This Christmas is sure to be different thanks to Covid-19.

As a business owner, operations manager or marketing manager, how are you going to manage your company this Christmas under the new ‘normal’.

Firstly, let's consider what has changed and then how those changes can affect your company this Christmas.

Introduction of Social Distancing Guidelines

What has changed

The introduction of social distancing guidelines restricts the number of people who can visit your store/premise at any one time. It also means that any queues outside of your store/premise for entry will need to be spaced appropriately.

How this impacts your company this Christmas

If you can only have x number of people in your store/premise at any one time then this restricts the number of shoppers you can safely serve at any one time.

If you usually have a Christmas rush on certain days/times then you may need to consider how you can advise your customers when to visit. Perhaps posting on social when your store is busy or when your queue times exceed a certain time, especially if your queues are not under shelter in the winter months.

It may be worthwhile allowing for click and collect if you don’t already to reduce the amount of time a customer spends in store. This will keep the flow of customers moving and speed up the queuing time.

Sheltering, Isolation and Quarantine

What has changed

There is a group of people who have opted to shelter due to health conditions, are told to self-isolate due to displaying symptoms and even forced to quarantine after returning from certain countries outside of the UK.

This means that there may be fewer people hitting the high street when compared to last year as they simply cannot get there.

How this impacts your company this Christmas

If there is a group of people having to shelter, isolate or quarantine then there will be a group of people who are unable to physically visit your brick and mortar store/premise.

To ensure you don’t miss out on this group of customers you should make the most out of an online shop. This will enable these people to purchase from you from a distance.

As a company, you can take this a step further by offering a gifting service for those unable to leave their homes. Your company could offer to wrap and send the gift direct to the recipient in time for Christmas. It is a relatively simple step that

A few simple changes to an existing ecommerce store can help make this an option on your website.

The Rise of Online Shopping

What has changed

Almost as soon as the lockdown was introduced here in the UK the already growing ecommerce industry double, tripled and quadrupled overnight.

Lockdown saw us spend a huge amount online and this is showing no signs of slowing down.

How this impacts your company this Christmas

Based on current levels and predictions from industry experts the ecommerce boom is here to stay. If you haven’t done already then you need to implement an ecommerce element to your business to take advantage of this.

As mentioned in our previous section, your company could introduce a gifting service to make it easier for people to gift presents to others that they are unable to visit.

The main impact that ecommerce is going to have on your company this Christmas is our already stretched postal service. More parcels are going to be sent around the UK and our post offices, parcel distribution centres and couriers are going to be run off their feet.

And that is before we consider the potential impact of any bad weather this winter to really finish the disastrous year that is 2020.

As a company, you are doing to need to bear this in mind when you are confirming your last postal dates for Christmas delivery. It may also be worthwhile considering encouraging early ordering with promotions and marketing campaigns to remove the stress that your customers may feel trying to get last-minute deliveries ahead of Christmas.

So be mindful of any promises that you make – if you can take orders for next day delivery on the 23rd of December then ensure that you have the staff on hand, the stock levels to cope and a clear agreement with your delivery company.

Shop Local

What has changed

Due to the restrictions on travel, the queues and lack of stock in supermarkets thanks to panic buying that we all experienced there has been a resurgence in shopping local.

How this impacts your company this Christmas

If you are a local company then this is your moment to shine.

Reach out to local customers and offer same day/next day home delivery, offer click and collect, offer shop appointments so that they can shop on their own. All positive experiences and elements that as a local company you can offer instantly, unlike the big players who don’t have the flexibility needed to implement such features.

Winning them over with these types of activities sets you apart from the rest. Allowing you to build relationships and long term customers.

 

Christmas 2020 doesn’t need to be something to fear. Just ensure that you plan, consider your options and work with the changes that have been made to help make Christmas 2020 just as successful as previous years.

If you need assistance to implement your ecommerce store, introducing new elements to help improve your existing ecommerce store, or managing your social media channels to help showcase your company this Christmas then simply get in touch with the team today.

Published: 25th Aug 2020

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