• Bradford Cuthrell

4 Impressive COVID-19 Pivots in the Retail Industry

Updated: Sep 15



If you’re a business owner in 2020, you’ve probably had to make changes to your model. COVID-19 has shifted our focus from business-as-usual to innovation. It’s been fascinating to see brands and companies evolving to the new normal. When we’re in unprecedented times, new ideas become the backbone of the business world, and that’s been true especially for the retail industry. Here are 4 of the most impressive pivots that we’ve seen retailers make during the coronavirus pandemic:


1. Curbside Pickup from Retail Stores


You’ve heard of curbside pickup from restaurants, which has been around for ages. But did you know that you can now get all of your online shopped items from your local store without leaving your car? Almost every retail store - large and small - now offers an in-store or curbside pickup option on their online shopping platform. You can still support your neighborhood business by ordering through their online platform and selecting pickup. Some retailers may even offer same day delivery with ship-from-store technology. In fact, OneVim can easily integrate with those retail web stores to send a driver to pick up the customer’s item and deliver it to them so that they don’t even have to leave their home.


However, if you’re a customer thinking of ordering in-store or curbside pickup from your favorite shop, but you don’t want to have to leave your house. You can simply download the OneVim app and send a driver to pick up your items from the store and bring them to you, instead.


2. Online Ordering Tech Development for Stores


COVID-19 made online sales dominate the retail world, so every retail company has been forced to reposition their products to be sold on their website or ordering platform. While some companies have spent the time developing their own new distribution channels, many retailers have partnered with external software companies to make their products as conveniently available to the customer as possible.


These tech companies have helped retailers with their user-experience and given the customer the opportunity to easily shop and order whatever they need. “Papa John’s now offers Facebook Instant Ordering, which allows customers to place orders conveniently. Walgreens partnered with Postmates to deliver a wide variety of grocery items and personal care products. These partnerships allow brands to serve customers more quickly and efficiently,” says Blake Morgan in this Forbes article.


3. Cook-at-home Meal Kits from Restaurants


If you don't want to go to the grocery store, but still want the opportunity to cook at home during the pandemic, just get a meal kit delivery! Many restaurants are putting together special make-at-home meals for delivery or pick up from their stores. Even fast food chains like Chick-fil-A and Taco Bell are making it happen for their loyal customers.


Not only are these national chains getting on-board with this pivot, but local restaurants are using it as a way to help revamp their sales through this tough economy. Check your favorite local restaurants to see what kind of make-at-home meals they’re offering and schedule a delivery to support their business. For example, one of our partners, District Doughnut, has been offering delicious bake-at-home cinnamon roll packs for delivery across the DMV for months. You can find other awesome meal kits from restaurants in the DC area here. The best way to support local right now is to order delivery from shops without hesitation. Shopping looks a lot different during the pandemic, but that doesn't mean that you can't help retailers and restaurants stay open.


4. Virtual Events


One of the benefits of your retail business being part of a shopping mall community is often the partnership events that bring your customers together with other stores to enjoy their leisure time and purchase your products. Many business districts have adopted a virtual events schedule to continue to encourage buyers to shop within their local retail community. These events are typically livestreamed to the participants. Some retailers have offered a delivery of a product or care-package that relates to the event as the customer participates from home.


And, as things open back up, we're already seeing some cool re-imagined events that follow proper social distancing guidelines, while still allowing for customers to safely enjoy being out and shopping.


Takeaways


There’s nothing easy about the retail business right now, but utilizing these pivoting tactics during the COVID-19 pandemic can help revive some of those missing sales. One thing for sure is that the in-store and curbside pickup channel is here to stay. Same-day and on-demand delivery from stores is the next step to the omnichannel retail equation. Let us help stretch the shelves of your local store right to the customer’s doorstep with our solution.

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