The Corona virus has taken the world by storm, but its impact reaches beyond the lives of the everyday man, the global economies and industries have all felt the impact of the outbreak. And whilst the virus may have a short shelf life, its impact will long and far outlive its reign.
Whilst South Africa remains in the lower end of the infection scale, our economy has already taken a massive hit, the JSE has gone down a few points, the Rand is taking a backslide and the retail industry is grappling with hysteric consumers widespread paranoia.
Retail Industry Immunity?
Not nearly. With supply chains failing, the stock markets in free fall, the unfortunate truth is we will be losing a lot of business, in fact, it’s the small businesses that are going to suffer most. At this point, fast food restaurants, airlines even some shopping malls are now no longer operational or experiencing any traffic at all.
Hopefully, and most importantly, we will be able to keep our teams, our customers and ourselves safe. The bottom line here is the impact will be significant for our retail industry.
So, that all sounds pretty grim right? The good news is, there is hope on the crimson horizon.
Vaccines are already being developed and the first human trial has commenced in Seattle, US, as of Monday the 16th, according to The New York Times, in fact, medical teams and scientist all over the globe have already begun working on vaccines to combat the virus. So, whilst we are amidst a lot of uncertainty and panic, we can expect a corona safe near future.
In the meantime, what can we do to best keep our heads above the waters and ride the wave? As market leaders, the last thing we need to do is panic, we need to provide our clients and consumers with a sense of stability and security to get them through these times and KEEP them!
How do we do this?
1. Communicate clearly and effectively
In these situations, uncertainty and confusion causes fear, and fear fuels panic. Be sure to keep your clients and consumers in a clear communication loop. Be clear and precise on what you're communicating to get the messages through.
2. Provide better access to your products and services
The consumers modus operandi has taken a polar shift, no time for chilling at the mall now, they need quick and safe access to your products and services. As best as possible make it easier for them to access your goods, especially if they're daily necessities. It may even be a good idea to go the extra mile and consider free deliveries if possible.
3. Demonstrate commitment to their safety
Safety is key here; the consumer wants to know that they are safe to walk into your store. Showing that you are committed to their well being and safety will go a long way in establishing trust and hopefully forming loyal customers that will not only return, but also boost your public image!