seen in public.
Cases of mental-health problems raised among societies. COVID-19 not only damaged the world’s economy but it created many health-related concerns that are said to linger among the people for longer. People become frustrated and short-tempered. Families broke down. Kids were isolated and that increased anxiety among them. Gluing eyes to the computer screen and aggressively using smartphones became the norm.
How to Prepare Your Store for A Pandemic Economy?
With the COVID-19, expansions of businesses on the realm of e-commerce have accelerated greatly. Some of the brands quickly moved online whereas a greater proportion of stores are still striving. So, here are some tips to guide on how to prepare your store to do business even during the lockdown.
Evolve Your Business Model To Handle COVID-19
It’s clear how important the need to go digital has become. You cannot turn a blind eye towards the fact that platform like Facebook and Instagram accounts for over a billion active users. Just by having a simple profile you can gather enough traffic to your store. So, develop a website, give your business a digital outlook and prosper at double the pace.
Retail is now no more about generating dollars, it’s about how well you treat your customers. You have to make sure that your store is following the SOPs sanitized properly and ensure safety for the visitors. Your store should not only focus on increasing sales instead it must be concerned to keep the customers contended. They should feel safe when step inside your outlet.
Evaluate Your Cost of Doing Business
Sticking to the conventional form of cost-cutting is long gone. If you want to bring your business to the profit-generating track, you have to think out of the box and evaluate your pricing carefully. As per the immediate aftermath of the pandemic, to become difficult to expect people to spend dollars that easily. So, it’s better to throw some exciting discounts, deals and prepare sales to encourage them to spend. Make your brand an eye candy in many ways. You have to ensure exceptional customer care and enhanced support to win the trust of your audience.
Opt for Audio Branding
Do you wonder how music can help you boost your sales? Well, it’s not the direction but the indirect influence of good background music on your visitors. Every retail store should have overhead music that can set the mood of the visitors. It helps in keeping the environment fresh and lively. Your choice of tracks should highlight the uniformity of your business. It should depict the traits of your brand’s personality. Store music plays an important role in increasing the duration of making a buying decision. It helps in making the visitor spend more time in the store.
Optimize Your Online Platforms
As you now that a majority of brands have shifted online, the competition in the retail industry is sky-rocketing. It ha become so intense that whether it’s a small-scale business or a big name in the market, both are striving and stressing upon retaining their customers. In such a time you have to put your focus on factors that can ensure better sales and increased online traffic. You have to optimize your website to make it perform seamlessly. It should be mobile-friendly and interactive. It should have an uncluttered design and a layout that can indulge its visitors.