Starts With Selling Online
In the face of a very difficult business environment, brought by an even more difficult health care environment, businesses that have products to sell are moving to sell online. At Netnotic, we are helping local businesses to sell online by offering discounted ecommerce website plans. This is the first step, being able to receive orders and receive payment when foot traffic to your retail location is not happening.
The time to get an ecommerce channel set up can vary but with some labour supplied to load the product data, and ecommerece site can be online and your can have the ability to sell online in under a week.
Product Delivery Options
In our discussions with local businesses, we have come up several creative and effective ways to get product off the shelves and into the hands of paying customers. Of course, this needs to be done in a manner that is safe for both the employees and for the customer, to prevent the spread of the virus causing our current crisis.
Option 1, Self Pick Up
One business we are working with is offering self pick up. After the order is placed online, it is packaged by employees wearing face masks and gloves. When ready for pick up, the customer is contacted. The customer then drives to the retail location and phones or text the store. The boxed order is placed out side the door and the customer picks up the package. Social distancing is maintained.
Option 2, Courier Delivery
If the customer does not want to venture out, courier businesses are still operating and they have been trained to be in compliance with health standards in terms of protective clothing and equipment. The courier retrieves the package from the retailer and delivers to the customer, usually with a door step pick up.
Option 3, Evening Delivery
One creative solution we are happy to have been involved in conceiving is an evening delivery service which is handled by current part time employees of the store, in this case university students. This practice is following similar methods to some door-to-door food delivery services. With university classes now migrated to online, these students have a flexible schedule and are able to gather a batch of deliveries and provide door-step drop offs.
Keeping Employees Working
A somewhat obvious benefit of selling online is to keep your employees working as much as possible. You have invested in their training, development, product knowledge and experience. It would be unfortunate to lose these valuable people if you had no revenue to pay them.
We are also finding retail business are using technology to their advantage to offer virtual sales experiences for their customers. We will describe some of these in a very near future post.