The world as we knew it in early March of 2020 is over. Life will never be the same after the devastating onslaught of the deadly COVID19 pandemic which was and still is ravaging the world. Despite this, the retail sector can rise from the ashes like the phoenix with an adjustment in mindset and a new approach to flexibility and innovation.
The retail sector has been hit particularly hard. Prior to COVID19, retail was starting to get pummeled and feel the pressure from online shopping. Now, the retail sector is facing one of it’s biggest, if not it’s absolute biggest challenges. How to stay alive.
As society begins to slowly recover from COVID19, people are reluctant to come out and mingle. Yes, they want their state governments to reopen the parks, because getting out in fresh air and nature is good for the mind, body and soul. Going shopping in the mall……….. eh, not so much.
Most people see the common sense in social distancing. And in a mall you are not going to get that. In a restaurant you are not going to get that. And who really wants a resurgence of COVID19? Who wants to take that chance? Nobody I know. Better to shop online via e-commerce and let UPS and Fedex and USPS deliver.
Here are 7 tips for those of you in the retail sector so you can survive and one day prosper again.
1 – Re-purpose your current brick and mortar facility
Depending on what you sell in your physical location, re-purpose your store to become more of a mini manufacturing and shipping facility. If you are in the food business, you can accommodate some shoppers properly socially distanced. However, that’s not gonna float the boat. Offer take out and delivery, or if you can ship your food product, start taking orders and shipping out. Other types of businesses will need to brainstorm and see if this is a viable means of keeping your ship afloat. If you can ship out or take local orders and deliver your products, give it a whirl.
2 – Close your brick and mortar facility
There is no shame in doing so. If you cannot make your shop become financially sustainable, shut the doors before the whole operation starts sucking the life out of you. However, no matter what you sell in your store, you absolutely MUST consider step 3. It ain’t over yet.
3 – Re-purpose your retail brick and mortar business into an online business
This will, down the road, save your business. There is some time, effort and planning involved, but well worth it. Don’t sit on this option too long. Make it happen.
4 – Consider your online options
Depending on your product, price point and ability to ship economically, you have many good online options. Your own e-commerce website, Etsy (handmade, vintage or supplies), eBay and Amazon. Don’t jump into any one option without careful consideration. They are NOT one size fits all.
5 – Build your empire slowly one venue at a time
I have so many new clients who have jumped into this option without advice and consultation and found themselves neck deep in waters they don’t understand how to navigate. Easy does it folks. You don’t want to drown.
6 – Build your brand
Nothing is more important than for you to build your brand. What does that mean exactly? Establish a memorable logo and tagline, and even if you need to trademark your identity, do it. Figure out who you are, how you want to attract customers, and express that in a consistently memorable way across your venues and throughout social media.
7 – Build your influence and your customer base
As you grow, you’ll be building your influence and customer base. As you do this, you can move on to the next phase of another venue to sell on. Start small, get a foothold and then you can move on to play with the big boys in their playground.
What is the new future for the retail industry during and post COVID19?
Online. E-commerce. Period end of story. Either your online endeavors will accompany your brick and mortar efforts and help you float the boat, or, your online endeavors will open up a whole new world order for your empire.
You will need a trusted advisor to help you set all of this up. Someone who is an expert in their field. Expert doesn’t mean top dollar it means top quality and top of the line knowledge. You get what you pay for.
We are in business for 20 years. Navigated many of our clients through the crash of 2008. Very few decided to throw in the towel.
Here is how Maureen McCullough LLC can help you:
- E-commerce website design – easy for your customers to find what they want, pay for it, and leave testimonials and reviews
- Website maintenance for enhanced security and to “keep it fresh”
- Customized Etsy shop design
- Customized eBay store layouts
- Establishing your brand – one of the most critical ingredients in your plan for success
- Highly optimized SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for your website, Etsy shop, eBay store, or Amazon listings
- Ongoing optimized SEO tweaking – an absolute necessity in an ever changing, highly competitive fluid environment
- Product descriptions and product titles – this is a science unto itself, if you want to rise through the ranks, for best visibility
- Email marketing campaigns to reinforce your brand
- Social media marketing – Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn
- Listing in a trusted Shop Local Directory for maximum exposure
- Personalized consulting targeted for your business, your targeted audience, and your business goals
- Longtime experience as an Etsy, eBay, Amazon and WordPress expert