Six Key Retail Strategies During COVID-19

Consumer behavior has changed drastically since COVID-19 shook up supply chains and paused in-person shopping experiences. Most consumers have, or will, shift to digital shopping, as evidenced by massive surges in e-grocery since shelter-at-home orders were issued across the country. Consumers are looking for convenient, safe options for necessities – and they’re prioritizing brands that can deliver on those needs.  As consumers make fewer impulse purchases and shop less frequently, retail strategies need to shift to adapt to changing needs. Pivot effectively during quarantine with these six strategies for retailers. 

Create the right product assortment.  

Adjust your product offerings based on consumer behavior and concentrate on those items that consumers need in this time. For example: Do you need to offer seasonal items when everyone is home? Ensure that each product page has clear, concise information to streamline the path to purchase for your customers.  Not sure which products to prioritize? Integrated Marketing Practice Lead Mary Koberstein chatted about data-driven prioritization in one of our weekly 20-minute Coffee Chats. 

Market effectively. 

Be consistent in your messaging across all touchpoints, and deliver targeted messaging through personalization and segmentation wherever possible. Take the time to understand what your consumers want to hear from your brand, and communicate in clear, concise language. Speaking empathetically to your consumers across their journey will help them feel secure in their purchases. 

Provide convenient fulfillment. 

Safe, convenient options for shopping are coming out on top. Brands that offer free delivery, curbside pickup, and buy-online-pick-up-in-store are winning with this strategy, as evidenced by Target’s recent earnings announcement. If your brand expects shipping delays due to COVID-19, clearly indicate these delays during checkout and in a confirmation email so shoppers aren’t surprised by the longer wait time. 

Reduce operational costs. 

Where can your business run more effectively? Evaluate your business processes, underused technology, and team to find areas to cut costs. Several retailers have closed physical stores and concentrated their efforts on online shopping to minimize costs; others are cancelling subscriptions to unused technologies.  

Consider new technology. 

To effectively create contextual personalization and merchandising, retailers should think about a headless commerce architecture. Headless commerce enables shopping experiences exactly where your customers are, including desktop, mobile, and voice orders. The goal is to provide a seamless, content-rich experience, and the results speak for themselves: when Lancome implemented a headless architecture to capitalize on mobile traffic, they saw a 36% increase in sales. 

Innovate analytically. 

Sometimes the best solutions happen in times of crises. When consumers weren’t buying Nikes, they came out with the Nike Training Club, an at-home training app, to remain relevant. Take this time to work with influencers and partners to further your brand by monitoring what works and what doesn’t. Ultimately, retailers who can offer the right product at the right time to the right customer through the right channel will win.  

Scroll to Top