The retail industry of today feels a world away from where we were in the run up to 2020, and it’s been less than a year. Has it been less than a year? 2020…
Although the shift to online shopping was happening gradually anyway, not many could have predicted that trends thought to be 5 to 10 years in the making would actually take place over a couple of months. Covid-19 accelerated everything, and many businesses have been paying the price for their inability to adapt to this most transformative of Black Swan events.
We’re all starting to realise now that Covid is going to be an everyday part of our lives for some time to come, but that doesn’t mean ‘business as usual’, how could it!? What’s pretty high on the ‘cray cray’ scale though is that a majority of retail businesses haven’t made any changes whatsoever to prepare themselves for what lies ahead, including second spikes of the virus. This feels like a particularly dangerous game of roulette!
However, retailers can survive and even thrive in this post pandemic landscape if they act quickly and follow a few simple steps. Check out these top tips:
Flexible fulfilment brings all the customers to the yard
In the Post-Covid hellscape, you must make it as straightforward and risk free as possible for consumers to get their hands on your goods, as we all have enough to stress about without misplaced deliveries and massive storefront queues.
Some stats for you: 4 in 10 shoppers want some more Click & Collect in their lives over the next 12 months. Are you offering it? You should be. Flexible fulfillment will be key to retaining customers and capturing a whole loada new ones. Oh, and Click & Collect can also have a positive impact upon your bottom line, with 34% of retailers adopting a Click and Collect service reporting an increase in overall revenue. Ching ching, indeed.
Word of the day: ‘Automation’
Automation has already proven to be a key element of success throughout the pandemic, enabling many retailers such as Mad4Tools.com and CoolBlades to deal with HUGE orders without any delays to the customer.
The reality of selling online in the current climate is that it’s simply not possible to provide an Amazon level service without taking advantage of automation. Honestly, many have tried.
Here’s where the rubber hits the road: automating your repetitive manual workflows means you can forget about them. Order entry, what’s that!? In this climate, saving time, reducing error and safeguarding your ability to deal with large fluctuations in demand should be the priority. Unless you want to add headcount, automating your retail operations post-pandemic makes a whole lot of sense.
Get Your Audit On
If you perform an operational audit, you’re already a step ahead of half of the competition that has literally done nothing. Ok, it doesn’t sound like a ton of fun, but in an unprecedented situation such as this, an operational audit is a necessity to check whether the heartbeat of your business is healthy as it should be.
Auditing your retail operations also doesn’t need to be a lengthy, drawn out affair. And guess what, we can help!
Brightpearl’s Post Pandemic Health checker is free, quick and easy. You’ll have your result in just 5 minutes – five! – to help you better understand if your business is fit enough to survive the post-pandemic landscape and the specific areas of operations where you might need a tidy tune up.
Although nothing is guaranteed in this constantly shifting retail landscape, following the above steps will help your business keep up with your consumers, and put you in pole position for success in the post pandemic landscape.