Sales channel strategies for a time of crisis
Following the global economic downturn due to the Covid-19 pandemic, job losses have shifted consumers’ needs and expectations. Despite government restrictions having eased across many countries, shoppers are still hesitant to return to stores: according to Coresight Research, 48% expect to avoid shopping centres and 32% wish to avoid shops in general. With traditional systems being upended and uncertainty knocking on consumers’ doors, businesses will have to reinvent themselves to encourage people to return. For smaller businesses, the ability to adapt quickly will lead the way. Fashion brands will have to explore new engagement strategies and innovative ways of selling in order to drive revenue.
1. Rethinking retail
The e-commerce boom is driving a significant reset in the retail landscape. Shoppers continue to fear more pandemic waves, making contactless technologies and touch-free spaces an effective way to sell from a distance. Pivoting storefronts, novel ways to showcase products in the window display and allowing customers to purchase directly from the street will lead to increasing numbers of smaller retailers. Entice consumers back to stores by offering grab-and-go formats and reinvent retail’s purpose with meaningful ways to interact with your brand.
2. Reimagining e-commerce
During lockdown, brands saw an e-commerce boom. Now, businesses will have to reimagine their purpose to continue driving sales. Explore new engagement strategies and selling platforms; use virtual shopping; embrace innovative solutions; or create a more immersive online shopping experience by allowing consumers to interact with the brand and visualise how products will look before they buy.
Virtual experiences are increasingly important as consumers become comfortable with them. For smaller businesses, strengthening e-commerce operations – offering user-friendly, frictionless checkout experiences and supporting digital platforms or moving content creation on social media towards e-commerce – will be essential to engage consumers. Alternatively, take a sustainable approach: waste-free packaging, carbon-free delivery and increasing transparency around logistics will be vital to get consumers on board with buying your products.