The pandemic did significant economic damage to a lot of industries. While retail stores survived by moving to online sales, there is a big difference in selling products in a brick-and-mortar location. For one, customers find it harder to resist buying something when they have the item literally within reach. If you plan to open up soon, here are some strategies that you can use to help.
Let Everyone Know
If you plan to reopen, the first thing you have to ensure is that everyone knows you will be doing so. While it seems obvious, many retailers skimp on it. The best approach is to plan everything out and blast the message across multiple channels. First, determine what your opening hours will be and what your policies are for accepting customers. Having ironed these out, you should then start making announcements. The best channel to spread the news is social media, but you should also reach out to various media. Online platforms like your website should also be used to communicate your reopening, along with all the necessary rules.
Know Their Motivation
While you are thinking about reopening, you should also figure out why some shoppers go out to stores. Some customers have different motivations for shopping. Knowing why people go to your store can allow you to emphasize that part of your shopping experience. For example, if your market research reveals that most of your customers are experiential shoppers, this means that they are not just in your store to buy things. For them, shopping is an event that boosts their mood, especially when they find something new. You can encourage their visits by having new products to show off and staff willing to show them off.
Reposition Your Merchandise
One challenge that many stores face is that the retail needs of people have changed. A lot of them are not going out as much, and they stay in most of the time. This means that they focus more on home-focused products. Advertise your products in such a way that emphasizes this. For example, some clothing stores for women are now focusing on loungewear and athleisure to wear around the house. They still have dresses for a night on the town, but not as many as before. Evaluate your inventory and figure out some ways to market your current products.
Be Aware Of Changed Attitudes
As part of the different retail tastes, there is also a different attitude towards things. A lot of shoppers focus now on health and safety. They want to be safe when it comes to sanitary concerns. This means that you need to show that you are willing to protect their health by adding hand sanitizers and emphasizing touch-free shopping. Other changed attitudes include increased care when it comes to spending. Some shoppers might be facing hard times, so they will want to get the maximum value from their purchases.
Use Better Technology
Some retail customers may still not be comfortable shopping yet so you should be using modern technology to encourage shoppers to engage with your store. For example, you might consider opening yourself up to online reservations. This is for those businesses that have limited space like salons. With a reservation, they don't need to wait long or stay in the same space as other customers. Reservations can also work for customers who only want to pick up their order. Another innovation that you can use is virtual changing rooms and contactless payment systems.
Have The Right Tone
While it is reassuring that you are reopening your store, you should not be so obvious in your celebration. The pandemic claimed many lives, and it is still not entirely over. It has also been a very tough year for many customers. Being too celebratory may seem to be in bad taste. The tone that you want to give is to be kind and professional. Present your business as being there to help, which can help improve the opinion of customers. Implement policies that focus on showing your willingness to help the community can be a great move. For example, setting aside a specific period for seniors and providing them with a separate payment counter should help give a better impression.
Reopening after the pandemic is always risky. But you likely don't have a choice if you want your business to recover fully from the pandemic slump. Many customers will be receptive to your push, too. They're tired of being stuck inside, and they will want to go out and treat themselves. Keep that in mind, when you want to push for your reopening and what strategies to implement when doing so.