These unprecedented times have made planning and predicting for the coming months incredibly difficult for businesses in all sectors - But particularly in retail. With Canada expected to join many other countries going into another lockdown, we take a look at how the impact of coronavirus is going to affect retail businesses across Canada and how to plan for the coming months.
Where possible, retail businesses have turned to e-commerce to boost their sales whilst shop opening remains at risk. But for those relying on in-store customers, retail merchandising and product placement is more important than ever.
As we approach the festive season with Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, retail businesses will be more concerned than ever about the financial impact of a lockdown over the festive season.
As ever in retail, the target customer is always the main focus and should be at the front of your mind when deciding on product placement as well as colors and prices.
Every customer loves a good discount or promotion and whilst sales may be down this year, there’s a good chance that you may have excess stock. Use this stock to your advantage over the next few months, place it at the front of your store or at checkouts and use bright and bold advertising so your customers will be sure not to miss it - Special discounts and multi-buys are a great way to sell large quantities of stock at a great price.
Of course, if your business sells items that are in high demand such as PPE, these need to be placed in visible places throughout your store and if you are selling online, in a clearly visible place on your website such as the home page.
Businesses across the world, however, are making many cuts to compensate for the losses caused by the pandemic. Whilst some of these cuts are inevitable, some simple retail merchandising will certainly help the situation.
Whilst businesses can take measures to help customers returning to retail, customers have also changed the way that they shop since the beginning of the pandemic. Fewer customers are browsing now, resulting in customers spending less and ultimately, more customers spending online than ever.
As retailers, we now need to make the retail experience enjoyable for customers again by making shop layouts simpler, with the most popular products placed in key places to make the shopping experience as easy and quick as possible.
Retailers need to still remain open to change and be ready to adapt quickly, but most importantly, retailers need to plan for the long term - Be ready to adapt your business to the changing retail environment as many of our retail shops will be at risk.