Coronavirus or COVID-19, has changed everyone’s lives, since its outbreak in Wuhan, China. World Meters indicates that there have been 203,569 cases of people affected by the virus and a total of 8,225 deaths. These are alarming results… and it will get worse if we don’t act on a personal level! Governments around the world are mobilising and taking drastic measures in order to contain the virus as efficiently as possible. Businesses are forced to take the same drastic measures while people are consulted to stay isolated and only visit places if it’s extremely necessary.
We are slowly moving in a ‘social recession’ phase, whereas everyone will become isolated due to the coronavirus outbreak. There are some groups of people such as the elderly, people who live alone and people with chronic disabilities who will be hit harder than the rest. But the fact remains that we will ALL feel isolated from the rest of the world. Isolation will cause businesses to stop their operations or go bankrupt due to the fact that people will not visit their brick-and-mortar stores. What can retail businesses do to adapt during the coronavirus crisis?
Apply for Government Grants related to Coronavirus
Governments around the world have announced that they are supporting the businesses by providing grants that will help them survive during the coronavirus crisis. The Cypriot government has announced to the public that they are structuring a coronavirus grant to be provided to businesses around the island, however, the amount is still not confirmed. The UK Treasury informed the public that all small businesses will receive a £3,000 coronavirus grant. Author of smallbusiness.co.uk, Timothy Adler states that “The government has announced small businesses that already pay little or no business rates will be eligible for a one-off coronavirus grant worth up to £3,000.” Moreover, he writes that “The Scottish government has announced an £80 million fund to provide grants of at least £3,000 to small businesses in sectors facing the worst economic impact of COVID-19.” The governments are trying their best to provide as much support and guidance as possible during this difficult time.
Build an E-Shop or invest in your current one
It is no secret that retailers are already feeling the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. People are staying home and retailers are losing customers and essentially money. Due to the somehow-forced isolation, people will have a lot of time to spare in their own households which implies that they will tend to the internet more than usual – after all, everyone has a laptop and a smart-phone!
Building an e-shop to replace the traditional brick and mortar store is not a new trend, but it’s becoming a necessity during these times. Many industry retail leaders are already doing so. An e-shop provides a way to communicate your brand, products and offers to your existing and potential customers without them required to visit your store.
A visually attractive and responsive e-commerce website, with the user experience in mind, will definitely be an asset/tool for keeping your sales up and running. So if you don’t have an e-shop for your business, it’s time to start thinking about it. DomainStar can always assist you with website design and development services.
However, if you do have an e-shop, now it’s the time to utilise it at its maximum potential. In order to understand your current website’s performance and optimise it to achieve the best outcome (SALES), one must analyse the following:
- Are you currently selling online? What are your current sales? Who are your current users? Are you targeting your ultimate customer?
- What are competitors doing?
- What marketing channels are you currently utilising? How valuable are your current marketing channels? – In terms of return on investment?
- Is your e-shop loading fast?
- Are you using Google Analytics to view data of your customers interacting with your e-shop?
- Do you have a solid digital marketing strategy?
Once you understand your current situation, you can then address it using the help of a digital marketing agency which will guide you through the process on how to increase your online sales and achieve your objectives.
To conclude, retail business owners in Cyprus will need to consider the online world as a major part of their business. Having a solid e-shop and a complete digital marketing strategy will enable you to adapt and overcome the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.