While 2020 was a struggle in many ways, we managed to make it through. Even though the natural products industry grew as a whole, many of our retailers struggled. Between layoffs, needing to quickly adopt new services to deal with lockdowns, to limited store capacities, and so on, it’s left retailers exhausted.
This begs the question: “Now what?”
We made it through the worst of the pandemic, so now we’re left wondering how we move forward. How do we continue to meet the needs of our customers in a relevant way and in a way that makes sense for our stores?
There are a few things to consider as you look towards future planning.
The move towards digital
According to New Hope, in January 2021 consumers were grocery shopping in-store 1.5 times per week compared to 2.5 times per week in 2020. Currently 68% of people are grocery shopping online.
While it’s not completely necessary to have an online store, the fact that consumers are shopping online more and more for basic needs should cause retailers to consider updating their websites, if nothing else, to create a great digital experience for customers that want to know more about how stores can meet their needs.
If you implemented curbside pick up or online ordering during the pandemic and found success with it, now is a great time to start evaluating how to improve those systems and make them long term plans. Evaluate your staffing. Take a look at the infrastructure you have, your point of sale, and so on and see what’s working and what’s not.
Support local movement
Given the fact that many locally owned, small businesses struggled while big box stores thrived during the pandemic, has encouraged consumers to support local stores more now than ever.
Covid has presented an opportunity for local retailers to gain a competitive advantage if they are up for the challenge. Marketing strategies can be implemented to highlight that you are a locally owned business and encourage local support without coming across like you need the business.
People love experiential retail. As things become more normal, figure out ways that you can bring back some of the “good ol’ days” in a safe manner that works in your part of the country.
Want to keep talking about the future?
We will continue this conversation at SOHO Healthfest during our Retail Roundtable. Make sure you are there! Register today.