The onset of Covid-19 virus, or more popularly known as the Corona virus has led every country to rethink their way of life. As we sort of transcended through the ‘new normal’, we have overseen a host of changes in policies, laws, celebrations, and almost everything else. The global economy suffered a major setback as well, with Sensex falling an intraday low of 25.880. Needless to say, this crash affected the retail sector as hard.
The Problem At Hand
With the rising number of cases worldwide, organizations must focus on reducing impacts directly on customers and employees. The retail sector, having already faced consumer loss due to online models, are particularly being affected due to uncertain supply chains. And given the spread of the virus, it is unlikely that life would go back to normal for retailers.
As global and Indian retail markets came crashing down, a number of businesses and start-ups in India applied for business loans in India. This would seem like a good way of side-lining short-term threats, but the need of the hour is to develop long term strategies that work towards business continuity with an eye out for immediate disaster management.
|Pricing||Sales and margin erosion|
|Workforce||Shortage of labour|
|Brand Image||Reputational damage|
Retailers need to respond to these challenges by adapting to their decisions and processes every day. As the demand across categories keeps on varying, the decision-making process has to be agile and beyond the ordinary.
As such, retail businesses post Covid-19 would find it necessary to transform their business processes into making the right progressive choices, failure in doing so may well cause them to go out of business.
Here are some focus points for retailers to look into post Covid-19:
- Increased Focus On Crisis Management
Almost all businesses have prioritized critical activities and strategize for disruptions in their day-to-day operations. This may serve well but formulating a crisis management plan for these times and also for any such event in the future would ensure business continuity in the long run.
As the scenario changes everyday, retailers need to make the right choice for store management, logistics, pricing, etc. To look beyond business continuity and focus on long-term crisis management, retail businesses should have a single point of decision making that has a trickle down effect on the entire organization.
- Optimize Operations
As the demand drops due to the impact of the virus, retail businesses will have to manage short-term expenses, optimize decision-making, and most importantly, give buyers a reason to buy from them.
In time most retailers would identify which product/service of theirs is most at risk and so the pricing, marketing, and logistics should be adjusted accordingly.
In the worst-case scenario, the demand could drop considerably that retail owners can only focus on the day-to-day working of their business. Of course, this may be a little far-off, but it is not improbable! Planning for worst-case-scenario situations can help you deal with crisis situations with a trained staff. If you think about any such possibility may arise soon, you can consider shoring up your cash reserves, or apply for business loans in India.
Planning for survival on bare minimum can give you precious time to deal with similar emergencies more comfortably.
- Planning For The Long-Haul
The retail business post Covid-19 has been hit hard! As such, retail businesses need to manage their finances not just in the short run, but also on the long haul. One should not look to cut costs today at the expense of a thriving business tomorrow!
All ongoing initiatives should be re-evaluated and new ones which focus on the long-term growth of the business should be considered strategically.
In other words, retailers have to tread in between short-term survival and long-term success. This can only be achieved through efficient forecasting and effective strategic planning for business growth.
- Tap Into Opportunities
So, what if a retail business shuffles up every policy and it still doesn’t bear any fruits?
If the demand does come to you, it is better to shift yourself where demand already is! Shifting your focus to new technologies or integrating a new software in your business process can give the boost your business may need. Identify new demands in the market for a trendy product or process and see if they can do you any good.
- Create Brand Visibility And Image
Retail businesses post Covid-19 have to focus on creating a value addition to the society as a whole. In this time of fear and anxiety over what happens next, businesses can go a step ahead and create brand visibility through positive enforcement of strategies like charity or donations to the medical sector to help them contain the situation.
This may sure seem as an addition to an already burdened finances of a retail business, but a positive brand image, regardless of the times we live in, will always be a huge motivator to the consumer to buy from your business.
If you’re short on funds and your predictive analysis of the near future seems optimistic, you may consider applying for business loans in India.
Business loans in India can be availed from Banks, NBFCs or private lenders.
- Personalized Customer Relations
During these uncertain times, it is important to serve the customers with a personalized approach rather than a generic one.
Buyers like to feel special, which gives them a moral reason to buy from you again and again. While tapping into new markets can be advantageous, it is equally important to retain customers.
Retail Business Post Covid-19: It Is Also An Opportunity
Retail businesses that have survived the period and are currently in stabilization mode definitely have a competitive advantage in the market.
If you have worked towards greater brand value, retaining your staff, and catered to the benefit of society as a whole during this period, your business has a boost unlike any of your competitors.
And with the right strategies in place for such contingencies and the short and long-term growth, your business is likely to bloom in the next coming years.
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