COVID-19 pandemic has created a catastrophic impact on businesses. Retail stores have been hit hard. The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has stated that the country’s retail trade lost business worth INR 9 lakh crore in a duration of 60 days. As the nation is being unlocked, retailers have a few challenges before them. Let’s see a few of them and the ways to overcome them.
The retailers must take care to minimize human contact, which in turn reduces their exposure to the COVID-19 virus. UPI and business payments are widely used. In January alone, UPI recorded 2.3 Billion transactions worth 4.3 Trillion. Retailers should restrict the usage of cash and encourage digital payments. It is essential for retailers to invest in contactless payment technologies that can benefit them in the acceptance of digital payments. QR codes that can accept payments from a variety of payment applications should be displayed on notice boards. POS payment devices can also be procured.
Drawing customer’s attention and bringing customers back to the store will be one of the biggest challenges for the retailers. There will be a change in consumer behavior and people might not want to step out of their houses and visit stores. Adopting all the precautionary measures and ensuring the customer’s safety is one of the biggest strategies to attract customers. Providing discounts, cashback offers, exchange offers, exciting EMI offers can aid in winning the customer’s attention.
Retaining customers is another challenge that will be a huge concern for retailers. Customers are already cutting down their expenses on leisure shopping and unnecessary items. Moreover, people have started preferring shopping on e-commerce sites. So, customer retention is a problem that needs to be focused on. Providing exciting benefits, memberships, etc can help in customer retainment.
There may be delays in the procurement and supply of raw materials and goods as there are restrictions in international shipping. Hence, it is essential to devise a strategy and plan orders to stock them ahead. Else, retailers may run out of stock or face issues with logistics.
With the ever-changing needs of customers and their shopping behavior, it is important for retailers to keep up with their expectations and deliver what their customers expect. To make it true, retailers should have access to valuable data insights. Analytics tools can provide such valuable insights. Using Analytics, retailers can understand what their customers want and how to deliver it. Tools like Google trends provide an insight into what people in a location are talking about and help retailers in making informed data-driven decisions.
These are the 5 main challenges that retailers are expected to face. Let’s expect all the COVID-19 negative impacts to subside soon.