The pandemic has been raging in India, and the signs of going back to the “normal” are nowhere in sight. But cities have reopened and so have the businesses; however, the footfalls in stores have decreased. Unless a person is passing by a store or does not get a particular product online, they are not too willing to go out and visit a brick-and-mortar store in the vicinity (exceptions such as stepping out to buy medicines may be there).
So, what should retail owners do in these bleak times? How can they drive foot traffic to retail stores during the pandemic as now they cannot hold in-store events to abide by the norms of physical distancing? Read below to find some ideas to attract more customers to the stores.
- Health and safety
In these times, when the spectre of community transmission of the virus is looming large on our heads, all that customers care about is their safety. To drive footfalls to your store, implement health and safety measures that help limit physical contact between staff and shoppers and among the shoppers too. It may include frequent cleaning and sanitization, temperature checks, providing PPE kits to your staff, hand sanitizers for shoppers, and contactless retail promotion. You may appoint a staff member who will let only a limited number of buyers enter the shop at a time.
- Connect online, deliver Offline
Given the population of our country and the hectic lifestyle of the people, it may not be possible to limit the number of people at all times. To counter this problem, you may take orders online and then keep their orders ready. They can pick the order up when they come to the store. Another option could be to allot time-slots to walk in the shop. Your customer may choose a time slot online before coming to the shop. Besides, a schedule for the day will help you plan the necessary breaks for cleaning and sanitization. Ensure timely and clear communication when you bring together the online and the offline model of selling.
- Exclusivity and reasonable pricing
These are the times when the focus is mainly on buying essentials—things that are either necessary to survive or make life more convenient. The scenario has begun changing since the phase-1 of unlocking the country, yet the economy will take time to recover. The customers are looking for ‘cheap and best’ options more than ever. So, stock and provide products that help the customers get the best of both the worlds, i.e. reasonable pricing and quality. Given the fact that it might not be possible for a brick-and-mortar store owner to provide massive discounts, they may look at making limited edition products available. The idea is to produce something that has a perceived high value in terms of utility and a limited time of availability because of high demand. For example, Giloy juice, Giloy tablets, and Giloy powder. Though these are available online too; the need for Giloy products has peaked during the pandemic, customers will readily drive a few miles to get it. Combine this exclusivity and price differentiation with useful solid store promotion ideas and be ready to welcome customers again.
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