Post-Covid represents another difficult period for retailers. It may be complicated to stay productive and realize profits. So, here are a couple of ways retail stores can enter an economic recovery process and remain productive after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Here are a few tools that you can use to try to maintain a productive and profitable business post-Covid:

  1. eCommerce
    1. Benefits of Selling Online
    2. Cross-Selling
    3. Free Shipping
    4. Web Data
  2. Omnichannel Retail
    1. Synchronized Inventory
    2. Selling on Social Media
    3. Web Marketing
  3. Management Optimization
    1. Inventory
    2. Advanced Reports
    3. Client Experience
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1. eCommerce

eCommerce is a great solution for companies. In fact, selling online has a lot of benefits in addition to being a great opportunity, since in 2021, over 2,14 billion people worldwide are expected to buy goods and services online. In the following paragraphs, we will present you with some benefits of selling online and a few ideas to optimize your time in this unusual period. 

Benefits of Selling Online 

Selling online allows your company to be present worldwide. With the pandemic, we saw eCommerce gaining further traction with consumers. In Canada, online purchases have almost doubled in two weeks following March 11th 2020. It is also a 99% increase compared to 2019. (Source)

Furthermore, eCommerce does not restrict you to a defined region. A transactional website allows you to present your products no matter where your customers are. They can find what they are looking for with Internet research. With online sales, you can offer a bigger range of products, while customizing the client experience for each of your site visitors. Being accessible 24/7 also represents a notable advantage. With a well-referenced website, you could potentially increase your sales. Besides, offering discount codes valid only online may be a good incentive for in-store customers who wish to buy virtually. By doing so, retailers can also increase their chances of standing out from the competition.   

eCommerce has other benefits, like newsletters. Sending newsletters to customers is an excellent way to keep in touch with them. You can inform your customers about promotions, new products, and more! Informing you clients increases the chances of them coming back to your website to view your new items and possibly purchase one or many of them. However, you have to make sure you have your client’s approval before sending any marketing materials by email (in Canada).  

Cross-selling

eCommerce has many tools that allow you to sell even more. Cross-selling is a great way of increasing your sales. The goal here is to suggest similar or complementary products to clients when they are about to complete a transaction. For example, a customer buys a laptop. Before proceeding to the payment, your site can suggest the customer purchase a protective cover to go with the first item. This helps the buyer be sure they have everything they need, provides a better service and potentially increases sales.

Free Shipping

Encourage your clients to buy online by offering free shipping. That is an interesting way of increasing online sales. Customers tend to buy even more online, because the products can be less expensive with free shipping compared to your competitors who may charge for delivery. According to a study, free shipping could increase online orders by more than 15%. (Source) Also, offering home delivery to encourage potential clients to buy, especially since many of them avoid going outside, due to Covid-19 risks. This initiative allows you to retain customers while promoting the Health Organization Guidelines, and the importance of your clients’ health. Finally, do not forget that fast shipping is oftentimes greatly appreciated, that is why offering different shipping options, at different price points can help provide for different budgets and delivery requirements. 

Web Data

One of eCommerce biggest strengths is the possibility to know your customers really well. With online sales, you can obtain information on shopping habits and some interests your clients might have but your store may not offer. This allows us to adjust according to trends.

For instance, it is possible to analyze Internet users that have visited your website. Google Analytics is one of the best-known platforms that collects information on your visitors. You have access to a great variety of information concerning the people who visited your website. It can be the number of visitors, the average length of the visits on one page and much more! 

With this information, you can understand your clients habits, and realize some modifications to match their needs and improve their experience. With the Covid-19 crisis, customers tend to shop online. As shown in an Engine survey, people spend 10% to 30% more time online. (Source) It is then possible for you to look at the data. Thus, it is possible to elaborate beneficial strategies regarding changes among the clients purchasing habits. 

Ultimately, if you need details on where to begin with eCommerce, or even improve your actual website with our partners, many solutions are available for you. For example, Alice POS allows among other things to synchronize our point of sale system to our partners like Ecwid, WooCommerce or shopify, which greatly facilitates eCommerce.

If you wish to find an eCommerce solution compatible with Alice POS, our experts will be happy to accompany you.

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2. Omnichannel Retail

If you sell online in many places, but also own physical stores, it may be difficult to synchronize the information in your points of sale. Omnichannel retail is a solution to this problem, since it allows us to save time and concentrate on what really matters in this uncertain time.

You can learn more about omnichannel retail by consulting our article here.

Synchronized Inventory

Omnichannel retail allows sales in different places online, while maintaining a centralized inventory management. Thanks to omnichannel retail it is possible to sell online and in physical stores, while having a real-time synchronized inventory when transactions are completed. Omnichannel eCommerce enables a synchronized inventory, while ensuring better inventory management in physical stores. 

Selling on Social Media

With the right eCommerce solution, and with omnichannel retail, it is possible to sell products on many platforms and centralize sales in one place. For example, selling on Instagram with Instagram Shopping, on a Facebook Business page, Amazon and eBay, while centralizing sales and inventory in one place greatly facilitates management. 

Selling on social media is a great opportunity to present products to the public. According to HootSuite, 60% of users have discovered new products on Instagram. When you connect with Ecwid, you could see the increase go up to 15% of your revenue when you sell your products on Facebook and Instagram for instance. (Source) With Facebook, you can also identify your products on pictures that you post, to facilitate access to these products. The client that is interested will then be redirected to the website to possibly buy products. Every sale completed on these platforms will be saved and there will only be one inventory to manage.

Alice POS also offers that synchronization with Ecwid eCommerce, which is an omnichannel solution that facilitates online sales.

Web Marketing 

With different innovations on the Internet and the evolution of consumer habits, Web marketing may seem expensive and complicated. Artificial intelligence tools now exist and can greatly help you. Chatbots, for example, appear to be a tool of choice when it comes to websites. In fact, creating a chatbot on a website is a great asset, because it offers a 24h service, 7 days a week. This helps keep clients on the website, while guiding them to the appropriate resources. This tool allows us to answer frequently asked questions, or guide customers to a certain product, just like a sales representative would do in a physical store.

If you wish to learn more about chatbots benefits for your website, watch this video.

3. Management Optimization

In the following weeks, many companies will have to adapt to different changes related to the pandemic. That is why in the next section, we will illustrate how a point of sale system can help you to be off to a great start.

Also, know that you may have access to gouvernemental support. Consult the Economic Response Plan of the Government of Canada to learn more.

Inventory

Carrying out manual stocktaking can be a laborious task and considerably increase the probability of errors. To reduce those risks, you can use a point of sale system, to keep track of your real-time inventory. 

With a point of sale system, stocktaking will be simpler and easier. You only have to scan your products, enter quantity manually and your products will be saved in your system. When it comes to transactions, sold items are immediately deducted from the inventory. In this way, you do not have to enter anything manually, you can view your real-time inventory anytime to know what products you sold and what is left in your inventory. It is possible to do the partial or complete stocktaking of your store. Certain point of sale systems allow work on the same inventory with other people at the same time, so that you can do it quickly. 

In the context of an economic recovery, this feature is ever more important. Alice POS saves your transactions, whether it is sales, purchases or reception. The system can then attend your needs by suggesting quantities to restock. With this efficient system, you could save time, so that you could focus on what really matters. Alice POS allows you to avoid doing manual stocktaking, in addition to follow sales tendencies for restock. It is easier to adapt orders to the different changes that could occur with clients habits following the Covid-19 pandemic.

 If you want to learn more about the characteristics of computerized inventory tracking, click here.

Advanced Reports

Knowing a company’s strengths and weaknesses is essential to learn more about its overall health, in other words, its profitability. To get a global portrait of your company, you can use performance indicators such as KPI. Those indicators can affect several aspects of a company

With a point of sale system, you can quickly know the balance sheet of your company with advanced reports. While you are doing your company’s activities, the system compiles the data. It can be sales, purchases, inventory and more! Once the system saves the data, it can create advanced reports independently. This feature is really useful for your store since you do not have to write reports manually and you can have an overview of your company.

In short, with these reports, you might be able to make informed decisions, especially in an uncertain and changing context. Following to Covid-19 pandemic, doing a complete analysis of your company with Alice POS advanced reports may allow you to understand changes in your market, but also of your clientele. In this way, you might be able to adapt to the possible changes in clients’ habits and realize that you may need to change your own habits concerning orders, inventory and sales to meet your clients’ needs and interests.  

Customer Experience

A good customer experience is a powerful tool against competition and can potentially increase your revenue. According to a study, 89% of consumers do business with a competitor after experiencing a mediocre experience. (Source) Moreover, offering a great customer experience facilitates keeping your clients, thus increasing their loyalty towards your company. You may also reduce your costs since keeping clients is less expensive than trying to get new ones. Whether online or in person, customer experience changed a lot owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, compliance with the instructions is in order and consumer’s tendencies are subject to several changes.

By standing out of the competition with your customer experience, you could possibly increase your sales, thus living this economic recovery positively. Keep in mind that according to a study, 64% of consumers estimate client experience more important than prices. (Source) It is therefore another reason to invest energy in its development. 

Likewise, since eCommerce was popular during the Covid-19 pandemic, your clients may continue to shop online. It is then essential to possess a great website, which will contribute to keep your clients, but above all offer an enjoyable experience. eCommerce can also offer different benefits, such as increasing availability of products and supply. Being online makes it easier to maintain a great product variety for your clients.

If you would like to create or improve your website, consult resources offered by our partners here

Finally, be sure to give the appropriate training to your employees, so that everyone can offer an impeccable service, thus consolidating the points stated above.

If you wish to learn more about the tips and benefits of a great customer experience, click here 

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Related Questions

Is the Government offering help to companies during the Covid-19 crisis?

Canadian Government is offering many resources in order to help companies who are affected by this crisis. If you wish to consult the several sites that explain in detail what the Government is offering, refer to this page, in the Updates and Resources section. 

 

How do I apply for Emergency Care Benefits?

Many companies will need help in the following weeks, and the Governments have implemented the necessary measures. You can visit this page to learn more.

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