Without a doubt that as we exit the lockdown / Movement Control Order here in Malaysia, many retail brands will be trying to adapt to what will surely be a new normal for retail brands going forward.
Without getting too much into the operational details of reopening which is not the purpose of this post, I wanted to explore the broader thinking of how a retail brand can cope with the after-effects of Covid-19. It was to this end that I created the I.M.P.A.C.T framework to assist retail brands to cope and succeed in this new retail landscape post Covid-19.
Today will mark Part 1 of our 6 part series on exploring how the I.M.P.A.C.T framework can be used by retail businesses to navigate the new norm or retail post Covid-19.
Investigate represents the first stop in our I.M.P.A.C.T Framework. Before operations at the store are restarted, most retail businesses should look into some important things to understand what the retail landscape is like coming out of this Covid-19 crisis. The very first question would be to identify what is the current retail market place like in terms of customers spending capability and psychology.
Are your customers in the mood to spend or are they (i.e customers) uncertain on the economy and as such would be looking to hold back their expenditure? Should the organisation find that most customers would not be keen to spend, it would not be wise for them to launch simple sales promotions and sales incentives which would not meet the needs of their customers. I believe retailers need to dig deeper to understand what are the fears that are driving customers not to spend. Could it be a simple issue of price or could it be that they (i.e customers) are concerned about spending with you because they deem your purchase to be a big-ticket item for them because of their current situation where prior to this crisis, a purchase with you would not have got them thinking twice? If that is the case, perhaps you could offer them some kind of low payment plan which would would be interest-free to overcome their concerns?
Once you understand where your customers spending capability and buying psychology is at, next would be to determine where are your competitors at? Are they as affected as you are from the crisis? It is important to evaluate what is their capability to compete so that you may determine how best to spend your marketing budget. But make no mistake you will need to spend as generally in a recession most businesses would be looking to cut back on marketing but research has shown that marketers who continue to invest tend to win in the long term.
This internal navel-gazing is a very important step that should not be overlooked as it will lead to our next point of the I.M.P.A.C.T Framework which is “Manage” where the retailer now has to look internally into the organisation.
Tune in next week for Part 2 of the I.M.P.A.C.T Framework.
Should you have questions about the IMPACT Framework and how I can work with your retail brand to create your custom I.M.P.A.C.T plan feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit this site to see what our clients have said about working with us.