The Impact of COVID-19 on Go-To-Market Strategies for Retail Businesses

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The pandemic has created pandemonium on a global scale and it will probably be a long time before things return to what we feel is normal or perhaps we will witness a new normal. Businesses will have to evolve to the changes swiftly to weather the storm. Whatever it might be, times are hard for the retail sector as for many others but since change is the only constant we need to adapt ourselves to the evolving situations and make the best out of it. 

Focus on an Omnichannel strategy at this juncture. It is time to restrategize, reprioritize and reinvent oneself. It’s time to think of Omnichannel and ecommerce if you haven’t yet thought about it. 

What is the consumer focusing on right now? 

Priority is on contactless – doorstep deliveries and that is a practice which could carry on well beyond the death of the pandemic. So it’s time to explore new avenues of retail business to survive. 

According to Aneesh Reddy, CEO of Capillary Technologies “After this pandemic, we believe that Indian retailers across sizes will understand the power of Omnichannel digital transformation. In the long run, consumer brands particularly should increase the percentage of their e-commerce business and deploy O2O (Online-to-Offline model) strategy of reaching consumers across touchpoints to prevent businesses from closing down…”

A trying time for people across the globe, this pandemic is showing us new ways of life. Retailers for example who are already into Omnichannel will weather the storm much better. Brands who have already made a foray into personalised Omnichannel shopping experiences have less to worry about now because wise investments have made them resilient to market risks caused by calamities like COVID-19.

The present scenario is something like this:

  • There is panic buying among a section of people and very soon that could translate into purchasing what’s left on the shelves rather than foregoing. The good thing about this could be that some products are likely to create a new awareness which might have been impossible in normal times.
  • Shopping habits are changing with COVID-19 and there is more of home deliveries, traditional habits of shoppers are undergoing a sea change and there is more dependence on ecommerce. This further means that there is an introduction of new products but with a delay in the distribution in retail. Moreover, since more and more consumers are glued to the internet it is also a good time to get their attention through digital advertisements. Retail businesses should thus go the extra mile to invest in long term business strategies which are innovative and adaptable.
  • The problem now faced by retailers is because of their lack of preparation for contingencies and for sticking too strongly with the primitive ways of business. This is leading to cancellation or postponement of orders and the subsequent losses.
  • The supply chain system has been badly hit by the lockdown and many materials including those for packaging, gunny bags being a case in point have become highly difficult to procure affecting brands and retailers too. 
  • It is time to protect our base and save our businesses. Keep yourself well informed about what competing brands are up to so that you don’t get left behind if they reprioritize and reschedule production to meet higher demands so be it. Step up now and do your bit to protect your business.

The graphs below will show us the impact of COVID on the retail sector :

Go-to-market strategies thus need to change and Eunimart offers unique solutions to brands that need guidance in making it to the ecommerce forum. The things to focus on now are:

  • Organising one’s business to meet current obligations and focus on what works practically.
  • Be adaptive yet creative. Let your propositions for the go-to-market strategy to investors to be thoughtful, well-targeted, and purposeful. Innovation is the key to success and keeping key stakeholders in the loop is an added advantage. Besides this, it is an advantage to be well informed about demand and supply trends and work closely with distribution partners dispensing with incommunicado strategies in toto.
  • Brands should communicate and support with empathy whether it is your trade partner, consumer, employee or retail partner. Volunteering some help cannot harm you but should be done without compromising the health of your company or yourself. The help could be in the form of offering to stock your products or whatever else is needed.
  • Even consumers would need pampering, treat them with a kid glove if required and seek feedback from new customers, taking this as an opportunity to convert.

What else to do: 

  1. Preserve capital and increase capital efficiency.
  2. Seek capital.
  3. Reforecast and strategically adapt.
  4. Stay focused.
  5. Act and speak with empathy.
  6. Think about the next horizons of COVID-19

As with any problem this too shall pass but holding up is the secret to survival. Take action at this point which is prudent and practical, let go and accept the situation first of all. Perhaps the pandemic will inspire and conjure up unlimited possibilities and new opportunities which you have not explored such as ecommerce and you can tide over to see better times with unique solutions offered by Eunimart.

To avoid getting forced out of business due to lack of stocks and subsequent revenue loss. Retail businesses can now utilise the Eunimart platform to expand sales, seek solutions for supply chain obstructions as well as Last-mile fulfilment. You will never again suffer due to lack of data and other kinds of confusion thus protecting yourself from future disruptions.