At some point in our life, we all experience some form of set back whether that be in our personal life, career or within our business. Covid-19 has not only put a temporary hold on our lives but it has also set back many businesses during the last year. Some businesses sadly haven’t made it through whereas others have pivoted online and been extremely resilient.
With the 12th of April upon us and non-essential retailers being allowed to reopen again, here are 10 ideas to ensure your business can come back stronger than ever.
1. Make sure your information is correct
Have you updated your listings/opening hours to reflect your new opening hours? Google My Business is so important for local businesses, is the information correct?
2. Bring your customers along for the journey
One of the most remarkable aspects of the pandemic has been the way that small businesses have been able to pivot and use their digital presence to keep in touch with their best customers.
When you reopen why not invite them personally to come by? Do you know of any local influencers that you could invite to?
A simple and effective way to build the excitement of reopening is by using your email list!
3. What’s in store?
Research has shown that customers habits have changed during lockdown, and people are looking to visit physical stores more frequently when they feel secure in what will be on offer.
A fun way to do this is to use your digital presence again and shout about what’s new and exciting in-store. Share any offers you might have on alongside your top picks and give them a reason to want to visit.
4. Review your stock
Now is the perfect time to do a good old fashioned stock take. Have a look at what needs to be put away and What needs to be cleared? Do you have any bestsellers out of stock? Is your season all wrong? Even if you don’t have much budget for a refresh take some time to review your stock and be creative in the way you display older stock to entice people to buy it.
5. Consider an incentive
You may well be sitting on a lot of unsold stock that you need to move and a good way to entice customers into buying those particular items is by using a gift with purchase model. (Bigger retailers often use this incentive to put unwanted stock to good use, so if you’ve got items that you want to move or perhaps maybe in danger of getting too old, then this could be a good option.)
Another way to shift this stock is to consider offering a targeting discount rather than a blanket offer. In other words, 10% off bags rather than 10% off everything, but only if you’ve got bag stock you need to shift. Whichever way you choose, make it work for you and remember customers will be so happy to see you back so you do not have to offer enormous discounts to get them back.
6. Make it a celebration
A lot of businesses have been shut for more than 3 months so it’s only right that you celebrate the reopening. Create a party ambience, put your favourite playlist on and show customers you are delighted to have them back.
Have a team? Make sure they are feeling safe within the environment, motivated, and ready to party!
7. Spring clean
Many businesses have used this time to renovate, but even if that’s not the case, a deep clean will be crucial for an inviting area. WIth hygiene top of mind, a sparklingly clean store will help reinforce that message.
One of the biggest indicators of footfall during the pandemic has been whether or not customers feel secure. How can you make them feel safe?
8. Think about something special for the window – countdowns etc.
Store windows always catch customers eyes so why not dress yours in something fun and colourful in the run-up to entice people back in – this doesn’t have to be expensive but can you turn heads and create a buzz?
Could you create a window display using giant countdown numbers to show how many days to go? Take some time before reopening to brainstorm window ideas and get creative!
9. Team up with others to come back stronger
Make it a local affair! Can you speak to other local business owners to come with an idea to create a buzz within the community? One idea could be creating a local trail where customers spot something in each shop window, or a special offer if people visit more than one business?
Is your store based near a hairdresser? Why not team up with them to encourage people to come by after their post-lockdown haircut and see what’s in store!
10. Set yourself a goal
This goal doesn’t have to be super ambitious, in fact, given that we don’t know what footfall will be like, it would make sense to be reasonably conservative. but give you, and your team, something to aim for.
In summary, spend some time before reopening reviewing, clearing and brainstorming how you can make your reopening the best for you, your team and your customers. Reopening will be an exciting time for everyone so shout about it and welcome your customers back to store in a friendly but safe way! Good luck!