The holiday shopping season – aka the ‘golden quarter’ – is fast approaching, but the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause uncertainty and create new and unusual circumstances that retailers and shoppers alike must adapt to.
When we first began to deal with the impact of COVID-19 in the earlier part of this year, no one could have imagined just how much it would change all aspects of life as we know it. Certainly no one back in Spring anticipated that we would still be making adaptations to the way we live our lives as the festive season approaches. And one significant area that will see massive change as a result of COVID this festive period is retail.
This year Christmas shopping and taking advantage of black Friday or cyber-Monday deals will look very different; Gone are the days of browsing stores, wandering down Oxford Street, admiring shop displays, and marvelling at festive lights as we’ve known it. But just because physical shopping has become limited, that does not mean we will see a decline in retail. But instead, a move to online – a shopping behaviour anticipated to remain even after the pandemic.
As we experience a second national lockdown across the UK, and with ongoing controlling measures in shopping centres (physical distancing, masks, closed changing rooms, etc.) we can expect to see more shoppers than ever turning to e-commerce to get their Christmas shopping done. From food, to trees, to gifts, there will be an acceleration in online shopping, and retailers must be prepared.
In what is historically a very profitable period in which retailers see their highest volumes of sales, what can businesses do to offset losses, drive online sales, and meet changing customer requirements despite uncertainty and challenges?
Focus on online channels and distribution. Ensuring you have the ability and capability to manage expected demand, provide an excellent customer experience, and ensure seamless processes and operations:
In today’s climate, an effective online presence is no longer a ‘nice to have’ for retailers, it is essential. Retailers must be able to respond quickly to changes in demand, scale up capacity, and adapt their digital offering to cope with unplanned peaks, especially as the festive season begins.
If you’re keen to learn more about changing consumer habits and managing peak periods in retail, download our whitepaper ‘Preparing for Unprecedented Peaks in a New World of Retail’, or check out our infographic on the changing world of retail.
To find out what Maintel can do to support your online and in-store capabilities, get in touch today.
Maintel and Avaya bring a wealth of experience working within the retail sector and understand what it means for our customers to remain competitive in an ever-changing market where digital transformation is quickly separating the winners from losers.
Changing consumer behaviour, along with the impact of COVID-19, has resulted in new expectations and requirements for the retail sector – prioritising your customer experience and effectively equipping you staff are absolutely vital.