The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has touched us all around the world. It crushed economic growth. Many people have lost their jobs and suffered physically, emotionally and financially as a result of this crisis. In just a few short months, this pandemic changed the whole scenario of how businesses and industries operate in the future.
Today let’s talk specifically about how retailers in India are coping with the heat of the crisis and managing to run the business. the impact of COVID-19 on retail is obvious, and on top of that, it has also had an impact on people’s health and movement.
Effect of COVID-19 on Retailers: Current, Upcoming and Future Phase
The situation for Indian retailers has worked because of the pandemic. They are faced with the challenge of facing the situation now, then and beyond. Right now, we are living in the “now” phase which has seen a business shutdown.
Nowadays, basic products like groceries, medicines and other food stores are allowed to operate, but they face many problems. Retailers face a variety of issues including managing customer demand, dealing with supply chain issues, meeting social distancing standards, and maintaining good hygiene for all employees.
In this pandemic crisis, essential products are less affected than other products available on the market. Customers lost confidence in the services and stopped buying other things except essentials.
When the industry enters the “next” phase, it must develop appropriate strategies to get back on track. the COVID retail station scenario will highlight a new challenge to be adjusted according to new commercial techniques.
the future retail strategies will provide a roadmap for doing well in the market. This will give the traders the challenge to prove their mettle and adopt different and effective ways to run their business smoothly.
Problems for retailers in different sectors
1. Employee well-being and management
The critical issue facing most retailers today is managing employee expenses. They must ensure a healthy and appropriate environment for their frontline staff.
2. Trade and supply chain
Along with the fear of foreclosure, demand for essential supplies has skyrocketed. On the contrary, no one is looking to buy non-essential items leading to hoarding of these things in stores.
Restricted transport disrupted the supply chain for essential items, increasing demand.
3. Brand and customer protection
Retailers are facing massive crowds due to increased panic. They must also prevent any negative marketing due to the nuisances created by certain maniacs. In addition, they must maintain their image while controlling hygiene standards.
With less demand for products, retailers must regulate the flow of income for wages and other expenses. They look for measures to plan for in the light of short-term liquidity.
5. Technology and safety
With an exponential rise in online services, it is crucial to maintain online traffic. With this, retailers need to address cybersecurity issues. In addition, they must integrate advanced technologies to ensure maximum contactless relationships with customers.
Change in consumer behavior due to COVID-19
A drastic change can be observed in consumer behavior due to the pandemic going from the “now” phase to the “beyond” phase.
Consumers at the “now” stage are busy building up stocks of essential products for the future so they don’t feel penalized later. All food and grocery stores meet the needs of people residing in rural and urban areas.
When consumers enter the “next” phase, everyday life will start to turn as before, but customers will start to doubt everything.
By observing the current situation, we can quickly assess that there will be a change in the purchasing pattern of consumers as they will be more inclined to buy local brands compared to expensive brands. Businesses need to digitize in every way, making it a secure transaction so customers can have confidence.
Top 6 Effective Resilience Strategies For Indian Retailers
the impact of COVID-19 on retail the market is visible. Retailers must adopt the new marketing strategies in order to be well prepared for the “now”, “next” and “beyond” phase to meet the needs of the market. the future retail strategies will decide their new consumers.
Retailers need to invest in areas that have a high conversion rate. They must keep in mind the needs of the new consumers who rely on them. They must not only think about the current scenario, but also think about the future and even beyond when normalcy eventually prevails.
If retailers adapt the speed and agility now, they will surely reap the rewards in the future.
1. Frugality in financial management
Financial management will be a very onerous task for people across the country. Many of us have suffered from declining jobs, wages, interest payments and installments all over the world. This situation has forced retailers to optimize costs in order to have sufficient liquidity and margins to be able to survive in this phase.
2. Agile in sustainable thinking
With the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a lot of uncertainty and no one was well prepared for it. For retail, they need to be flexible and adapt to new business models. The assortment of products must meet the requirement and this is of the utmost importance.
3. Optimized in the supply chain
Retailers need to be very careful to play an appropriate role in the supply chain. Demands continue to fluctuate in the sourcing process, but retailers need to be vigilant enough to tackle all types of sourcing. They need to develop a proper plan to handle all logistics and inventory so that their business can operate in any situation until the whole situation is under control. If the company adopts digital methods, it can help to make progress. The business needs to adopt delivery-based models so that customer demands can be met.
4. Tactics in talent management
If you want your business to thrive in the next few years, you have to become a good leader. Frequently ask your employees about their well-being to build confidence in the organization over time. Once everything is back to normal, they just need to rehabilitate themselves to meet the changing demands of the business.
5. Efficient in terms of customer loyalty and management
Retention will be the key. Retailers need to be careful not to lose their old customers. Regular feedback and prompt response to queries will establish a level of trust not only in the services, but give them an exhilarating shopping experience. They should reflect that appropriate levels of hygiene are maintained for the safety of all.
6. Responsible for regulatory and legal compliance
Various rules and laws have been adopted by state, central and local governments to ensure the safety of citizens. Compliance with all safety rules and measures will cost retailers dearly. It will also hamper their resources. But they must cooperate with the government because these measures are only intended to improve the situation. The lockdown is lifted in several stages, so it becomes the responsibility of every citizen to support the government.
As COVID-19 evolves, no one can predict what will happen to the industry due to its effects. This pandemic is an alarming bell for everyone to improve business methods and make the company flexible and agile. If this situation occurs in the future, everyone should be sufficiently prepared to deal with it. This has forced every industry to focus on digital means in order to have the proper facilities to fight back. Now is the time for retailers to properly analyze the scenario and find ways to overcome all of these crises.
At the end of the line
The impact of COVID-19 on retailers cannot yet be estimated. We can only hope that it ends soon. A flexible business strategy and a well-equipped team with all the resources will definitely stand out and survive the current situation. Digitization is undoubtedly the future that we can predict as it is now!
Source by Molly J