Your world will never be the same again
As you know, we find ourselves in unprecedented times.
Currently, the world is still reeling from the heavy impact of the COVID-19 virus. Additionally, we see a worldwide recession looming (if not fully here already), closed borders, failing businesses, large-scale job cuts, and a huge disruption to previously strong global trade partnerships. No one would blame us for wanting just to pull the covers over and stay in bed until 2022 when things will potentially be better again.
However...we are resilient people. Much will change but life will go on. As the lockdowns slowly lift, business will pick up again and we must be ready to adapt to the changes. It could mean the difference between still doing what you love - of running your own business or sadly, having to shut down completely. What will some of those changes be, you ask? Well, for the small business owner, times have never been harder, and yet there are still ways to adapt your business for the new normal we are in. Here are just three key developments that we are seeing which could be really helpful to you:
The ‘social distance’ shopping experience
No longer are we able to waltz in and out of shops at will. The 2m spaced queues are necessary but are quite an annoyance to customers. You may end up losing a lot of business as people get discouraged from waiting. How can you make this a much better experience for your customers and keep them coming back for more?
- Hire a queue attendant. Someone to offer those in the queue a quick spray of an antibacterial hand wash. Better yet, have them make a list of some of the items that the customer is coming to pick up so those in the store can start to gather those items together for them and hence making the shopping experience much smoother and enjoyable. Your customers will appreciate this level of care.
The multiple buy
Due to the increased safety concerns and elongated shopping experience, your customers are no longer just coming into the shop to just pick up single items. They are coming to the shop less frequently but they are now buying more during a single visit than they previously did. This impacts your business in a number of ways.
- You have fewer chances to engage your customers so it is more important than ever to have a digital connection. Make sure you have updated your CRM systems so that you can digitally keep your customer updated with any developments, your efforts to keep them safe as they shop and of course, any special offers that suit them.
- You must also keep a sharp eye on your inventory. It is better not to add to your customer’s frustration with the new shopping experience by not having what they need in stock. This is a sure-fire way to drive them to other retailers who will be more than happy to take your customers off your hands.
Cash is fast becoming persona non grata
Rightly or wrongly, the stigma around physical cash being a contributor to the spread of coronavirus grew and grew as the crisis lingered. This has driven us to more digital forms of money and payment methods. These had already gained much traction pre-coronavirus, however, this trend has been greatly accelerated through it. You must make sure your check-out process is smooth and efficient.
- Have the contactless equipment at the ready. This is also a great time to review your digital and mobile money payment options. Various payment terminals from banks, Paystack, Apple Pay, Google Pay, to name but a few.
- Now is also the time to make sure that all your business systems are interconnected so that if a customer comes in to pay by any of the above-listed payment options, your backend systems are able to seamlessly track the payments and stock sold. The system should be able to connect to your accounting software, inventory management system and your supplier order queue for restocking if it looks like you are running low on a popular item.
At PrognoStore, we hold to the ethos that the small business owner is an integral part of the global economy, so we hope that these points are very useful to you. In these uncertain days, we are more than happy to help where we can so please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PrognoStore is a 3-in-1 Cloud-Based Solution combining Point-of-Sale, Inventory, and Analytics. Developed to make running your business easy and stress-free. It's simple to use but powerful enough to be all you need to run your store. Check us out here.