The retail industry has been hit hard by the recent COVID pandemic, with many stores shutting their doors for good. Retailers have seen market forces previously unseen, leading to months of closures and shifts in consumer behavior patterns. While this epidemic is undoubtedly hurting many businesses, it does provide opportunities for those who are able to see through the chaos.
Some retailers may be feeling vulnerable because of the current economic climate and the fact that in some locations, the number of new COVID cases has begun to spike. However, for those businesses that have survived the first wave of the COVID pandemic, it is important that they take steps to align their business operations to meet customer demand in a new way. Here are some retail store recovery tips that can help you re-emerge from the cloud of COVID and have a successful retail comeback.
Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery
Like it or not, there’s no denying that Amazon is a shining example of how to succeed in the shifting retail landscape. They invested heavily to ramp their distribution networks during the quarantines and social distancing resulting from COVID. Not only did this help them ride out the storm but it also helped them to secure a favorable position with consumers. Many of the consumers who shopped Amazon out of necessity continue to do so for the convenience of shopping from home and having packages delivered to their front door. All those hours spent running from store to store can now be spent doing more enjoyable activities or just relaxing.
As a small business owner, you are probably wondering how you could possibly compete with the retail giant. Mimic them – of course, but not on such a grand scale. We are not suggesting that you go out and buy a fleet of delivery vans with your company name emblazoned on them. However, you need to find a way to make it easier for the customers you served before the pandemic to return to doing business with you. Provide consumers with the ability to order online or over the phone and offer shipping, curbside pick up, or delivery. While you may not be in the position to offer a 2-hour delivery window like Instacart or Amazon’s next-day delivery, rethinking how you meet customer demand is one of the best retail store recovery tips.
Embrace the New Normal
Don’t look forward to things getting back to normal. Despite the overuse of the term, this is the new normal. The pandemic has impacted every aspect of our lives. Remote work and social distancing have caused shopping behaviors to change. With sweat pants and comfortable footwear now the new “work from home” attire, department store shopping has seen a decline while grocery stores have experienced a significant surge. Because consumers are spending more time at home, their needs have changed.
In addition to making the shopping experience more convenient, retailers also need to adjust the type of goods they are offering. That’s not to say that a clothing retailer should start selling groceries. However, it may be time to rethink the type of clothing you’re offering. If you sell dressier clothing such as professional or evening attire, you may want to introduce a more casual line. Research trends in your industry and adjust your offerings accordingly.
Skip Traditional Sales Forecasting
When it comes to retail store recovery tips, you will need to rethink your sales forecasting, at least for the foreseeable future. Retailers are now faced with a dynamic and unpredictable market. Sales forecasts based on last year’s data will not be accurate because COVID changed consumers’ habits and buying preferences. Traditional models may serve as an appropriate benchmark for some things but shouldn’t be relied on to forecast future sales. Industry trends, as well as consumers’ spending habits, will provide more insight when developing a sales forecast.
Retail Store Recovery Tips – Putting Them into Action
We get it. Knowing what you should do to meet the evolving customer demand is only half the battle. The other half is having enough capital to implement the necessary changes. Unfortunately, traditional business loans were difficult to get before COVID. Now it can be almost impossible.
If your business needs an influx of capital to keep your business moving forward, alternative financing options can be a great choice. At CapFlow Funding Group, our team of professionals will evaluate your business’s unique situation and help you determine which funding option would best suit the company’s needs. We service many different industries with a variety of different funding needs. In addition to merchant cash advances and invoice factoring, we work with trusted partners to provide additional merchant funding options. Contact us today!