The entire world is facing never before the crisis which has affected almost all countries and continents across the world and put the global economy under threat. Coronavirus has impacted every life and every business on the earth and we don’t know when it will end.
The impact of COVID-19 on every business, and especially on retail is hugely disruptive as operations are stopped and production chain, supply chains are greatly affected worldwide. Small, medium or even large organizations are forced to shut their doors as countries are in lockdown mode and social distancing becomes the norm.
Retail is hugely affected and while larger e-commerce ventures have some reserves, medium and small businesses are facing extreme challenges to keep the wheel running.
Commerce And Coronavirus: Challenges And Strategies
Nothing is left behind. Yes, whether it is a ‘brick-and-mortar’ store or an online e-commerce store, coronavirus has hugely impacted sales, supplies, production, and consumption too.
The major challenges faced by retail industries are:
1. Delivery Problems:
Factories are shut, people are advised to stay home and follow social distancing. Distribution of goods is largely affected, and retail sales have been observing financial crises since the country entered a curfew atmosphere.
On the other side, online retail is receiving a large number of orders but facing delivery problems as there is no sufficient amount of workers or delivery persons are available to fulfill the demands.
2. Luxury And Fashion Retail Are Under Great Threat:
It is quite obvious that people are even afraid to purchase essential items in the wake of highly-infectious coronavirus. Amidst this time, luxury goods and fashion businesses are categorized as non-essential goods, hence, the sales, production, and marketing are stopped. In this time of uncertainty, no one can gauge the effect and no one can say when this will end.
3. Demand-Supply Gap:
Big retail players like Amazon, Walmart, and other online giants are receiving a large number of customer orders and queries a day. But, as workers, local dealers, and warehouse owners have stopped working due to the corona crisis, companies are not able to fulfill the demand of customers, and there is a visible gap in demand-supply chain.
To recover lost revenue and to have a noticeable comeback in the market requires a longer time than it seems. It is the long run and retailers have to mitigate constraints by taking little yet very significant steps to survive this pandemic.
What Retailers Can Do To Combat Corona Pandemic?
Here are some practical strategies retailers can implement.
It is not an exaggerated sentence to say that once this will end, retailers will see a surge in demand for various items. People will rush to physical stores and also online sales will be increased post-COVID-19. Till then, it is difficult to combat the virus and at the same time keep your business running.
If you are a retailer, here are some things you can do:
Think About Omnichannel Presence of Your Retail Business:
If you want to make money in this hyper-connected world, you need to be where your customer is. Retail business is a prime example. Not only physical store but online commerce becomes more than essential and many retailers recognized in times like this. You must keep up with the demands to increase brand loyalty and customer engagement. Omnichannel retail will help you keep your customer engaged no matter where they’re.
It is an integrated approach to selling, marketing, and providing services to worldwide customers. People can buy from mobile, web, or even from the brick-and-mortar store. It is all about providing a unified experience to your customer. Retailers need to use different communication platforms, social media platforms to communicate with customers, receive their feedback, take orders from them, and know their best interests.
Keep In Touch With Your Customers:
Even your shop is closed or you are not taking any order for your online store, you need to communicate with your customers. Once this will be over, you might face delivery challenges and let them know about the problems you may face in the future. Keep in touch with them regularly through social media platforms, emails, websites, apps which in turn, increase loyalty and trust in your brand.
Communicate With Your Manufacturers, Suppliers, And Distributors:
Communication is vital in such a crisis. The crisis also brings an opportunity to grow but it comes with its risks. Connect to your suppliers and manufacturers and know about the situations from their sides too. How things are going from their end and let them know about your thoughts on teaming up together to overcome the challenges.
Facing The Storm Together: Risks For Retail Are Real
No business and no industry is left behind. COVID-19 impacted every country and everyone is facing the consequences in one or the other way. The situation will be more difficult in the upcoming time. We have to act wisely and strategically
In this uncertain time, the ability to adapt to change and flexibility are important business factors that help survive this pandemic.