E-commerce may represent the most effective opportunity for retailers to make it through lockdown, particularly by allowing them to maximise on essential festive trade this winter.

 

The last three months of the year in the run up to Christmas are generally responsible for the majority of sales in retail. It is also going to be a challenging time for shoppers too, as they try to get organised for an unfamiliar Covid-Christmas.

As a retail store owner in the run up to the busiest time of the year for retail, you will be well aware of how important it is to be prepared.

As we move from response to recovery, alternative methods can be taken to recoup your losses and increase your revenue. Accommodating to changed consumer behaviours with e-commerce may well be a key part of your preparations.

The key is to start preparing now

Early planning is critical to make sure your shelves are stocked, and you’re providing the right services for a socially distanced society. Turnaround times in your supply chain, staff shortages and customer capacity all impact your business, so establishing a clear action plan and goals as early as possible can reap the rewards when the unexpected happens.

Planning well ahead of time, having a contingency plan by offering online click and collect and delivery services is a prudent way to combat this uncertainty. By doing so, you’ll be able to leverage the holiday season, lockdown or not.

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Planning a Covid-Christmas strategy

1. Implement click and collect & home delivery services

Increase your revenue streams by offering click and collect and delivery services. Mercury Order, an online ordering platform, links with an existing website or acts as a stand-alone store to quickly enable online selling, and offer collection and delivery services for your customers.

Click and collect and delivery services resolve the issue of in-store customer capacity issues and encourage contactless consumerism – and as daily cases remain high due to close contact, this is essential.

2. Update your online store

If you’ve been forced to sell online as a result of Covid-19 through social media, now is a great time to ensure that your online presence is more sustainable by setting up an online shop. In the rush, there’s every chance that you did the bare minimum to get online and may have missed something critical to operating an online store. Mercury Order offers the most cost-effective and user friendly solution on the market.

3. Stocking up & demand forecasting

Calculating exactly how much stock to have on hand can be more difficult this year than ever – especially if you’re a small business struggling with cash flow. Consider offering customers the ability to buy a product in-store and have it sent to them when it does arrive in stock. This process can tie in with your online store.

The seemingly never-ending threat of new lockdown precautions with shifting consumer behaviour make accurate demand forecasts only harder – online pre-order stabilises this issue.

4. Outdoor queueing

If your queues have significant wait times, this can deter customers from queuing in the winter weather. You can give customers the option of shopping at your virtual store and collecting their purchases or having them delivered – it’s win, win.

New normal in shopping

To get the most out of the new normal this Christmas period, your preparation has to coincide with the way your business has to now operate. A high spec online ordering system such as Mercury Order removes human error and saves time taking orders – while removing human contact. It is certainly a step in the right direction to help your business through the festive period.

Watch our demo here to see how lightning-fast and simple to use Mercury Order actually is. For a free, bespoke demo contact our team: NI: +44 28 7122 8820 UK: +44 333 241 44 22 ROI: +353 1 247 5294

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