Retailers are feeling the impact of COVID-19 as the landscape of how people move, interact and generally get on with day-to-day life. The ones I’ve been talking to have seen drastic falls in footfall and takings. As you can assume, they are naturally worried.

For the first time ever I managed to enter and exit and McDonald’s Drive-thru without another vehicle near me.

So the next few months are going to be a bit all over the place for everyone, for retailers though here’s a few ideas that might help.

Make Stock Available Online

There are still a lot of bricks and mortar retailers who do not sell online. The assumption by shoppers is that most stores have some form of online store, the reality is usually different.

If you want to just setup a shop then the likes of Shopify, Squarespace and Wix will get you started quickly. If you want to align your point of sale system with an ecommerce site then Airpos do this, the stock in store is the same stock online.

If you are heavily into Instagram the consider switching to a professional account and using a Facebook store to sell on Instagram.

Sell Gift Vouchers

Once again not everyone does this, if not then now’s a good time to start. Even better to make them available online or via email. There are an army of shoppers who still want to support local businesses during this enforced downtime. They want to stay loyal to the brands they love and this is not always the big names, the small retailers matter just as much.

As vouchers have a shelf life then it means you can sell now and let customers redeem when it’s safe to do so.

Social Social Social

Every retailer has a sweet spot of an audience on social media. For some it’s Instagram, for others Facebook does them well. Twitter is still the best broadcast media in my opinion.

If you’re still open for business, then tell the world your still open for business, it’s just that the rules on how you interact have changed a bit. Technology brings to retailer-to-customer interaction closer together. If you’ve not had chance to practice and harness it, well now you’re opportunity.

The piece about Glossier in the current issue of Wired UK Edition put it perfectly.

Also, if you need help then don’t be afraid to ask for it, once again Twitter’s the perfect place. Right now, we have to help each other.

Be safe but also proactive.