Almost overnight, the COVID-19 crisis upended the retail industry in Canada. Many retailers were left struggling to maintain business and operations during mandated lockdowns.
With a second wave already here, it's important to act now to strengthen business resilience—not only to help protect your business during this crisis, but to prepare for future market disruptions and changes as well. The market is still uncertain, but many have suggested that retail and the way we shop will change forever.
While some tactics will vary based on the nature of your operations, a good place to start is with a customer-focused digital and e-commerce strategy.
To help you move your retail business to online shopping and e-commerce, we've outlined what you should be thinking about and next steps to get started below.
If you're ready to get started now on a new strategy, check out our retail service bundles to learn how we can help.
Foundational elements for e-commerce and online payments
Establishing and/or enhancing your ability to service customers with less physical interaction is essential to managing your business in the current environment and in the near future. However, in order to offer your customers online products and services, you need to establish some basic foundational elements.
To assess your ability to pivot to an e-commerce model and efficiently accept online payments, start by cross-referencing the elements that your business currently has with the following checklist:
- a website with a comprehensive inventory of products/services for sale
- capability to display images/descriptions of the products/services for sale
- capability to allow the consumer to select or communicate the items they want to purchase and add to a shopping cart
- payment processing capability
- capability to capture billing/shipping information
- capability to generate an order confirmation and fulfillment process
- appropriate logistics including the ability to deliver, ship, or offer a pick-up service of the order while adhering to social distancing guidelines
- capability to handle or accept returns