With the recent collapse of Debenhams, and John Lewis announcing that they won’t be reopening some of their stores, the landscape of the high street is facing yet more monumental changes.

The impact of COVID-19 on retail will really start to hit home when some of our best loved high street brands begin to close their doors permanently. There are almost daily reports coming in from businesses who have been affected most by the pandemic.

So how might this impact the nursery industry?

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Independents Day

If one thing has come out of this crisis, it is the loyalty and love of supporting local. With the potential closure of major high street retailers, customers seem to be putting their faith into small retailers who offer fantastic customer service and have offered alternative and innovative ways of shopping since the pandemic started. The opening up of the independent stores and seeing the way they have dealt with the new challenges they face, has proven to be admirable and has forged fierce customer loyalty and gratitude. Brands should therefore be reviewing their strategy in terms of where they stock their products, and what level of marketing and sales support they provide to the independent stores who have shown they command trust and respect.

Customers making the switch online

More and more consumers are heading online to shop. Of course this is a trend that we’ve been seeing over the last 10 years, but with lockdown in place, shoppers have been even more ready to checkout online.

Covid-19 is expected to see consumers making a permanent switch to online shopping as the pandemic accelerates the move from bricks to clicks, new research has shown.

A new report by Alvarez & Marsal and Retail Economics, estimates that about 25% of the UK population plans to make permanent changes to the way they shop. The reason? Apart from becoming accustomed to online shopping as the only way since March, perceived risks of contracting Covid-19 at physical stores, redirects is pointing shoppers into online channels.

Baby and child purchases in particular are often ones that expectant parents want to make after physically interacting with a product, particularly prams, pushchairs, car seats and nursery furniture. It’s likely going forward however, that anxious parents might prefer the idea of taking a chance by ordering online, and simply returning products.

To combat losing sales, for independent nursery retailers, it is therefore even more critical to have an effective digital marketing and ecommerce strategy in place, which complements their bricks and mortar offering. Attracting customers is only the initial task. Retailers need to ensure that they have the product range right, a competitive pricing structure, exceptional customer service, and of course logistics in place for appointments, deliveries and returns.

After all, these changes may be permanent behaviours that shape the future of business.

For more information and support on how you can develop your digital marketing strategy contact parenting industry digital marketing experts, The Media Snug, for a 30 minute free consultation or email hello@mediasnug.com.


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