As you contemplate opening your retail shop there is one other question that should be addressed.
Are Your Customers Ready?
For weeks now we have been trained that the Safe At Home orders are for the community benefit more so than our own. Wearing masks has been transformed to a badge of honor of sorts. The masks say: "I care about my community. I care about not spreading disease to my neighbors. I have empathy towards those who are more vulnerable."
How will you support their cause? How will you honor that badge?
Simply by opening you may be in opposition of many of the societal characteristics discovered as we wear our badge. Customers will be apprehensive of coming into your establishment on the fears they may be looked down among their neighbors.
How you address and solve those fears will help you gain a powerful audience, customer, and tribe. I suggest continuing the practice of curb-side pickup or free local delivery as well as allow for in-store browsing. Mark the store in 6' increments to help remind customers to maintain a bit of distance from each other.
Make the opening more about the community than about you and your business. Make it about the livelihood of your employees, the benefit you give to your community. Use "Cause Related Marketing" to support your claims. IE: First responder donations... "A portion of your receipt will be donated in your name to X charity."
How does your "cause" support your brand strategy?
Like the logo design, mission statement, vision and marketing message, the cause you choose is just as important for your brand strategy. The more aligned the cause is with your brand, the more you, your employees and your customers will grab onto the campaign. A mixed message at this point in your business is sure to destroy all which you have built.
I have worked in the retail side and have plenty of ideas to help you succeed. Leave a comment or contact me if you would like help navigating through narrows. (Yes, I have seamanship experience too)
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