Over the past few months, the Coronavirus pandemic has caused significant changes to the wholesale and retail industries. Retailers, wholesalers, makers, and brands alike have all had to navigate through uncharted territory since social distancing and closing policies were put in place.
For months the news has been filled with headlines and stories of small businesses who were unable to adapt and ultimately went under. Local retailers and small businesses have been especially vulnerable through this time and have had to adjust accordingly.
These are truly unprecedented times and the canceled trade shows and disrupted supply chains have left many brands and makers feeling unprepared. We can expect that the wholesale and retail industry will continue to change as we learn more about COVID-19. The tips below are meant to help makers and brands get back on their feet and restore confidence in their businesses and products.
Reach Out To Your Customers And Collect New Sales Data
Just as your business has been affected in some way by COVID-19, so has every company and consumer.
- Reach out to your largest or most loyal customers to see how they have held up through the pandemic.
- Sending a personalized email or direct message will show that you are willing to put the customer first through this difficult time.
- Collect new sales data by conducting surveys to see where exactly your opportunities lie.
- Expand your digital channels by using advanced analytics. These analytics can give you insight into future demand patterns.
- Listen to your customers as their needs and preferences may have changed over the past couple of months.
- Be the first in your industry to recalibrate your efforts and capture emerging markets. New and existing customers will have early demands for consumer products and services as the economy begins to recover.
Update Your Supply Chain
One of the industries that the Coronavirus has impacted the most, is the shipping and supply chain industries. Essential items have been designated as top priority in shipping, which has caused delays in the shipment of other consumer products.
- Know what exactly qualifies as an “essential” product or service.
- Follow the International Chamber of Shipping guidelines here.
- As a retailer, you should contact your wholesalers directly to see if they are still able to make deliveries and fulfill your orders.
- COVID-19 has affected every region differently. Keep yourself updated on the restrictions in your specific area. The CDC website has coronavirus statistics, updates, and restrictions broken down by country, city, and county.
- Adjust your lead times accordingly and be realistic: count on shipping and the entire wholesale process taking longer than usual
Sales And Promotions
Makers and brands of all types are being forced to try new promotions and sales to compensate for the sales lost over the past couple of months.
- Promotions will help you to get rid of the inventory that piled up during retail closures and generate revenue (This is also beneficial for the retailers)
- Try new marketing strategies like discounts, free shipping, sales, etc.
Get Into A New Sales Channel
Trade shows provided the opportunity for prospecting and networking with potential buyers. Coronavirus and social distancing standards have practically brought all events worldwide to a screeching halt. Just because the trade shows have stopped doesn’t mean that you have to. Take your business online and find a new way to make connections.
LinQ B2B is the perfect solution and a simple way for wholesalers to connect with retail buyers from the convenience of their cell phones. With LinQ B2B, you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of showing your brands or products in a safe, user-friendly mobile format and never have to worry about paying commission or dealing with pesky advertisements. LinQ connects you to the entire wholesale industry, whether you’re a buyer, sales representative, or seller.
Signup now to start LinQing with the wholesale industry and watch your business grow!