With the number of COVID-19 cases continuing to rise all around the world, businesses are struggling to adapt their strategies to fit the new needs of their customers. The new normal for retail businesses that sell clothing apparel, groceries, and even medicine is full of practices meant to ensure the safety of personnel and consumers alike.
From the implementation of safety procedures to cashless transactions, businesses that offer in-store services can ensure that customers can visit their branch without the fear of possibly contracting the virus. On the other hand, other businesses have decided to shift to eCommerce to increase their digital presence and reach.
If you’re a business owner who wants to learn more about the new normal for retail businesses, read on!
Implementation of Safety Procedures
One of the most important factors that retail businesses need to develop during the COVID-19 pandemic is the implementation of safety procedures. This is to ensure that no possible virus carrier can enter the premises of your store as well as spread it to the rest of the people inside. But if it can’t be helped, there are also systems that you can set in place to be able to inform people as quickly as possible.
Here are a few essential safety procedures that you should adopt:
- Require Face Masks
Face masks are one of the most effective defenses against the novel coronavirus. This is especially crucial for retail businesses whose employees customers can approach for any questions regarding a product. This can keep you, your employees, and your customers healthy in case anyone was in contact with a COVID-positive individual.
- Contactless Temperature Measurement
Another way to detect any possible COVID-positive individuals is through contactless temperature measurement. A high fever is one of the most common symptoms of COVID-19. With a temperature measurement tool, you can safely scan anyone who enters your establishment. Contactless temperature measurement tools are also becoming more popular as it decreases the chances of employees catching the virus as well. However, even though people are not showing any symptoms of high fever, it’s still good practice to social distance as well in case they are asymptomatic.
- Contact Tracing
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. As the owner of a retail business, if someone who entered your establishment ended up testing positive for COVID-19, it would be good practice to inform others they came into contact with. How can you do this? Through contact tracing forms. Make sure that it contains their names, addresses, and contact details.
Aside from the noted safety procedures above, regular disinfection of the establishment is important to kill off any lingering airborne viruses. Another way that you can limit or even prevent the transmission of any viruses is by making the switch to cashless transactions.
Switch To Cashless Transactions
It has been reported that the COVID-19 virus can stay on surfaces for as long as 28 days, and this includes money. This is why more and more businesses are setting up cashless payment systems. Cashless payment systems can come in the form of credit and debit cards, mobile wallet apps, and even QR codes. Make sure you offer a variety of options to be able to accommodate any type of customer. This can also make payments safer and easier as customers can pay with one swipe.
Shift To Online Selling
For those who would rather shift away from in-store services, eCommerce is a booming industry amidst the pandemic. More and more people are choosing to do their shopping online, which is good news for retail businesses that have a strong digital presence. If you’re only starting up now, the two popular choices are joining eCommerce sites or making your own website.
- eCommerce sites
For those who don’t have the resources to start up their own website, you can choose to join online eCommerce sites that specialize in online shopping such as Lazada or Shopee. This is a good move for those who are just starting up in their industries as they will be given the platform to highlight and market their products.
For businesses that are big enough and that have enough extra funds to spare, making your own website would be a good way to go about it. Making your website can establish a space that you can call your own, unlike in eCommerce sites where you would have to fight for your customer’s attention. It can also establish your brand online as well as give people more information regarding your products.
Besides learning how to sell your products online, another important factor in making the switch is increasing your digital presence.
Increase in Digital Presence
To get people to buy from your retail business online, you’re going to have to get their trust online as well. One of the best ways to do so is by increasing your digital presence. Besides applying to eCommerce sites or creating your own website, make sure you think about digital marketing as well. Two good places to start are in terms of social media and search engine optimization (SEO).
In terms of social media, make sure that you regularly post relevant content to establish your branding. Utilize social media calendars to plan out your posts well. This can establish loyalty and increase your social media engagements. On the other hand, SEO can improve your rankings on search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Optimize your website to increase your chances of ranking for organic keywords, which can attract the customers that need your products and services the most.
These are just some examples of what the new normal for retail businesses look like. Whether you sell clothing apparel, medicine, or groceries, it’s important that you do what you can to ensure the safety of your customers. Not only that, but adaptability is one of the most important factors to staying successful during the pandemic.
So make sure that you keep your business as safe as possible with safety procedures and cashless transactions. If you want to make the switch to eCommerce, ensure that you are able to develop your digital presence well.
Keep these tips in mind when you start thinking of your business strategies for the new normal. It can guarantee that your business stays afloat during these turbulent times.