Here’s How Retailers Can Increase Footfall During COVID-19
- BY Jaspreet Kaur
Feature Writer, BusinessEx
- Oct 12,2021
- 12 Mins Read
It's been over a year, we are still combating the pandemic. Many things are dramatically changed--trends, business strategies, and customer behaviour--in the business ecosystem, particularly the retail market. In the retail industry, businesses directly sell products to consumers, thus, becoming affected owing to the changing taste of end customers. In the present scenario, besides customers’ demand, another factor, pandemic, has jostled the market.
To anchor small businesses primarily brick and mortar stores, many retailers have embraced digitalization and began selling online. Transforming the existing outlet into an online shopping store has become mainstream in the past year. It had become a smart move and also, a surviving strategy for many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). However, as the lockdown lifted and the Indian economy started moving ahead, an increase in footfall was anticipated in the stores but people were scared to move around until necessary.
Even though the impact of the pandemic has reduced, consumers are still skeptical and do not want to step out. Many consumers are relying on online shopping platforms to procure commodities. This behavior has not changed much, henceforth, building pressure on retailers. To run brick and mortar stores, it has become vital to bring customers to the stores. For that, retailers need to bring these changes into their business:
New-age customers are apprehensive in nature. With the pandemic hovering over the country, stepping outside the home can be a risky move if adequate precautions are not taken. To bring customers at ease, retail business owners should follow hygiene standards.
The store should not only be spic and span but also follow social distancing norms. When you are following safety measures, be upfront and inform to the end consumers through social media. Besides this, marketing should not be subsided as conventional marketing strategies will induce people to have an apt human experience.
While doing online shopping, creating a thriving bond with customers can be a bit daunting. Processing transactions wholly on the Internet has eliminated the human interaction that was earlier possible in physical stores.
For instance, dining in a restaurant was not possible when the pandemic was at its peak. Now, when normalcy has partially returned in the market, people are still concerned about the dine-in restaurant. Business owners can erase such doubts by good servicing.
Along with safety measures, the restaurateur should create an effort in making customers’ experiences worthy. Focusing on a restaurant's service can yield great results and ensure that customers will return anew.
At present, sending gifts has become a sweet gesture on birthdays, anniversaries, and other events. Showering love and sending best wishes is becoming incomplete without presents. To do so, people employ online shopping stores to deliver gifts across the country. Using the online platform has its own disadvantages as you cannot touch and examine products, thus, becoming hesitant ordering things in the first place.
Comprehending this problem, retailers can begin offering delivery services in nearby towns. Retail stores can tie up with courier services and provide the delivery service at economical prices. By doing so, retail store owners will be attracting potential customers as they would be able to test products and later, deliver them to their dear ones.
Retail owners can follow these steps and increase customers’ footfall in the store. These are simple suggestions that would help gain customers anew like the pre-pandemic phase.
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