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BizReport : Ecommerce : February 25, 2021

Expert: How Covid-19 will impact merchants in 2021

As we near the year mark since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down many retailers and restaurants, some are open but more are wondering how to stay open with fewer people coming in to spend money. We asked a digital expert what brands and restauranteurs can do to regain needed pedestrian traffic.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: With vaccines in the works and talk of reopening stores and cities back on the table, how will COVID-19 impact merchants in 2021?

Brad Rollo, CEO, GoFor: It will be slow to get back to normal because of COVID-19. It could take a full year to get enough of the population vaccinated to remove restrictions. This creates a situation where many people have virtually no choice but to buy online or set foot in a store, placing the delivery person as the face of the brand. Delivery and ecommerce are forever changed, and businesses need to be thinking about this. Businesses that do not have a future-proof logistics strategy will not be able to keep up with this new normal. Delivery and ecommerce need to be interconnected and taken a step further. The 7-10-day delivery model is dead -- consumers want same-day.

Kristina: Is same-day a true game changer?

Brad: The truth is clear: to compete, companies have to offer same-day delivery, no matter how big the item is. A company has one chance to do it right: 84% of customers will not return to a retailer after one poor delivery experience.

Kristina: What are some out of the box ways that merchants can use their physical stores to boost ecommerce sales?

Brad: Because of COVID-19, nearly everything about traditional retail has been upended. Some of the out-of-the-box ways for merchants to stay in the game is in the form of dark stores and trustworthy delivery partners. Dark stores are stores that have been converted to create local fulfillment centers to quickly fulfill delivery and pickup orders. Doing this can provide faster deliveries if they team up with a proven last mile delivery partner which can help reduce the strain on the main fulfillment hubs. Placing fulfillment centers in densely populated areas will allow same-day delivery and will provide a faster and more convenient shopping experience for the customer. The need and demand for that convenience will keep customers loyal and, if done right, can turn into a new and differentiated delivery model to serve and retain customers.

Tags: ecommerce, ecommerce tips, ecommerce trends, GoFor, online shopping trends

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