The COVID-19 Pandemic Demands Companies Pivot Now

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Entrepreneurs, mom-and-pop-shops, and even big-box retailers are all entering uncharted territory—figuring out how to stay afloat during a worldwide pandemic. With social distancing in full effect, the closure of brick-and-mortar stores deemed “non-essential” has affected thousands. While in lockdown, consumers are unable to use the touch and feel of products as a purchasing factor. The effects of COVID-19 demand, now more than ever, small merchants embrace the benefits of eCommerce. They must swap out a physical in-store experience with an immersive online one.

The only way that retail survives is by pivoting and adapting to the times.

Jason Asher, Kodella’s VP of Global Commerce, is an authority in the retail field. He predicts there are big changes in store for retail. Most assume the effects of COVID-19 will only be negative, Asher optimistically believes the opposite. Instead, he believes there will be a positive revolution in retail that will focus on online experiences. There is a need for digital innovation and an understanding of the lasting changes this pandemic will have. Retailers must confront this head-on. Asher stresses, “The only way retail survives is by pivoting and adapting to the times.”

The Dawn of a New Consumer

One of the most significant changes the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the world is the creation of a hyper-aware consumer. Today’s shopper is wary of their health and well-being, but that doesn’t mean that they are shying away from non-essential purchases even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Asher maintains that while the post-pandemic consumer is cautious, they still find comfort in everyday purchases, stating, “People still have money. People still want to buy a TV. People still want to buy headphones. They still want to buy non-essential things. So I think what we’re going to find is that existing businesses are going to flourish.”

Unless there’s a dire need to go into the store to explore the brand, most likely, the brand experience is going to be all digital.

Responding to the Needs of Your Customer

Existing companies will flourish, so long as they can make themselves visible online to endure COVID-19 shut-downs. Customers want the products they desire from shops that offer the most convenient online options. If your brick-and-mortar business doesn’t provide that discretion, patrons will shop elsewhere.

Asher confirms this by stating, “Unless there’s a dire need to go into the store, the brand experience is going to be all digital”. Catering to the needs of your client will entice them to choose your store over an outdated competitor. By establishing an eCommerce website, patrons can gain an immersive brand experience that uses the benefits of in-store and digital features. Whether that’s providing online payments, automated self-service, or contactless delivery—buyers prefer options that traditional retail alone can’t deliver.

The consequences of doing nothing are going to be dire, and I think a lot of these smaller mom and pop businesses who don’t have it in their heads they need to pivot and adapt because they think the world is going to be different tomorrow. It’s not going to be different in a few months from now, the world is different NOW.

The Power of Change

The key to business optimization will come down to utilizing the right management software. “Small businesses need to get onto a platform, like NetSuite. This enables them to manage all their inventory in a very simple and elegant way. They must also shift focus immediately to selling online”. With the proper digital platform, like NetSuite, merchants have a unique opportunity to grow a large number of buyers quickly.

NetSuite’s SuiteCommerce software bridges the gap between in-store and online functions. It provides an eCommerce platform to sell products and the services to run your operations safely and remotely. The effects of providing an omnichannel experience for customers sets businesses up for success, “It’s one of the few things over the course of human history that when it’s adapted correctly, new players emerge, new stories are told, new success stories are just waiting to happen. That’s when retail becomes interesting.”

The Historical Need to Adapt

Companies that are considering riding out the storm of the COVID-19 pandemic, Asher has some powerful words to make a wise business reconsider. Asher warns, “You’re going to get left behind.” Historically, the consequence of doing nothing will leave you in the dust. He elaborates on merchants in the Old City of Jerusalem, “During rainy seasons, merchants would have to shut down their shops because of flooded stores”. While some businesses chose to wait out the storm, others wanted to sell. Those deciding not to surrender installed slanted cement blocks to divert the water out of their stores.

covid-19 pandemic netsuite business

Businesses that took the extra precautions were able to see year-round sales. The need for innovation was important to merchants thousands of years ago in Jerusalem, and it is still relevant today. “The consequences of doing nothing are going to be dire. I think a lot of these smaller mom and pop businesses don’t have it in their heads they need to pivot and adapt because they think the world is going to be different tomorrow. It’s not going to be different in a few months from now. The world is different NOW.”

The Future of Retail

Whether sellers are faced with problem-solving flooded stores in the Old City of Jerusalem or how to survive a pandemic, one truth is constant—tough times breed stronger business. The time for change is right now. Companies need to act proactively to ensure that they can not only survive through these tough times but flourish.

Ensure Longevity with a Digital Solution

NetSuite’s software is a cloud-based business solution that makes it simple to install remotely. NetSuite’s SuiteCommerce has a multitude of robust offerings to get your shop back to selling online. It’s eCommerce functions keep your customer connected for when your shop is ready to make the announcement they’re open for business.

In addition to providing your clients with a sleek website, SuiteCommerce allows you to:

Fulfill Orders Easily:

Manage and fulfill orders from multiple inventory locations, which translates to fewer missed orders and higher customer satisfaction.

Connect Digitally:

Offer your clients unique promotions such as curbside pickup, scheduled product pickup, or complete POS purchases in-store to limit human to human contact.

Deploy Advanced Marketing Campaigns:

Create advanced marketing campaigns that alert shoppers when shops have last been deep-cleaned, or promote sales, or delivery updates.

Hire an Expert

Merchants looking to stay on the cutting edge of innovation will need the help of an experienced company to guide your business to success and longevity. Utilizing a consultant company, like Kodella, allows you not only the functionality of a NetSuite implementation but also the technical support from an expert in their field.

As a NetSuite partner Kodella offers more than the average consultant company, we assist in migrating historical data, train your team to use NetSuite, and provide post-go-live support. Our certified NetSuite and SCRUM teams focus on producing deliverables and keeping quality of work held accountable. NetSuite’s intuitive management system is compatible with any industry and, thanks to the dedication of Kodella, is custom-tailored to any unique business needs. 

Kodella’s services include:

NetSuite Implementation & Training:

Kodella works side by side with our clients to fine-tune a custom NetSuite solution perfect for any ERP, eCommerce, or software stack goal.

Content Management System:

Manage the quality of your website with a CMS solution from Kodella. Create stunning visuals and intuitive designs that add value to your website and overall shopping experience.

Extended Support:

We go above and beyond for our customers, which is why we are always available even after implementation to answer any questions and help resolve any migration issues.

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