Best practices Ecommerce

Surviving the coronavirus: the strategy of the retailers.

Florencia López Flamengo 05-13-2020 - 18:07

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With the emergence caused by the coronavirus in the world, e-commerce plays a key role in society, as several retailers are turning their gaze to the digital world principally to transform their business and continue generating income. 

The global situation we are experiencing has increased internet sales, given to the need to remain in confinement.

Retail shops are one of the most affected business on this pandemic situation even though they already have their online shops; there has been an amazing increase of sales on their websites, which can let them go out of inventory. The emergent ecommerce is taking a revolutionary selling record now.

With this new reality, retail shops such as supermarkets; department stores, home goods houses, traditional stores, hardware stores, pharmacies, clothing sales, bookstores, etc; are opting to improve their sales on their websites. Focusing on the ecommerce, they will assure their income in these tough times, since we do not know how much time this pandemic situation will last. However, we have to take in count that this will not last forever and retailers need to survive by making some changes to their stores.

With this entire situation, people leave their homes only to go to buy food, go to the pharmacy or to go to the hospital. Retailers on this coronavirus situation need to get in mind that even when the coronavirus pandemic situation vanished, many people will not feel comfortable to go their installations to shop because they could catch the disease. Therefore, all these stores need to make some modifications to survive and keep generating income.

Some modifications that retail stores can do to their buildings are, distancing their products one from another to avoid the contact between individuals for example, or they can even separate cash registers so people can make their payments without worrying about getting the disease while making the line to pay. In this sense, they can draw some marks on the line to pay, to separate one person more than 1 meter from another, practicing the social distancing.

Some retail shops such as supermarkets and pharmacies could have troubles in their stocks because of the outrageous demand of their products. To please all your clients you need to have an excellent stock, you can conserve your inventory by avoiding sales in your most sold products. For example, gloves and masks these days have a very high demand, sell them at the correct price to generate some income and avoid offering them on sale because they will run out fast. 

It should be said that if you belong to a sector whose products are not in such outrageous demand in times of coronavirus, it would make sense to include discounts to promote sales. You could reward the loyalty of your customers and their patience by using actions such as “on the next purchase we offer you a discount.”

To have a real stock, you will need to take care of your providers, establish a friendly conversation with some of them and make clear why you need their products and what are the benefits that they will get if they sell you their products. The providing situation is troublesome these days by all the limitations, but they are not impossible.

Many people is still scared to go out yet, malls should start campaigns to encourage the people to visit them again, they can do this by offering alcohol gel in their facilities, taking care of social distancing, providing gloves and masks if someone needs it, etc. 

Implement alternative payment methods, to avoid contact with people on the cash register, there are plenty of options today like paying with smartphone apps. 

With the increasing demands for products that have arisen from this pandemic situation; retail stores must try to establish a coherent and consistent communication with their customers through any of the different channels, they decide to use to interact with the company, diversifying among the online and offline segment, developing its omnichannel vision. This effort tries to give answers to the different problems that the client may present from a holistic point of view. The main objective is to offer the customer a consistent experience that provides the same level of service at any point of contact and let them know all the products and services that you can offer them now and in the future.

The situación we are living today it becomes an opportunity to increase internet sales. Once the isolation is over and people can go shopping at physical stores, we will have to rethink the safety and hygiene conditions of them, but also think about the new significant place that e-commerce will take part in the new normality.

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