Member Article

Impact of Covid-19 on Retailers in the UK and How They Should Respond To Recover

The word “Coronavirus” has been added to the national vocabulary after the outbreak. There has been a record-breaking holiday period noticed in the arena of travel and retail. The virus has impacted everyone in different ways, but the retail sector has been hit hard. Ever since the UK government imposed lockdown and social distancing on March 26th, retailers with physical stores have been hit more significantly than online retailers. Due to closures, clothing stores are hit the hardest with a 35% drop as per the Financial Times records.

Apart from the financial crisis, retailers have also experienced significant disruptions in operations, fulfilments, supply chains, and stock-outs.

Simultaneously, the grocery workers and luxury brands were found at the front line to support the government and donated hand sanitizers, gowns, masks, and factory linens.

On the other side, online sales have been elevated higher than before the pandemic. The UK digital revenue reported 17% higher digital revenue in terms of unique shoppers and orders than the 2019 peak shopping period. This boost in online retail sales predicted rapid recovery hopes in Britain’s economy.

What should UK retailers do for recovery?

For retailers, the future is about to continue stabilising and then focus on new ideas about revenue management for recovery. 

They should rethink the products, promotion techniques, pricing, and operating. 

As online shopping increases, so as the traffic on e-commerce sites, and many UK retailers have been struggling to cope with it. They should cater to the online demands by enhancing online ordering slots, reassessing critical workflows, performing a site audit, and increasing capacity.

Offer additional services like at-home workouts and beauty consultations to keep customers engaged. Stores like Target have taken significant steps to facilitate customers by expanding their online shopping operations and offering more Target promo codes to promote savings. Retailers must need to provide flexible delivery and payment choices, as well.

While managing financial challenges, retailers must need to be empathetic and supportive to those who need it.

They should transform to adapt to the new reality, reevaluate business practices, and pivot to a digital-led model. Use technology wisely to drive personalized & relevant marketing in terms of increased online shopping. Uncover new shopping needs with AI by implementing voice or bots for improved customer support.

Final Note

The pandemic has revealed that the retail industry can still bounce back even after the crisis. Although many retailers are still struggling to cope with the loss, they will soon overcome the struggle as it is a part of the UK economy and heritage. If the retailers focus on stabilising, advanced operations, empathy, and advanced technologies, they will quickly ride the next wave of growth. 

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by PennySaviour .

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