Adapting Your Retail Business During COVID-19
The global COVID-19 pandemic is a crisis that affects everyone on the planet. Nobody is exempt from taking precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
But if you run a small retail business, how do you adapt during the pandemic?
Closing your doors and temporarily ceasing trading may not be an option. You will have rent and rates to pay, and any stock that you’re holding may only have a limited shelf life. The losses may be too much for your business to bare. However, staying open presents new challenges. But will careful planning, you will be able to find your way through the coronavirus crisis and keep your business alive.
Here is how you can adapt your business during COVID-19.
Take Measures to Ensure Your Employees and Customers are Safe
To stop the spread of coronavirus, we all must adhere to strict social distancing guidelines. When you run a retail business like a shop, the challenge is making sure that your customers have the space to shop.
You should set a limit on the number of people that you can reasonably have in your shop at one time and count people in and out. Set up queuing areas outside your shop if there will be many people waiting to come in. Have people separated by two- meters. Place two-meter dividers throughout your store. This could be in the form of tape on the floor.
Use clear signage instructing customer of distances, and any requirements that you may have in place to prevent them from picking up products that they are not going to buy. Ensure that every area that a customer may touch is cleaned down with anti-bacterial disinfectants regularly.
Employee safety should be paramount. Provide your team with gloves and other PPE. If you require them to wear employee lanyards, use an Anti bacterial alternative.
Exploring Your Brands Ethos in Challenging Times
The way that your business approaches this crisis will speak volumes in the hearts and minds of your customers. Think clearly about everything that you do and say and how it may be perceived.
Usually, in retail business, marketing techniques such as scarcity will help drive sales. However, when panic buying becomes problematic, it is important to avoid creating a scare around products just for your financial gain.
Similarly, you should be cautious of any fears that your customers may have in these difficult times. Be mindful that you do not play on these fears. You should not capitalize on this crisis. Ultimately, customers will see through this and you may lose their loyalty.
Make sure that your brand is delivering a message of hope, one of the best ways to protect your brand during the crisis and build trust with your customers. During these challenging times, keeping the general public feeling positive is important. It may be worth giving over space in your store that would have been used for point of sale materials, to delivering a hopeful message of unity and support.
Finally, you may be struggling at the moment, but the whole world is going through the same thing. Do your best to support your local community and get involved in causes that help those most in need during this time.