Since March 2, 2020, The ROI's Co-Founders have been offering insights, strategic approaches, and online resources for independent retailers affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
These appeared first in The ROI NEWS.
So, say you have re-opened your stores. Then what? Did the customers come back?
Or, were many of those who did show up just there to say "Hello!" And "We missed you!", but not to buy? Sigh.
We are not surprised. And here's why.
Any customer must satisfy three key elements in order for a transaction to occur. Two out of three will not do; all three must be met.
No matter what you are selling, for a transaction to occur, every customer MUST have
Again, just two out of three of these won't do.
And unfortunately, only two of the three are within your ability to control.
That is driven by the source of income for your best customers, the degree of confidence and certainty they have in their own financial situation. "The economy."
Yep. Another one of those "uncontrollable variables." The sooner you recognize that, the sooner you can re-focus your energy and resources on those things you can manage.
How might you sharpen the focus on the merchandise you are selling, to better match how today's customers perceive their NEED to buy?
There are even more opportunities to adapt and adjust regarding the WILLINGNESS to buy.
You know all too well how it feels to deal with uncontrollable variables. Your customers are feeling the same way. Whatever you can do to give your shoppers a greater sense of control is likely to be very welcomed!
As the global efforts to "flatten the curve" of the coronavirus pandemic continue, there is another curve that is being flattened. That would be the seasonality of retail sales.
And this may prove to be what really defines the New Normal for retailers.
The customary peaks of retail spending have been flattened.
Yes, the shoppers WILL be returning. But boy, have they learned a lot during these pandemic times.
They are far more comfortable with online shopping, and in many cases, eager to continue that. And the convenience of "contactless" features like curbside pickup and BOPIS (Buy Online, Pickup In Store) are welcomed.
In fact, an extensive survey from McKinsey & Company* provides considerable detail about the newly-learned online shopping behaviors of customers, and their expectations of continuing to use these new-found skills.
Particular changes with presumed staying power:
But hold it. Wait just a minute. Our countervailing view is that the "homebody economy" will wear thin. And while customers do care even more about basics and value, especially when it comes to Holiday shopping, they will want "special."
Like every natural disaster, whether a massive storm, earthquake, wildfire, we all are victims of COVID-19.
Not all of us have suffered being infected by the virus. But, essentially everybody has suffered losses.
Few have been spared.
As more stores are able to reopen, and more shoppers are willing to emerge, what will they encounter?
Each of us, our households, businesses and communities are in different stages of shutdown due to the coronavirus.
While we cannot speak to when this will end, we do have some ideas for dealing with the "fog of uncertainty" that hangs over us all.
Since 1999, empowering retailers and store owners to "Turn on your financial headlights!"