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Retailers Need To Be Creative To Survive Coronavirus Pandemic

By: David Curry

To meet the new demands brought on by coronavirus, businesses must have robust digital offerings.

Brick-and-mortar retailers were already suffering before coronavirus, now it looks like many will not survive another year, without extensive government support.

Most governments have launched funds to help small businesses avoid bankruptcy, however, it would be foolish for businesses to not attempt to adapt to this new reality.

According to Harvard Business Review, businesses need to experiment with new digital technologies, to provide an outlet for shoppers. While some may see this as “opportunistic”, Duke University professor Christine Moorman said: “If you have a relationship with your customers, they will want to know what you are thinking and planning, what is happening with employees, and that you miss them.”

We have seen an outpouring of support for local businesses in the U.S., as members of the community attempt to keep the businesses they frequent afloat.

Businesses that embrace this and provide online services may see an upside to the pandemic, while those that panic, fire employees, and wait out the storm are sure to sink.

To meet the new demands brought on by coronavirus, businesses must have robust digital offerings. Quick online payments, stock updates via email or messenger, and contactless shipping are some basic essentials, without which customers might shop elsewhere.

New Digital Offerings To Draw In Community

Some businesses are creating new digital-first services for customers, which are more elaborate and personalized than in-store offerings.

“Local bookstores setting up digital book clubs, hair salons offering custom color kits, and acupuncture clinics running Zoom meetings to teach patients about remedies and techniques,” said Moorman.

When experimenting with new formats, Moorman said experience must be the focus and businesses should test services before going live, to avoid technical issues. Deals, subscription extensions and other discounts must be used as well, to retain customers.

As communities come closer together, businesses must follow, by providing assistance and support to social initiatives. Car manufacturers have started building ventilators, breweries are making free hand sanitizer, and many funds have been started for hospitals. These are all excellent initiatives that bolster communities and business reputations.

Related: JD.com and Intel Team Up for Digitized Retail IoT Lab

Originally published at https://www.rtinsights.com

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Features and news on real-time analytics, big data, the IoT, and artificial intelligence.

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