The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on businesses all over Australia. Due to government restrictions, many retailers have had to completely rethink their strategies. While this has not been easy for retail business owners, many store owners have adapted well and have kept their virtual doors open throughout the pandemic.
In the current climate, it’s crucial that you are able to adapt to the ever-evolving business landscape and new customer expectations. Going forward, there are many things that you can do to prepare your retail business for the ‘new norm’. The steps you take now will help to set you up for success going forward and ensure that your retail store not only survives but thrives in the post-COVID era.
How to Adapt Your Retail Store to the New Climate
Let’s take a look at five ways that your retail store can adapt to the new climate.
1. Look After Your Employees
These are uncertain times for everyone, including your employees. When you are planning your return to the store, be sure that you have the correct procedures and policies in place to keep your team safe. Installing sanitizing stations around the office and encouraging wearing facemasks will be essential, especially in the early days.
Implementing a contact free time clock app will enable your employees to clock in and out of their shift hands-free, reducing contact points. Keep your employees safe and be understanding of their needs to keep morale up during this difficult period.
2. Establish A Solid Online Presence
The Coronavirus pandemic has led to a huge upturn in the number of Australians who are buying online. Those consumers who were hesitant about buying online before were left with little choice but to buy online during periods of lock-down.
With more consumers buying online, you need to ensure that you establish a solid online presence to bolster your brand and build credibility in your offerings. Design a website that will provide your customers with the best possible user experience and connect directly with your clients on social media to increase your reach online.
3. Rethink Your Store Layout
Whether you need to make more space for customers to have more room in your store, you are required to install screens or you have to add sanitizer stations throughout your retail business, you might need to rethink the layout of your store. Be sure to comply with government guidelines to ensure that your business is ready to welcome back customers and staff safely.
4. Focus On The Needs Of Your Customers
Reach out to your customers to find out what they want or expect from your business moving forward. Sending a survey via email to your existing customers is a great way to find out what your customers want.
You could also run a competition on social media, asking entrants to complete the survey to be entered into a draw for a prize. With this data, you can plan for the future with more certainty and ensure that your customers feel safe and protected in-store.
5. Remain Flexible
The Coronavirus pandemic is still in full effect around the world and it is difficult to know what the future might hold. In these uncertain times, it’s important to remain flexible so that you can adapt to any future changes to the retail landscape.
Keep up-to-date with the latest government updates and listen to your customers to ensure that your business is ahead of the game and ready to deal with whatever challenges that might come around the corner.
6. Prepare Your Retail Store For The ‘New Norm’
Savvy business owners are already making changes to how they do business to ensure that they can keep their doors open. To ensure that your business has every chance of surviving the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, it’s important to take action now!
Putting systems in place to streamline your processes, improve customer communications and reduce your costs will help your business to stand strong in the post-COVID era.