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LETS GET DOWN TO BUSINESS.

Question :
how can we keep up our sales during isolation?

Question submitted 25/03/20 @ 07:29pm
Industry: Retailing
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  • Let’s start with what you’re selling, where, to who etc. Every situation is a little different and the best solutions will be those that are best tailored to your own.

    Hi Fire.

    I am going to take a stab and guess you might be in the business of selling products or services of non-essentials. There was a really good article written in The Register which is worth a read. Now, remember, I am a retail expert so view through that lens.

    Buy now, receive later: Is it okay to take shoppers’ payments and dispatch goods after lockdown? UPDATED

    This response is ONLY FOCUSED ON ACTUALLY SELLING. Not on what you could do to engage and build your retail business over that period. For that, I’d need a bit more information on your product and audience. But there is still HEAPS OF THINGS you can be doing to engage your customers.

    SHOULD I CONTINUE SELLING MY PRODUCTS WHILE IN LOCKDOWN
    Retailers must be incredibly confident if they are going to continue to sell (if they are a non-essential service) while in lockdown. Unfortunately, there are many businesses on a knives edge and whilst this might look appealing to generate cash flow, there are fish hooks they need to to be aware of.

    REMEMBER, CURRENTLY, THESE ITEMS CANNOT BE DISPATCHED VIA COURIER AS THEY ARE NON-ESSENTIAL PRODUCTS. SO A SALE IS FOR FULFILLMENT POST-LOCKDOWN

    – Do you have the stock on hand?
    – Can you manage to monitor stock while you are selling it (so you don’t sell stuff they don’t have)?
    – If you don’t have the stock, when and where is it coming from?
    – Will it still come in a timely manner post-Covid?
    – Will the price possible need to change post-Covid if it is something you produce because material costs change? Will the customer pay the difference so you don’t lose out or will you wear that?
    – What happens it the customer changes their mind and wants a refund?
    – Will you be able to accommodate this (remember lots of customers circumstances will change in the coming weeks as businesses close).

    If you do continue to sell the product/service to come later, I only hope that customers, continue to be kind if the pre-purchased items are no longer available or take a lot longer than was anticipated.

    Imagine the stress if post-Covid those customers have unreasonable demands asking for refunds and cancellations.

    You really need to consider if you cost structure is going to change as a result of Covid. Eg.if the product you are selling post-Covid might cost you more than you sold it for in-Covid?
    Not only will this tip your cash flow but also tip your state of mind.

    Some of what I have stated may not relate to your situation. There is no rule book for Covid but there is a rulebook for prudently managing businesses in tough times.

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