The start of the year 2020 brought along with it a global pandemic – Covid-19 which has disrupted not just our personal lives but professional as well. Be it, labourers, 9 to 5 employees or business owners, the virus has changed our work life and we ought to prepare for the life post-Covid because nothing is going to be the same as before.
The spread of Covid-19 came as a blow for retailers and some of them were forced to take severe decisions due to the lockdown like putting shutter to their business forever, giving up their life-savings, and waiting for sales due to the social distancing. The coronavirus outbreak has given rise to two looming challenges for retailers around the world – bottlenecks and shortages. For some, the sales came to complete halt while some experienced sudden surge with customers stock-piling and panic-buying during the lockdown. In short, both offline and online stores swayed in turbulence and are still struggling to find the balance which may continue for a very long time.
The Virus Effect and the Change in Consumer Behaviour
In light of COVID-19, several drastic steps had to be taken by the countries in order to contain the spread of the virus and keep people safe such as – offline stores were closed, the sale of only essential items like vegetables, milk, and medicine were allowed that too with limited hours of operation, eCommerce deliveries were allotted only for essential with no-contact and in limited areas, and so on which messed up the sales of retailers especially the offline ones.
Now, although the lockdown has been shifted and people are getting back into business, certain aspects of consumerism as we know it are possibly forever changed which is going to affect the retailers a lot, for which, some preparations have to be done if you are a retailer to ensure the continuity of your business till Covid-19 is here and even after that.
How Retailers Can Prepare?
It is going to take quite a long to cope up the impact of the pandemic this dreadful, but it is not impossible either. Giving up is not an option and there are a few changes or measure that you need to apply to survive the crisis and keep going. Let’s understand what they are.
1. Get Online
Offline retailers must have understood by now how vital eCommerce solutions are during the lockdown as while their shutters were down, people shifted to eCommerce more and may continue with it considering the safety which is more in no-contact deliveries than risking at offline shop counters where people gather as a crowd. Therefore, if you still haven’t given a thought about building your online presence thinking it is expensive, it is high time to get your b2b ecommerce software solution or a multivendor ecommerce marketplace solution developed as it will give your more return than you invested in no time for sure.
2. Make Some Tweaks
Now, if you already have an online presence but are still lacking behind the reason is you need to change with time. Today, with a radical shift in consumer behaviour due to Covid-19, you need to update your multi-vendor ecommerce marketplace solution with some important features or updates like:
- You must have push notifications to inform customers about your inventory like items are out-of-stock and when will it be available or about the shipment if it is running late.
- Location search must be enabled for customers to check by entering their Pincode whether you are serviceable in their area or not.
- Must up your SEO and communication game.
- Create personalized and relevant content to keep customers engaged. Easy registration and checkout must be included.
- Ensure seamless user experience; add wishlist, ratings and reviews to ease the shopping experience of your customers and much more.
3. Workforce Safety
From manufacturing, packing, shipping to delivery, as a retailer you might be associated with all and it is important to check up on them to keep your business running as they all play an important role in it. Take necessary precautionary measures to keep yourself, them and your customers safe. Practice contactless deliveries; enhance online payments, social distancing etc. to win the trust of customers.
4. Embrace digitalization
Building an online presence is becoming a need no doubt but apart from that, adapting to new technologies is important as well like Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), AI and chatbots for support and communication, omnichannel presence, quick and easy checkout, etc. which will not only attract customers more but also will help you better understand what your customers want and deliver it to them more efficiently.
5. Develop multiple presences
The eCommerce competition is becoming fierce and people now have a lot of options online so they don’t have to wait for anything. They easily make the switch in no time if not satisfied with your website or service, hence; you got to have your presence everywhere, from eCommerce website to mobile app to now with Progressive Web App (PWA), you must serve your customers on every platform to keep them engaged and satisfied so that they do not migrate to your rivals.
In a nutshell
The situation now and post-Covid is very challenging as people are accepting the new normal of practising social distancing, making digital payments, shopping online, which is making b2b ecommerce website development or creation of multivendor ecommerce marketplace solution a necessity day-by-day.
So as a retailer, if you want to survive the impacts of the global pandemic, manage customer expectations, cultivate better business relationships, you need to adapt to innovative supply chain solutions, creative and compelling marketing strategies, and create an effective Magento multi-vendor ecommerce marketplace solution from the best and seasoned ecommerce website and mobile app development company to navigate a world after the pandemic smoothly.