The third edition of the countrywide Covid-19 lockdown started across the country from Monday. With the fresh directives from the government for Lockdown 3.0, certain businesses in the Green and Orange zones have been allowed to refunction in constrained manner. The central government along with state governments, have taken heed of business conglomerates, to ensure a steady revival of the economy.
To curb the increasing spread of the virus, the lockdown has been extended for another two weeks till May 17. With the total number of coronavirus cases in the country now at 46,433 and the death toll at 1,568, keeping people safe is the topmost priority in everybody’s mind.
Going by this, businesses are sure to experience a complete change in the spending pattern of people post lockdown. Hence, sales and marketing teams should look at redefining their strategies keeping in mind the current mental state of the consumers and what kind of products and services they are likely to go for and how they are likely to shop in the next few months – primarily from the safety and comfort of their homes.
Brands need to come up with tech enabled communication methodology to be in constant touch with their consumers along with a robust IT infrastructure to ensure seamless functioning of back end business.
Owing to the nature of furniture brands that involves exchange of goods through many layers of human entities, procurement of protective suits, gloves and sanitizers for their temporary and permanent staffs is necessary. In order to provide safe environment for the workers, brands need to invest in sanitizing the stores and warehouses besides conducting daily thermal screening of their staff members at the entry and exit points of the premises as directed by the Government.
Creating awareness among the staff is going to play a vital role in running the operation successfully. Brands need to understand the necessity of educating and training of the store managers as well as staff members on precautionary measures and their benefits such as maintaining at least 6 feet of distance at work. From a safety point of view, brands should plan for a systematic entry to the stores with only a limited number of customers at any given time. In addition to this, brands can also experiment the idea of appointment-based entries to prevent crowding. Space redesigning is another vital aspect that brands need to focus on to implement social distancing and at the same time ensure ease for customers to browse products without additional assistance.
In spite of taking strict precautionary measures, retailers should not forget that the fear of Covid-19 hover in the minds of the people and will change their buying behavior. Brands need to relook at ways to reach out to their potential customers. In fact, many brands are planning to sell their products online either through their own ecommerce channel or third-party marketplaces. Tying up with social media influencers, architects and popular interior designers will open up more avenues to introduce their product lines but also offer extended reach among their audience.
The article has been penned down by Shubhojit Mahalanobis, General Manager Danube Home