Starting a new business is always stressful. There are many things to consider and a million things that can go wrong. With stakes being high, you want to do everything in your power to ensure that the business of your dreams succeeds.
If you add the pandemic to the mix, things get even more complicated. Starting a new store amid a pandemic may sound daunting, but if you think about it, it can be done if you keep a few things in mind.
Yes, there are new regulations and guidelines to consider, but you can manage them well. Looking at things in a positive way and coming up with creative solutions will make the journey easier and enjoyable for you.
After all, if you have been dreaming of starting a business and setting up a store for a long time, then don’t let the pandemic stop you in any way. Here are the points to consider while you set up your business to ensure that you succeed.
Think About Your Customers Needs
Before starting any business, it is crucial that you do market research to understand the needs of your customers. Even if you have done market research before the pandemic, it is vital that you repeat it now.
A lot has changed since the start of the pandemic, including what people want. Understanding the shift will help you stock relevant products and increase your chances of sales.
For example, if you are planning to open a clothing store, then you should consider adding a lot more loungewear to your collection. Since many companies continue to offer work from home, most of the customers are spending more time at home than outside. Loungewear is more in demand than outerwear.
Create a Strong Digital Presence
One of the major shifts during the pandemic has been an increase in the time people spend online. It offers an excellent marketing opportunity for you.
You should focus on creating a strong online presence. A good digital marketing strategy will help attract more customers. It is also a great way to announce the opening of your store to customers.
Using social media to engage with your customers is also bound to give positive results.
However, you must steer clear of unethical marketing strategies and only focus on building an organic online market presence. You can use top up credit to hire a reputed digital marketing agency to handle your marketing.
Be Aware of Government Guidelines and Adhere to Them
The government has issued various guidelines to ensure the safety of your staff and customers and to reduce the spreading of COVID-19 disease. Make sure that you are following all these guidelines.
There are multiple benefits to doing so. The first is that if you don’t, you may have to pay a fine for violating the guidelines and may even have to close the store for some time. This will only cause you added stress.
The second is that customers are more likely to visit a store that follows all the guidelines as they feel safer there. A crowded store will make them uncomfortable and force them to leave prematurely. A store that follows social distancing norms is more likely to retain customers for longer and thereby ensure that they finish making all their purchases.
Offer Home Delivery Services
Due to the pandemic, many are wary of stepping out of their homes and prefer getting their products delivered to their home. They are more likely to shop at stores that offer such services.
While it is easier to ensure home delivery for certain products, certain others present more of a challenge. You can create an app or distribute your product catalogue to help customers shop.
You can even give them a virtual tour of the shop. Technologies such as video calling and online video hosting ensure that you can offer customers a chance to visit your store virtually and make a purchase.
Create a Personalised Shopping Experience
Customers love personalised shopping services. There are many ways in which you can offer this to your customers. A personal shopping assistant is one way to do so.
You can also keep a record of a customer’s previous purchases and show them products based on them. It makes the customer feel valued. They are more likely to choose you over your competitors when they feel they receive a more personal service at your store.
Take Adequate Safety Precautions
There is an increased focus on hygiene and sanitisation in the current scenario, and this is not something you should take lightly. After all the time and effort you put into the store, you surely don’t want it to turn into a COVID-19 hotspot.
Make sure you sanitise the entire store at regular interval, especially areas that people touch or frequent more such as the door handles, payment counters, etc. You should also consider putting a glass counter at the payment counter that will separate the cashier and the customer.
Offer Transportation to Staff
Public transportation has started in most of the cities, and it might be the cheapest option for your staff to reach your store. However, there is also a higher risk of contracting the disease on public transportation since they are not sanitised regularly and carry a large number of people.
Try to hire people who live close to the store or have their own mode of transportation. For others, try offering pick up and drop services. It will keep your staff safer and help arrest the spread of the disease.
Use Store Space as Showroom
With more people preferring to shop online, you do not need a large space to showcase all the products. Instead, focus more on displaying a variety of products and have more inventory in the back room.
This way, there is enough for your customers to shop from; you get to display all your products in a small space and make the best utilisation of the space.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way everyone goes about their daily life. By incorporating the tips mentioned above in your store, you can ensure that your business has the best chance of thriving in the current scenario.
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