How Will COVID-19 Impact The Retailers and The Shopping Habits of Consumers? 

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Coronavirus Disease 2019 or COVID-19 is an infectious disease that started spreading globally from January 2020. It was then when this outbreak was declared a public health emergency of international concern. It has been four months since then and the spread has not stopped. This has affected the world in so many ways. Apart from creating an overwhelming sense of caution, fear and concern, the pandemic has disturbed humanity’s life and business. Amid this crisis the retail world seems to have lost control and is trying to adapt and tackle the issues that come with this pandemic.  

How should we expect the influences to be on the retail world in this period? What might things look like for the retailers and consumers once the pandemic’s impact is over? The article draws some views and possible answers to these questions. 

The damage to come in the coming months post COVID-19 intends to give the retailers a hard time. It will be a precarious bridge to normalization with anxious consumers, an on-off success in sales, inhibiting efficiency and the health protocols that ought to be applied on your retail grounds. The retailers will have to consider new environments for their stores. Ones that convince the consumers that they are walking on safe grounds serve its purpose in maximizing sales. The strategies and tools to be used need to be wisely chosen to plan the environment. All the methodologies that were used in planning the stores prior to the pandemic can be still be used with additional healthcare protocols. A common confusion that almost every retailer may have is that should they do their customer research now that the customer purchase patterns have changed immensely. The most appropriate thing to do is keep performing customer research because this will help to monitor the customer responses on the different tactics that are used for marketing in the time of crisis. The retailers will be able to judge if the currently applied strategies are working satisfactorily and improvise accordingly. The retailers have a wide range of methodologies to experiment with in the store. For Example:  

The retailers should aim to figure out the combination of strategies that will be the most suitable for them in the current situation. 

Currently the retailers are in a situation where they are struggling to keep the business running and trying to cope up with the changing demands of the consumers. Consumers on the other hand are struggling to decide on their shopping medium (online or offline). They find themselves in a bit of a fix when it comes to the purchase of the essentials of different categories. The packaged grocery can be purchased online but people prefer to choose their fresh groceries manually for self-satisfaction which can only be done by stopping at the grocery store. Hence, the consumers ought to visit the stores. It will be the retailer’s duty to manage store operations to ensure social distancing and store hygiene to make them feel safe so that they end up doing their grocery shopping entirely from the store. The retailers need to put together a series of marketing plans for the store and keep on monitoring the results of the set of strategy and product arrangement of each plan. This should be done in order to come up with a plan that entails the caliber to build a business resilience for the upcoming phase post COVID-19.  

The consumers currently are in a phase where they are concentrating on stocking up on the essentials and reducing the trips to the stores. Although after normalization of the situation the consumers may want to visit the stores more but will lack confidence due to health and economic concerns. The key aim of the retailers should be to secure the consumers’ confidence. They should think fast, be flexible and adaptable to extemporize operating models, product assortment and product distribution on retail shelves to meet the requirement that is most critical at the given point in time. 

The impact that the businesses might suffer from due to this pandemic is very uncertain. The current duration should be used to communicate with the consumers as much as possible to build trust that adequate steps will be taken to ensure their health and safety in the stores. Utilize this time in experimenting and building a strong and resilient business plan for days to come. 

Planogram is the best tool that a retailer can use to deploy the methodologies of the business plans they come up with. Planogram helps save precious time and energy in this critical scenario. 

Nexgen POG assists in being a tool to create efficient planograms that can be used to manage the product assortments that are following the needs of the customers in this difficult time. 

Get your free trial now. Try Nexgen POG for free.  

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