Unitas advises retailers to focus on key areas to retain customers

Food to go, home delivery and great service are three key areas that convenience retailers should focus on to retain customers as lockdown eases, says John Kinney (pictured), sales & marketing director of Unitas Wholesale.

“During the coronavirus crisis, many independent retailers have demonstrated their true value within their communities. For those retailers who have recognised their duty of care to their customers, community and staff, thought creatively and gone the extra mile for others, the future is looking bright,” Kinney commented.

“So many independent retailers have worked around the clock to ensure their staff are fully trained, the store adheres to social distancing measures and the shelves are fully stocked. They have used social media to share essential information such as their opening hours and social distancing measures to reassure customers of safety.

“Many have supported their local community with home deliveries, money-saving promotions, free goody bags for children or essential care packs for those isolating. These are the retailers that have demonstrated through hard work and actions that they are actively supporting the local community and customers won’t forget this once the crisis is behind us.

“As a result of their actions, many retailers are seeing a significant increase in footfall and sales and the key now is to retain those customers once the crisis is behind us.

It’s essential that retailers use this time to identify how customer shopping habits are changing and how they can adapt their offer to meet demand. There are plenty of opportunities waiting to be seized, and retailers need to focus on whether they are right for their store, and if so, how they can implement them for the future.”

Three key areas to focus on are:

Out of home and food to go – these offer huge opportunities for retailers as many small foodservice businesses may not open after lockdown, said Kinney. “Look at where the opportunities are and think how you can adopt your business to reflect the change in the market. As lockdown restrictions ease, many returning to work will find canteens and communal areas closed so will need to buy lunch, snacks and coffee. Now is the time to focus on your food-to-go and snack offer. Make sure you communicate your offer via social media and outside your store to catch the attention of shoppers walking past. Could you offer ordering via telephone or What’s App for the ease of shoppers?”

Home delivery – so many customers have overcome technological barriers to access a home delivery service, particularly the elderly, Kinney pointed out. “By continuing to offer this once the crisis is over, you’ll ensure customer loyalty for the long term.”

Great service – the USP of any great convenience store is fantastic customer service. “Doing your best for your customers will never go out of fashion,” Kinney concluded.

Tel: Unitas Wholesale (01302) 249909

Published Date: June 15, 2020
Category: Wholesale Industry News