Four Ways to Adapt to the Changing Retail Environment.
It was once all so simple for retail and service businesses. You advertised your goods or service and people came to see you with money in their pocket. Recent events, including the COVID pandemic, have disrupted normal purchase trends, however.
The challenge for businesses is clear, we must adapt or risk losing clients and income, and perhaps even fading away completely.
Here are four ways New Zealand businesses should react to the changing retail and service environment.
1. Ensure your supply chain
My neighbour was a panic-shopper. As soon as it became clear we might face a period of lockdown he shot off to the mall to stock up on the craziest of items. His fear was that vital commodities could run out. But they never did. All my neighbour’s panic-buying did was to put pressure on the supply chain delivering goods to outlets, mostly supermarkets.
Throughout the country, supermarkets were forced to respond to threatened shortages of goods. Some decreased their opening hours which gave workers time to restock shelves. Others closed their doors to face to face shoppers completely, choosing to become online-only stores. This second response is important to note. It was a viable answer to the sudden increase in online ordering, a common trend within many business sectors during the pandemic.
For businesses like yours, this e-commerce growth provides an amazing opportunity to launch that online shopping website you’ve been thinking of for some time. This increase in online demand is, for many retailers, high enough to justify the cost of investment in online systems. Which brings us to the second point.
2. Make the most of 2020 technology
If you were waiting for the right opportunity to launch your business into the world of online shopping, this is it!
Two things have worked in tandem to shift the buying habits of Kiwis. One is the access so many of us now have to fast broadband or fibre. The second is that, for a significant part of 2020, not only did the majority of us work from home, there was nowhere to go if we did want to go out. This has resulted in many New Zealanders developing an online shopping habit. And, you know what they say about habits? They can be difficult to break.
With the technology in place, and the interest in online shopping growing, it’s time to make the most of the opportunity, just as some did during the pandemic.
3. You gotta be good though.
Online consumers, particularly the newbies, will be wanting to be certain that they goods they purchase online are good quality and are going to turn up once ordered.
That’s why your e-commerce site needs to provide all the necessary assurances to your consumers. You need to carefully explain why your service can be trusted. It may be that that involves an unequivocal moneyback guarantee. It may be that there is a retail address provided on the site so consumers have the assurance that a real person is available if something goes wrong, and that credit card details are safe.
4 If you’re local, make sure they know you’re local!
New Zealand consumers are becoming more conscious about where goods are from and what processes they went through to get them onto the shelf.
Two things to be aware of:
- Consumers want to buy local to support Kiwi businesses during these tough economic times
- Consumers are aware of fair-trade practices and environmental concerns when purchasing goods. There are also safety concerns related to the ingredients or components within a product.
The more transparent you can be, the more attractive your product is and, if it’s locally made, you’re onto a winner!
Click here to find out more how to make the most of these post-pandemic sales tips.