By Dario Grandich •

Retail strategies during the Covid-19 lockdown

When making 2020 brand growth plans last year, nobody could have predicted the situation we’d find ourselves in. The economic impact will be enormous, and no amount of government spending will be enough for the economy to grow this year.

At Parallax, we’ve had a rollercoaster few weeks with many ups and downs but being a digital transformation outfit and having a diverse portfolio of clients we’re well-positioned to get through this crisis. We’ve had to adapt and will continue to do so as the situation develops.

Brands should be no different, although your plans may need to change, budgets reallocated, projects reprioritised, pushed back or brought forward. Whatever the situation, the show must go on, and as with any changing economic landscape, there are new opportunities to take advantage of. The video below by Simon Sinek is worth a watch.

It’s clear that during this lockdown organisations will need to reinvent themselves. We’ve pulled together several examples and ideas of how your brand can win during COVID-19. Here goes:

Retail is in a bad state but it will get better

Retail has been in trouble for a long time with the Guardian reporting that 2019 was the worst year on record for the retail industry – soon to be eclipsed by 2020. Bricks and mortar retail is in rapid decline and may well be for a while, but eCommerce is still growing albeit more slowly.

Brands can do two things: modernise the customer experience in-store and continue to improve the online eCommerce experience. Splitting those is a false dichotomy, meaning that if you do both, you’re enhancing your overall ability to sell more products to consumers.

Start selling online

Building an eCommerce business from scratch is no small undertaking but equally, it has never been easier, and there are many different options available. Shopify is a great platform to set up an online store and start selling products quickly. We’ve just done that for Retro Spectacle. With high-quality branding, products, content and design, we can help you launch a very professional online shopfront in no time at all.

Improve your eCommerce conversion rate

For existing eCommerce websites, you can improve your sales performance through a mix of qualitative and quantitative research methods combined with split-testing and conversion rate optimisation methods. All of this can be done remotely. You can significantly improve eCommerce performance by learning from your customers’ behaviour and needs. Recently, we’ve helped the UX team at Dr. Martens improve the performance of the drmartens.com website, with year on year eCommerce sales up 67%, the results speak for themselves.

Build a subscription service

If you have something that people are likely to want regularly then create a subscription service to earn monthly recurring revenue (MRR). This could help you build loyal customers for a longer-term and can be applied from anything from food and beer boxes to online training and car park spaces. We’ve done subscriptions time and time again, digitising CitiPark’s offering, launching an online TV platform and making it easy for students to find, secure and pay for accommodation online.

Brand building and marketplaces

If you’re in FMCG, then Amazon offers a near-perfect marketplace for you to shift your product at speed and scale, letting you focus on brand building initiatives to drive awareness, engagement and penetration. Like our recent Nike project launch or our campaign for Good Boy.

Stock can be put into an Amazon fulfilment centre and sold directly to consumer via the seller central. Amazon holds the stock, picks, packs and dispatches it using Prime – but retaining control as the retailer. Our friends at SHIFT have a good report you can download for free.

Improve the in-store experiences

It may feel strange investing in retail at the moment, but when people can go outside again, it will be an excellent opportunity to engage them face to face. Physical retail will be novel again and can be enhanced with immersive digital technology.

This could be in the form of unique augmented reality experiences such as easter eggs or treasure hunts, 3D or holographic interactive displays to drive engagement or simply just digital signage tech to promote key ranges or offers and much more. We’ve been doing this for major brands such as adidas and British Airways. Through our partner networks can even help with the installation too.

To learn more about any of the areas covered in this post, please get in touch