After months of despair, retailers across the UK are witnessing an increase in their sales volume. However, the scenario may not last long, and that may be why they should take appropriate action to prepare themselves for another lockdown.
According to the Office for National Statistics, retail sales rose above pre-pandemic levels in July as a rebound in demand continued. This statistic depicts that the sales are 3 % higher than February, when the World Health Organization declared a pandemic and the UK, like all the countries across the globe, was forced into lockdown.
“The retail sector has been one of the worst-hit by the pandemic, so it’s great to see shops back in demand and retail sales rising. Post-lockdown measures have presented new challenges for the retail sector, such as navigating social distancing rules whilst managing an influx of customers. Clearly, they’ve handled them well, comments Andreas Knurr, CEO of Timify.
As the lockdown is lifting, people are returning to offices and stores. It has increased the demand for fuel. The fuel sales have risen by 26.2% between June and July. However, the fuel industry still has a long way to go as the sales are still down by 11.7% compared with February.
The clothing industry has been severely affected by the pandemic. Even though there was an increase in clothing shop sales, which grew by 11.9% last month, they still remain 25.7% lower than in February.
As people went into lockdown, and jobs were lost or furloughed, people became increasingly reticent about spending precious savings on non-essential items.
Though retail stores across the country have opened, they are still in fear of another lockdown. Many are still ill-prepared to face another lockdown. Hence, it essential that they make the utmost use of technology at their disposal to sustain their businesses.
“In order to continue being resilient, businesses need to embrace efficiency-boosting technology in the face of the new normal,” says Andreas Knurr. He further adds, “Ultimately, retail stores that adopt digital tools are more likely to weather this storm, as the UK rides out the rest of pandemic.
What’s more, if local lockdowns continue and retail shops are forced to close their doors once more, technology will be crucial in getting them back up and running quickly again.”
Factors such as an increase in the gathering of people in stores and other public places still have the potential for another wave of coronavirus. This is bad for retail sales, which was severely hit, so it is important that retailers take appropriate measures that help to contain the spread of coronavirus.
“Advanced bookings, queue management, online payments, and staff rotas are proving more important than ever, as they ensure a smooth operation, no overcrowding, and contactless services. Digital tools enhance both the customer and employee experience and ensure businesses stay ahead of their competitors,” adds, Andreas Knurr.
Implementing these measures can help retailers to sustain their businesses. The enhancement in experience both physically and digitally will boost customers’ confidence, and they are more likely to return to stores.
It will also help to keep, retain the customer base and as well attract new ones. Not only this will enable retailers to increase their sales volume but also increase their customer’s loyalty towards their brand.