Coronavirus: Marketing your store in difficult times
How independent retailers can use soft marketing ideas to retain shoppers during and after the pandemic
The spring of 2020 is like no other as the coronavirus pandemic has changed community behaviour around the world, but marketing your store shouldn’t take a back seat.
Many independent neighbourhood convenience stores have experienced a huge change in customer numbers, with a lot of them seeing growth in spend. The challenges of adapting have been enormous as retailers and their store teams fought to meet the increase in demand.
Two months on and some are thinking about how they can retain the new customers who have found their local store so useful and reliable during this crisis.
Atul Sodha, who runs a Londis store in Harefield, West London, says that he is seeing new customers from outside his normal catchment area, including the main residential part of the village that has both a Co-op and Costcutter. He is also gaining shoppers from the upmarket village of Denham for the first time.
He says: “I am seeing the big increase in turnover as new money and, if my store is going to keep this trade as the crisis subsides, I need to have a retention strategy.”
There are a series of soft marketing ideas that he was already using in his every day retailing in his store that he has refocused attention on during the coronavirus:
Atul adds: “This pandemic is a challenging time for retailers and their employees. It does, however, give an opportunity to reset how customers see our shop.
“Working positively to retain the customers we are currently seeing will hopefully pay a significant dividend in the long term.”
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