The online world was already causing disruption to brick-and-mortar retail establishments long before COVID restrictions were put into place.
However, the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus is continuing to produce widespread acceleration of decreasing profit margins and sweeping changes in consumer behavior that are having a direct impact on how retailers operate.
Many retailers that were already troubled with cash flow issues before the virus struck have closed their doors, but those remaining have begun to implement one — or several — strategies to help them return to profitability and begin to thrive, even in a post-COVID environment.
In this article, we take a closer look at how smart retailers are using digital tools to modify — and transform — the shopping experience for continued business success.
3 Ways to Equip Your Retail Business for Success
The economic situation resulting from COVID-19 is complex — and one that calls for increased agility.
Businesses who choose to leverage digital tools to build a strong, competitive foundation can be more successful as the virus continues to make an impact on retail markets.
Here are several ways that savvy retailers can increase their ability to rebound as markets and consumer behaviors change.
1. Provide More Ways for Consumers to Make a Purchase
With social distancing and other guidelines changing rapidly, competitive retailers are finding new ways to help consumers make purchases safely. A greater reliance on omnichannel opportunities is fueling this new adaptability among bottom-line-conscious businesses.
For example, business are restructuring the shopping experience to provide curbside pickup options for greater safety, relying on order management systems that can keep inventory filled in higher-demand areas, and providing multiple touchpoints for consumers to connect with their brands.
Using omnichannel customer care, including social media, companies can reach out to customers where they are most comfortable to provide better retail service and generate greater customer loyalty.
2. Combine Ecommerce with Brick and Mortar Locations
Moving at least some of your retail operations to an ecommerce platform seems intuitive in the face of changing health and safety guidelines, but the retail 2021 forecast shows a surprising trend: Some online-only stores are beginning to open up brick-and-mortar locations.
This diversity offers customers significant value in the form of choices — they can shop online or go directly to the store to experience merchandise selections first-hand.
Those wishing to avoid contact — and shipping charges — can select and order merchandise online and then get same-day pickup and free delivery to the brick-and-mortar location.
While giants like Amazon are the first to offer this option, forecasters expect to see other retailers follow suit as more consumers respond to the “new normal.”
3. Helping Your Community Can Help Your Bottom Line
The pandemic isn’t all bad news.
It has shone a light on the need for prosocial and responsible consumer behavior, a facet that gives companies the opportunity to add a strong corporate responsibility program to their list of marketing tools.
As consumers make a definitive shift toward companies that are making ethical decisions about how they operate, smart businesses are finding new ways to engage with their local communities to help those in need or expand their social responsibility programs to include global actions that benefit larger populations.
Trust Cartridge World to Help Your Retail Business Thrive
With guidelines for personal safety and consumer behaviors changing rapidly in the wake of the ongoing pandemic it can be difficult for large retailers, let alone small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), to get — and keep — a firm foothold.
Fortunately, those who choose to digitally transform their workplaces can have a better rate of success — actually thriving, even in the uncertainty of a post-COVID economy.
At Cartridge World, we not only supply state-of-the-art technology to assist your store in implementing the strategies that can increase your agility and competitive advantage — we also offer services to keep your equipment running at full capacity.
From managed print services that help you scale your printing demands and reduce operational costs to routine maintenance and service to extend the life of your equipment, our team of experts can help you manage your technology in this changing landscape.
Set your retail business up for success using cutting-edge technology and unparalleled service. Contact a Cartridge World Quad Cities representative now and let our expert team find the perfect equipment for your needs.