What Post-Covid Retail Can Look Like...
The prevailing conditions due to Coronavirus have grossly affected the markets all around the world. Through this article, we present certain ideas which can be used to improve sales even in these adverse conditions.
In the light of the present scenario, where most brick and mortar stores have been shut out of business, or the sales are severely down. Though there was an initial increase in the purchase by customers, where most of them were trying to bulk up on the essentials, offline sales have been down ever since. More than 25% of shoppers have claimed to prefer contactless payments and home delivery options.
It may as well be taken to prove the point, that traditional marketing and retailing schemes are now facing compulsory evolution. The online stores however, have seen something that can be termed as a flourish in the sales, considering that most users are willing to lay back, and do their shopping online. The question of the hour now is, whether companies will be able to adapt to the abruptly changing customer behaviour or will the companies perish to the change.
What retailers can do?
Here are the prospective changes that one can expect to see in the new post-corona market:
1. Direct delivery to customers will increase: this will be something that will be seen in all sectors of the market, whether it be electronic sector, clothing sector, or even the grocery sector now.
2. Payments will become contactless: The online payment option will now become a necessity, as people will try and avoid using cash, which has been exchanged over countless hands. With more and more stores, now allowing for the cashless payment options over checkout, this is another major change that the industry will see in the market.
3. Checkout-free stores: this is a relatively new concept, where the customers are online required to scan a barcode to enter a store, and they may pick whatever they want from the store, pay at the checkout and walk out of the store. The payment on the checkout is done via the help of the application of the store, by doing the same, the customer is saved from having to stand in long queues, and thus the chances of coming in contact with people is reduced.
4. The idea of dark stores will prosper: the traditional concept of a store, as a place where one shops is about to change. The “store” will be more of a place for the procurement of good and services for a customer, rather than a place to shop at. Retailers are usually incorporating something known as “dark stores”, which are warehouses in essence. The retailers set up their dark stores in several localities, they then take the orders from the customers, and complete the orders directly to the customers.
5. Automation will come through in a big way: Automation of industries will start to place, with more and more retailer aiming to automate their retail shops, and incorporating robots and drones in order to help the in-store customers (if any). This is the best time, when Amazon can fire its Air delivery, because this is the right market, for drone-delivery. Something of the same magnitude can be seen to take over traditional delivery, in the near future.
The main problem for all retail stores currently, is to sustain these abrupt changes, and to survive in the market. While big companies will see this as an opportunity to seize the market, and hold greater shares, the smaller companies will need to keep an eye out, to persist. The retailers will have to look forward to innovative solutions to cope up for the lost business, even though the economists have predicted an extremely unstable market, there are prospects for brighter times, provided, there are innovative ways the retailers can incorporate.
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”
- Steve Jobs