COVID-19 retail business survival guide
COVID-19 retail business survival guide
Many people believe that the coronavirus The epidemic will get worse Until things get better-this is not good news for American retail business owners. Most state governments across the country require consumers to stay at home, and non-essential businesses are closed to store customers. As the list of stores deemed essential is narrowing every day and the virus continues to spread, companies should develop contingency plans. Retailers face two challenges: how will the supply chain be disrupted and how to still deliver products to customers?
Supply chain disruption
According to current sources, although China is slowly climbing out With manufacturing interruptions, suppliers in other parts of the world have only felt the effects of the blockade. Freight carrier Restrictions on the delivery of goods. The government border blockade continues to delay deliveries and prevents companies across the country from delivering goods to customers in a timely manner. As more and more airlines cut flights, cargo transportation is rapidly recovering, and it usually takes longer for cargo that can be moved within a few days to cross national borders. The shortage of truck drivers and consumer panic stockpiling have led to increased pressure on suppliers, and the shortage of goods has made wholesalers, retailers and consumers more expensive.
Although the interruption has begun to affect Cargo shipment Retailers in the back-to-school season, National Retail Federation (NRF) President and CEO Matthew Shay believes that the supply chain disruption is fading, and the main problem is getting products into the hands of retailers and then to consumers.
At the same time, small business owners feel the pressure and turn to local suppliers to maintain inventory.Adam Riza, co-founder Sunscape glassesAn eyewear wholesaler and online retailer soon discovered that orders from his Chinese factory would be delayed for another 45 days. He found a local source for his products so that he could ship them to his customers. “We had to purchase goods from larger local distributors; however, this affected our profit margins.” In addition, Rizza had to send his employees home (due to California’s stay-at-home policy) and still had to pay salary.
If your foreign source is delayed, you can contact your city/county business development office to obtain a list of local businesses that have the products you need.Or you can purchase from the website market, for example Shopify, Amazon business, and Alibaba (Just be sure to check availability and delivery estimates).
If you are concerned about payment and credit terms under these unusual circumstances, you may find that the supplier is in the same boat and is willing to make transactions and subsidies immediately.While you are waiting for business as usual, you can now search for financial companies that provide the following services Credit limit or allow flexible terms For small business loans.
Ensure customer safety and spending
Although your business may be in state Not in a locked state yet, convincing customers that it is safe to shop in your store is a retail challenge you may never have encountered before.This Desease control Centre (CDC) recommends a comprehensive strategy to reduce the spread of coronavirus and reduce the impact on your workplace. This involves reducing communication among employees, maintaining healthy business operations, and maintaining a healthy working environment.
Every day there is more on how to identify symptom Coronavirus. It is important for your employees to understand these conditions so that they do not come to work with the slightest signs of illness. You might even want employees to take their body temperature every day before going to work.
To keep the workplace clean, CDC It is recommended to clean with soap and water first, and then disinfect with a diluted household bleach solution and an alcohol solution with at least 70% alcohol content.This Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also issued a list of disinfectants used to combat SARS-CoV-2, Causes of COVID-19. Cleaning staff should also wear disposable gloves and overalls during all tasks in the cleaning process (including handling garbage). If you know that someone in the store has tested positive, the CDC recommends that the area be immediately closed for 24 hours (if possible) to “minimize the possibility of exposure to respiratory droplets.”
When you complete these best safety practices, be sure to share your process with your customers so that they feel safe and confident that you are doing everything you can to make shopping safer. Post updates on your social media channels, your website, email updates, and even the doors and windows of your store. Even if you decide to close the door and only offer online shopping, knowing that your products come from a safe environment can greatly alleviate consumers who are concerned about the virus.
Focus on online sales
If your retail business has not yet established an e-commerce component, or you just put this part of the business on hold, now may be a good time to increase online sales.according to Chain Store Era, “Quickly” becoming a digital retailer is entirely possible. There are several ways to achieve this.
- Third-party delivery serviceIf you are not ready to deliver online orders, there are many third-party vendors that can handle part or all of the process.Perform a quick search in your area and view services across the country, such as Courier company and Passersby.
- E-commerce platform/market. It is also quite easy to open an e-commerce store on eBay, Shopify, BigCommerce and other markets. Currently, the demand in markets such as Amazon is high, so it is known that the delivery speed will be slower than usual.
An idea you might not have thought of is to turn your store into a digital business center. If you close your store for regular commercial shopping, you can still help consumers get products by contacting package delivery services such as FedEx and using your store as a delivery point for consumers to receive products.You can also work with Amazon to become Amazon Center. As a center, you can place Amazon lockers to allow customers to pick up/return items on their own, or provide counters and let kiosk staff handle pick up and returns. In the long run, you may attract new customers who may not understand your business before they walk into your store to pick up the package.