4 Strategies To Keep Your Retail Business Thriving Through Covid-19
We’re all concerned about the ability of the businesses in our neighborhoods to weather the coronavirus crisis and come out the other side. For many businesses, this period of decreased social activity represents a legitimate threat to their existence. Surveys of small businesses have shown that as many as a third of them are facing the very real possibility of closure.
Obviously this would have a tremendously negative impact on the individuals who own and work for these establishments, not to mention for our communities as a whole. To that end, here are a few things you can do to help ensure your business will be able to survive this pandemic.
1. Keep up customer engagement – Use this time to increase your online presence. Encourage your customers to share your social media posts and ask them to author positive reviews on Facebook, Google or Yelp. Use your social channels to highlight the promotions and delivery options you are currently offering to customers. If you had an event or product launch planned, move it to a live-streaming platform.
2. Promote gift cards – Selling gift cards is a great way for businesses to get an immediate infusion of cash. It also virtually guarantees that the customer will visit your store at some point in the future. Your customers will think of it as an investment in the future of a business they want to stick around. It might make the difference between having the funds to meet payroll and make rent versus the alternative.
3. Communicate clearly with customers and employees – All of us are feeling the pressure of living through an uncertain time. Finding ways to authentically communicate with both your customers and employees can go a long way towards making everyone feel a bit more secure. Be clear about the safety measures your business is taking to keep everyone as healthy as possible. Be honest with your customers about what they can expect in terms of hours of operation, order fulfillment and possible delays.”
4. Offer delivery and pick-up – While we always want to encourage deliveries, offering delivery and pick-up is one of the best ways to engage your customers and maintain order volume during this time. We’re all aware that many restaurants and eateries have converted to delivery-only or are offering curbside pickup for their patrons. Now, many retailers who would otherwise have to completely close their doors are moving to a similar model. Some of our retail clients have seen delivery increases of up to 500% since the beginning of the year. If you are able to do so, this is an easy way to offer your customers a safe and convenient way to shop.
So much about our current situation seems uncertain and unpredictable. We all need to be proactive and willing to try new approaches in order to adjust to the changing circumstances around us. Taking all or any one of the above actions may be what your business needs to get through these difficult times.