Strolling around a store just a few months ago, few could have even begun to imagine what was coming.
As the whole world comes to a standstill and making lockdowns and quarantines becoming a usual thing, there is no saying where this wave of the disease will take us. Wherein, entire countries and consumers completely avoid human contact, the retail industry is struggling to adapt. It was right from the first day, they realized the grave impacts of this situation on the retail industry. The situation is changing daily giving everyone very little time to respond.
Over the past few weeks, we have been talking with all our retail sector clients about the impact this pandemic may have on their business. More importantly, perhaps, we have been helping them think through how to prepare for the longer-term implications and remediate the shorter-term shocks.
The first response of the pandemic being fear and concern, the second one being taking serious caution. With digital marketing and advertising taking over, technology has given us a major channel for survival for commercial transactions. With people shunning physical retail in malls and shops, the global growth of online and multi-channel digital marketing, the Corona Virus has been one of the biggest catalyst and a boom for the digitization of the retail world.
To give you a deeper insight here is a little reality check :
Victoria’s secret has declared bankruptcy.
Zara has closed 1200 stores.
Chanel, Hermes, and Rolex have stopped production.
Nike is getting ready for stage 2 of redundancies.
Airbnb founder says that due to the pandemic 12 years of effort was destroyed in 6 weeks.
Starbucks has announced the permanent closure of 400 stores.
Let’s look at a few points to study the ways it has impacted the world.
Demand/Supply irregularity and inventory: Due to the lockdown some industries may be impacted by the inventory pile-up, some others may run into serious supply issues and thus stock out.
Manufacturing for various categories is almost at a standstill
and nothing can be delivered when nothing is being manufactured.
Shifting channels: Businesses that had established their businesses online and had already entered the digital marketing businesses before the pandemic had a great head start for the current times where consumers have instantly shifted their channels for buying. While others who are just listing their businesses and products online are struggling to make a presence and optimize through digital marketing.
Kirana or small standalone stores:
The impact for grocery shops can to an extent even be considered positive for their business, since online channels and digital marketing are not directly required for them to sell everyday items. Although the panic and concerns created have led to a lot of stocking up and overbuying of everyday products which can be a little problem for these sellers. Since the whole chain has been affected from top to bottom, manufacturing has reduced, distribution channels have become limited and hence getting wholesale stock ready for consumers cannot be easy. However, the consumption of essential products is not uniform. For example, panic buying of biscuits will not affect future purchases. But just because people buy extra shampoo, toothpaste or groceries, they are not going to brush their teeth four times or cook extra food. Therefore, not all essential products will see the same kind of sales pattern, post this crisis.
Electronics and durable products: One of the biggest changes brought about by the pandemic is the ban on Chinese products, while it was easy to ban them off our social media, it’s not going to be as easy to get rid of their physical assets owned by manufacturers and retailers. While they already were affected by seasonal changes, environmental concerns, and additions and subtractions in the industry, the pandemic is going to hit them the hardest. Due to a cash crunch all over, most of the people will also be putting off high ticket purchases for later. These companies can now also benefit from digitizing their businesses with websites and use social media to list out their products and their undertaken safety precautions.
Online retail: Online selling is the new thing and every business however small or big needs to up its game. Just having a mere online presence is not going to suffice, you need to be out there, it’s only your digital marketing that will put you on the forefront of this phenomena and possibly save your business.
There is also another perspective to look at the post-pandemic crisis, physical stores to likely see a surge in shopping. This can be due to the combined urges for outside experience and the psychology of retail therapy. Tired of looking at their screens amidst their couches, consumers are likely to be missing human interaction, the generosity, and pampering of customer service.
When looked at it from a bird’s eye view, the retail industry might not see a dramatic downturn for the industry cause in a way they have found their loopholes and started using digital marketing as their holy grail. In this situation, the businesses and brands that are quick to respond and adapt to the situation will thrive and the rest might get sucked in by the mammoth of a disease that is circling us.
The growing role of tech will be one of the most pronounced long-term impacts from the global pandemic. While the length of the outbreaks and the potential pace of recovery are still unknown and will differ across markets, technology is here to stay. Half of the industry respondents agreed that having a digital presence was an important part of their company’s value proposition, according to Euromonitor International’s Voice of the Industry: Digital Consumer Survey (November 2019). This sentiment would likely be even higher today. The coronavirus pandemic has underscored the important role technology plays in consumers’ lives as well as the role it serves for businesses that continue to adapt and operate under such conditions.
So retailers, decided to shift shop yet?
We at Logomakerzz a design studio in Pune are completely equipped and available for you to help through this transition.
With branding design, website development, and the complete digital marketing package everything you need to move online is sorted.