We recognize that many of our retail clients and other businesses are facing an unprecedented situation. We empathize and hope that you and yours are managing to stay at home and stay healthy. We, too, have never seen times like these. But, like many of you, we have some confidence that there will be an eventual recovery. We also understand that the future may have a different shape. So we will continue to explore options, and eventual opportunities, to prompt creative thinking on how to aid that recovery. We welcome your insights and invite you to read and respond to this post.
Roughly six years ago, Gallup, a well-respected, global analytics firm, surveyed successful entrepreneurs to find what makes them tick. There are qualities that great business owners are born with, researchers said, and they include:
- Confidence – knowledge of yourself and understanding of others
- Determination – perseverance through difficulty and obstacles
- Disruptor – creativity and turning an existing idea into something new
- Independence – a commitment to your project and goals
- Risk – an instinct to navigate tricky situations
Why are we revisiting a years-old study? Currently, the spread of coronavirus has set in motion a health-related crisis and led to global economic downturn. Thousands of business owners and their employees are struggling.
We don’t know how it will unfold, but our team at Scorpion would argue the qualities that make successful entrepreneurs – perseverance and creativity, among others – give creative businesses a fighting chance to survive this pandemic and thrive in a post-crisis market.
Many owners are using their downtime to reflect on their operations. Now is the time to hark back to what makes entrepreneurs successful. We suggest using a great planogram builder to enhance your design process while you plan for the present and future. Let’s see how a software can be an excellent tool at a time like this.
A Snapshot of Business During the Health Crisis
While most, if not all, industries and businesses are feeling the economic storm, retailers are particularly vulnerable. Social distancing guidelines – which studies show are an effective way to combat the spread of coronavirus – have pushed everyone indoors and out of public places, such as brick-and-mortar establishments. Many companies have taken drastic steps:
- Macy’s said most of its 125,000 employees will be furloughed
- Nordstrom has closed stores through April
- Walmart has shortened their hours
Others have adapted. Specifically, essential stores, such as grocery stores and pharmacies, have shifted their business models. An article in the Harvard Business Review points to how brands such as Costco, Mercadona, H-E-B and Mud Bay, are modifying to protect customers and their employees. These include:
- Simplifying business operations to reduce workload
- Frequently wiping down and sterilizing surfaces
- Empowering and improving
This last bullet – improving – is especially relevant. Authors note how some of these companies installed plexiglass shields at their checkout counters. And Mud Bay has ramped up its curbside pickup service. These modifications show the value of innovation at a time such as this. Below are a few other routes retailers might pursue.
Scrutinize Your Store Layout
During ordinary times, there are a handful of tried-and-true ways to set up product displays to drive sales. (We outlined these in a previous blog post.) But these are not ordinary times. Social distancing has redefined what qualifies as healthy personal space. Retailers might rearrange displays to reflect current guidelines and allow for six feet of distance between customers.
Costco’s use of plexiglass points to another solution. Retailers, such as grocers, might swap out open displays for those with sliding doors to reduce cross-contamination. (Of course, this will push more people to touch the same surface. Offer customers disposable gloves or other disposable, protective items for safe shopping.)
Spotlight High-Demand Products
COVID-19 has led customers to re-prioritize certain goods. Milk, eggs and bread are still essential. And hygiene products – such as hand sanitizers, disinfectants and toilet paper, among others – have taken on greater importance. Some retailers have chosen to display these products prominently, whether in store windows or in large, well-lit displays at entrances. Others do not. Judge for yourself how to market these items.
According to the Harvard Business Review, some retailers are enacting restrictions, such as:
- Purchase limits on certain goods
- Only allowing one buyer per family to shop at a time
- Kindly asking shoppers to move quickly through a store
Weigh these factors, and ask where you might display high-demand items, such as cleaning products. Should they be clustered together to reduce movement across an entire store? Or should these goods be spread out to create space between shoppers?
Plan for the Future
Once the health crisis is effectively over and municipalities lift social distancing guidelines, past experience shows customers will not return to their full buying power immediately. In other words, they won’t go on a shopping spree. With that in mind, determine what products your customers will need and what they will have the resources to buy. These questions will help you help you set priorities – purchasing, stocking and display locations – for the future.
If this sounds like a lot of designing, moving displays and carefully arranging displays – that’s because it is. Use a planogram builder – a powerful tool to create visualizations of your store layout – to quickly and efficiently plan a successful store layout.
Scorpion Planogram allows entrepreneurs to arrange displays and products in a virtual setting – no heavy lifting required. Enter into the software your store’s dimensions and display sizes, and measure out distances. Planogram builders save time, energy and offer tools to make the most of this challenging time. Give us a call and one of our experts will set you up with a product demo so you can see how planograms can make a difference in your business.
Harvard Business Review