Retail Trends

Retailers Focus on Boosting Sales Online Until Stores Re-open

While eCommerce has become a vital component of omnichannel retail strategy in recent years, no retailer was prepared for a situation where their online channel suddenly changes from being an additional channel to becoming their only sales channel, at least in those countries in which retailers of non-essential items have had to close their stores.

Of course, most stores will re-open eventually, but until then they need to find ways to survive. Retailers will need to focus on attracting both new and existing customers to their online channel, and they can leverage their existing eCommerce operations to boost online sales with targeted promotions and online convenience.

Identify Customer Needs at Home

With a large part of their customers  confined at home, retailers are targeting their promotions to reflect that reality. How can you, as a retailer, make your customer’s living space more comfortable and easier for them to conduct a normal life at home?

French retailer FNAC, for example, is reaching out to homeworkers and promoting products that can be used to work, learn, stay in shape, and entertain the family at home. Walmart is promoting home décor and learning toys, while sporting goods retailer Decathlon is highlighting home exercise equipment on its e-commerce site.

In addition to targeting home-based activities, some retailers may choose to make their promotions even more attractive with discounts, exclusive online deals, or 2-for-1 deals. Target, for example, is offering 20 percent off Bedding and Bath items, while Walmart is offering 40 percent off Furniture items.

Ensure Convenience of Buying Online

Retailers can highlight the convenience of buying online by offering free deliveries and extended return policies.  Cosmetics retailer Sephora, for example, announced that while its stores may be closed, shipping fees would be waived and that it has extended its return policy to 60 days to further encourage customers to make online purchases. In Spain, the Sephora web site actually goes further and offers free returns without time limitations. Stores that will remain operational for the time being, if not actually open to the public, may consider offering curbside pickup for online orders.

While the global circumstances may be uncertain, retailers can adapt to these new circumstances and continue to connect with customers using omnichannel means and keep their businesses going as the situation evolves.

A Message to Our Readers

The phrase, “We’re living in strange times” is one I’ve heard more than once this week, and we want to help our customers and other retailers navigate through these strange times. With this in mind, we will be publishing regular updates on some of the ways that retailers around the world are coping with the challenges and fighting back.

Stay safe and stay tuned!

If you want to find out more about  Openbravo’s omnichannel retail platform, you can watch our webinar, Innovation in Progress: the Openbravo Commerce Cloud Roadmap 2020

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