In the last article, we discussed about top booming retail industries during COV-19. Under the pandemic shadow, many industries still enjoy the thriving sales. In order to take advantage of this situation, we need to prepare carefully or at least, adapt promptly to changes to sell more products. Which factors should be noticed here? Let’s check out for the retail tips on what to prepare for booming sales in COV-19.

1. Digitalize your sales channel

Although Ecommerce has emerged for 10 years and gradually become an integral part of sales in many industries, merchants still hesitate to invest in this channel as their offline stores are running well. Others may think, expansion means more tasks to be handled and they are OK with their current performance. That’s the cliché we usually hear from the small store owners. However, COV-19 has truly posed a challenge that requires them to decide either going online or going out of the business.

A carefully-invested online sales channel before COV-19 will bring you the flying colors and accelerate your business more quickly than ever as the case of Chloe Ting in the last article. However, if you haven’t invested in an online site properly or even haven’t opened one yet, don’t worry. You can consider this as a chance to resolve your doubt of whether it is a worthy investment. Who knows, it may help you find the light in the pandemic shadow. You can start with a sales page on social media or a website on Ecommerce platforms like Magento or Shopify. Digitalization of sales channel now is more than one of the retail tips but a lifeboat to survive.

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Build an online site – It’s now or never

2. Rebuild operations

The COV-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the demand patterns for products and services in lots of sectors, while showing various weak points in the global supply chains and service networks. Many retailers have been struggling with purchasing products when the world’s biggest manufacturer – China stopped operating and delivering products due to lockdown situation. Plus, many commute staff cannot get to their workplace due to the general shutdown of COV-19 as well. In such a tough situation, we have witnessed how striking businesses have adapted and created radically new heights of visibility, agility, productivity, and end-customer connectivity.

Build an operational resilience. Many companies redesign their operations and supply chains to protect against a wider and more acute range of potential shocks. The offshore business or global-sourcing model in product-driven value chains has steadily declined as new technologies and consumer-demand patterns have been promoting the regionalization of supply chains. This trend is expected to accelerate more than ever due to COV-19, mentioned in an article by Mckinsey & Company.

This reinvention and regionalization of global value chains is also likely to speed up the adoption of other levers to strengthen the operational resilience. Some examples include the increase use of external suppliers to supplement internal operations, greater workforce cross-training, and dual or even triple sourcing. Among different retail tips, creating an adaptive operation plays such a crucial role in these uncertain days.

Global supply chain of a laptop computer - Photo by Conversation Magazine
Global supply chain of a laptop computer – Photo by Conversation Magazine

Embrace the future of work.  The future of work is defined by the use of more automation and technology, which was always coming. COV-19 has hastened the pace. Because of social distancing, many companies allow 50% staff to work remotely on the odd days of week and 50% staff work remotely on the even days of week. It is the high time for digital tools like Slack, Zoom, Google Meet, etc. to show their importance. Plus, many companies in Technology field such as Salesforce, Facebook even allow all employees to work remotely, maybe forever. That induces employees across all functions to learn how to complete tasks remotely, using digital communication and collaboration tools.

Plus, the decrease of staff due to social distancing policy has raised another issue for the retailers: decline in manual and repetitive tasks and rise in the need for analytical and technical support. This shift calls for a substantial investment in workforce engagement and trainings for new skills which are mainly delivered using digital tools.

3. Rethink the organization

In the heat of the coronavirus crisis, organizations have been forced to work in new ways, and they are responding. Much of this progress comes from the shifts in operating models. Clear goals, focused teams, and rapid decision making have replaced for the corporate bureaucracy.

In our client’s case – a leading retailer in providing food and necessities to animals, he had executed curbside-delivery in a long time but hadn’t optimized it. He considered it as a must-have but not yet to focus on that until COVID-19 lockdown hit his country. The store pickup orders tripled and the number of staff has been decreased half due to social distancing policy. He had trouble in dealing with this situation and more quickly than ever, he decided to optimize it with our assistance. Curbside pickup become an essential part but no longer a nice-to-have option as it was in the past.

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Curbside pickup becomes more popular than ever

Another client of our who delayed in going live for his business for 1 year, has gone line for 7 days. His staff had to be trained quickly to adapt with the new operation of online sales channel.

In conclusion, COV-19 has wiped out a lot of old business operation types, accelerated our economy in the trend of digitalization more efficiently. Without the careful preparation or quick adaptability, even if you’re the dominant in the market, you can lose your cake slice completely to other competitors who are faster in this fierce race. We hope that, these retail tips on what to prepare for booming sales have brought you some insights to better run your businesses.

Author

A tech-lover and a data-driven business consultant who deploys disruptive innovations to Magento retailers in Omnichannel Age

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