It seems like a long time since the first cases of coronavirus was announced in China. However, we are still very much in the thick of it, with individuals and businesses all over the world feeling the effects. With that in mind, in this post, we are going to take a look at some important steps for retail businesses looking to not only survive but thrive amidst COVID-19.
Read expert commentary
There is only one place to begin, and this is by spending some of your time reading advice and commentary from experts in the industry. Specialists like Deepak Agarwal have been revealing their thoughts on the retail industry and what they expect to happen in the current times. The more you advance your own knowledge, the better position you are going to be in to survive these difficult times.
Don’t allow fulfilment to let you down
If you’re persuaded that now’s the time to hand over your e-commerce fulfilment to professionals, you’ll want to know what to look for in a fulfilment centre. First, it’s essential to know your own requirements: do you want short or long-term storage? All year round or just seasonally at Christmas, for instance? Are you looking for a fulfilment centre that will simply store your merchandise or one that will also carry out other tasks, from inventory management and stock control to pick and pack services and distribution? Check the facility has the resources to cope not only with your current requirements but is large enough to be flexible, extending that initial storage as your business increases. Next, ascertain the security arrangements the fulfilment centre has in place. You need to know that the goods you have invested in are being held safely and beyond the reach of both opportunistic and planned theft. Thirdly, it’s in your interests to see how the warehouse is managed logistically. Professional facilities will have computerised this function, so ask to be shown how this works in practice before you sign any contract. Expect your goods to be both instantly trackable and traceable while they are under the guardianship of the warehouse. Ask about their commitment to quality handling of your products, so you know they won’t be damaged while in storage. And if you are taking advantage of the fulfilment centre’s courier services for delivery, check timescales and what happens if things go wrong.
Focus on marketing
Last but not least, you should pay a considerable amount of attention to your marketing strategy during these difficult times. It is all about appealing to people in the right way and making them feel like they are getting true value for money. People expect bargains in the current climate, as money is tight. If you can put some great promotional deals together, you’re bound to attract more business.
So there you have it: three top tips that you can use if you’re in the retail industry and trying to make it through COVID-19. Good luck!