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Most people are cutting their expenditure drastically due to the economic uncertainty caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. A survey by McKinsey on consumer habits conducted in the UK on the 20th March 2020, showed consumers in the UK will cut their expenditure across the board with all sectors suffering declines with the exception of the groceries and in-home entertainment sectors.

There are implications for all businesses even the grocery stores and in-home entertainment service providers to develop a strategy for the immediate term and also the longer term. The business owner will need to assess how demand for his products has been hit and if his products are being consumed or accessed differently. An obvious example is the increase in demand for the delivery of grocery goods and the current complete standstill in demand for out-of-home entertainment services. These are the questions business owners are asking.

Is my product a discretionery (essential) or a non-discretionery item? How long will the current state-of-affairs persist? Can I reach my clients in a different way? How long will the economic recovery take in that consumer confidence and spending power is restored? After the end of the pandemic will these new consumer habits, like more deliveries of goods to our doorstep persist or will we go back to our old routines? There are no hard answers to these questions but we need to ask them and we need to attempt to answer them by developing different scenarios, pessimistic, and optimistic. These scenarios then need to be translated into operational and financial forecasts.

A common feature of these plans, irrespective of these sectors, is the need to develop real online shops. A web page and facebook page is not enough. We need online shops that make it easy for buyers to access the goods they want. We are already seeing that grocery stores that could not organise their delivery services are suffering. An online grocery shop, properly organised with for example a basic shopping cart with the essential items like milk, bread and so forth that make it easy for the online shopper and also the grocery personnel to access the goods and deliver to clients quicker, and more straightforward have been successful in attracting new business.

Business Diagnostics is launching a new service to help business develop their online presence in a standardised step-by-step process that will allow business to get online with their e-commerce website within a few days. Business Diagnostics will also assist businesses to access the EU funded E-Commerce Grant Scheme that has just been made more accessible to facilitate the move to digital commerce. We can also help you assess how you can get through the following months through our strategic business services. Contact us for a free assessment session.

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