How to get online and delivery ready:
A Retail Survival Guide

Last updated: 26/03/2020
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, more governments are encouraging people to stay at home and discouraging non-essential travel. This presents a challenging time for retail businesses as in-store footfall is at its lowest point in recent history.

However, encouragingly, online sales are skyrocketing to meet this demand. It is a massive opportunity for enterprising retailers to retain your customers, maintain a healthy business and take this time to get organised and perfect your multi-channel approach whilst future proofing your business.

Demand for fashion, footwear, beauty, home and general goods is still massive, it's not stopped because people are not on the high street, it's just the method of how these goods are sold and received which has changed. Your customers will still need clothes, do DIY, prepare the garden for summer, keep entertained or get the bits they need to work from home.

We are seeing an immediate shift in consumer behaviour, e-commerce site visits and delivery app downloads have immediately skyrocketed over 1000%.  More customers than ever in history, are learning how to order online and engage with retailers through technology like never before!

After this pandemic is over, there will almost certainly be a different type of customer, one who has ‘learned behaviour’ and understands the convenience of buying online and has all the apps and technology now installed and set up to achieve this from the palm of their hand.

We believe this behavioural shift will change the face of retail. There is a generational shift of consumers that never used apps or e-commerce before that are now having to use these methods as part of daily life to receive essential goods.  Millions of people are discovering the convenience of online ordering and most will never look back.

Have small and independent retailers relied too heavily on in-person visits to shops and let amazon get too much of the pie? Probably, but understanding this step-change in consumer behaviour is the key to levelling the playing field and fighting back!  We believe that every business should think like a technology business and supply the technology small businesses need to compete with these giants.

It is more important now, that you get the most of your Point of Sale and technology systems to get set up to take full advantage of this ‘cultural shift’ in behaviour so you can be agile, pivot, and meet this new demand to take your store online and perfect your multi-channel experience.

Quick, Cheap and easy things that you can do to level the playing field

Link your stock, returns and customers with your store and online
Having a fully functioning website with integrated payments
Engage new audiences with optimization, paid or social media
Keeping track of your customers and engaging with them to stay front of mind
With a variety of drag and drop e-commerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento and (ahem) Amazon, having an online shop has never been easier.

We have put together a step-by-step guide below to enable retail businesses to seize this opportunity because really, it doesn’t matter what you’re selling. If there is customer demand and you can deliver, people will buy it.

How to Start Selling Online

Chefs Preparing Meals

Update or Build Your Website

Create a website in minutes with Big Commerce. Shopify or Wix all of which include online ordering and payments. For Epos Now customers, you can download some of these through our AppStore for seamless integration for stock, pricing, customers, loyalty and marketing.
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Offer Local Direct Delivery

There are a myriad of door to door delivery companies available globally, most of which offer zero contact deliveries. Selecting which one to go for largely depends on which web provider you select above, as most online services will integrate so all the collecting, returns and label printing is automated! Check their integrations list and compare. It's that simple.
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Chefs Preparing Meals
Chefs Preparing Meals

Source Packaging

This may seem like an obvious one, but with many businesses scrambling to do the same try less obvious sources like your local postal service/office. We have also heard from our customers that catering supply companies are worth a try.  For those customers in the UK try Packaging Chimp where you can get 10% off your first order by using the code “PC10” at checkout.
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Solid Inventory Management

Stock can be hard to keep track of at the best of times, more so when you have orders going out from different platforms and/or channels! With an in-depth inventory management system, you’ll be able to track stock levels efficiently.   We recommend you link your website with your physical store quickly otherwise you're opening yourself up to huge admin problem(s) and disappointed customers.
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Chefs Preparing Meals
Chefs Preparing Meals

Get an Efficient Payment System

We would recommend only taking orders over the phone or online (not cash). With an integrated payment system that links your website and point of sale system, keeping track is then easy. Setup the account up to have a separate (MID) merchant ID for each sales channel (in-store, online) is a great way to make accounting and reporting a doddle. (Make sure you negotiate on fees and read the small print!).
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Communicate with your Customers

Use Mailchimp to email all of your customers, also make sure you update all of your social media accounts and channels stating clearly that you are temporarily online only and/or launching your new online service. Existing customers will love that they can order the product/services from you from the comfort of their armchairs! We are offering 6 months free Mailchimp integration for all new customers!
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Chefs Preparing Meals
Chefs Preparing Meals

Get Social

Promote your business with free tools like Facebook marketplace, Twitter and instagram. Offer competitions through likes and shares to increase brand awareness locally and nationally. For more tips check out Hootsuites article here.
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Start Paid Advertising

Increase your reach through paid for advertising using Google, Bing and Facebook. With Facebook, you can use your followers to build an audience like them, meaning you’ll reach more of the people who you already know purchase from you. Wordstream offers a free quick and easy tool, outlining how to sell online here.
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Chefs Preparing Meals
Chefs Preparing Meals

Build Loyalty

Offer all new customers a discount (our suggestion is 10%) for their first order and collect their phone numbers and email addresses. You can now track which customers are ordering the most and reward them and send special offers to customers who have ordered before. Loyalty systems are one the easiest ways to boost revenue and keep your audience engaged. We are offering 3 months free Loyalty Integration for all new customers!
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We hope you find this article useful, we are here to support all of our customers during what is undoubtedly a tough time and will provide as much help and advice possible to ensure you continue to be profitable.

If you would like to know more about how to get your retail business delivery ready, you can contact us below and we will be happy to help
Contact Us