As the COVID-19 crisis continues to unfold, one of the best things we can all do is stay home as much as possible. Obviously, this takes a significant toll on our economy, and small businesses are particularly at risk. The more nimble and adaptable a business is, however, the more likely it is to weather this storm. This post explores options for ramping up your online and delivery orders to help counteract the impact of significantly reduced or completely eradicated foot traffic. You may not know it, but Clover merchants have a number of resources available through their devices and the Clover App Market to accept and fulfill online orders without having to create a complete e-commerce platform.
Depending on the type of business you run, there are a variety of models you may already be adopting to keep things moving along. Because of the ongoing stay-at-home orders issued by various local and state authorities, there’s a surge in online ordering and an increased need for contactless payments and delivery.
For retail establishments, unless you’re also providing food, pharmaceuticals, liquor, or hardware, keeping the doors open is likely not an option for the time being. Many states have ruled that non-essential services must close their doors to foot traffic. However, that doesn’t mean that your entire business has to shutter. Mail order is an option, though the shipping systems are being heavily taxed by higher-than-usual demand. Local delivery is also an option; it serves your community and keeps your business in their top-of-mind when the time comes to re-open. For example, if you have a crafts store, your customers will still be hungry for yarn, paints, and other materials to get creative at home.
Food service has its own challenges right now. Since most areas have banned in-restaurant dining, there’s been a very quick pivot to take-out and delivery services. Many restaurants have streamlined their menus to allow for easier preparation and inventory management with smaller workforces. Even though the challenges are real and immediate, take comfort in the fact that people will always need to eat. Breakfast and lunch traffic is significantly reduced, so if your restaurant usually serves all day, it may make sense to focus your efforts on dinner. You can learn more about this and other challenges restaurants are facing in this crisis here.
If you’re not already set up for e-commerce, the process may seem daunting. The Clover App Market has a number of solutions that can get you on your feet quickly. Take a look at the options below and see which might be the best fit for your business.
Finally, in early April we’ll begin to roll out Clover Online Ordering for web and iOS/Android. The intention of a comprehensive POS ecosystem like Clover is to make it easy to integrate with multiple online providers so you maximize your outreach and order volume.
“Business as usual” may no longer apply to many small merchants in this crisis, but you have options and support systems to help you protect your business and serve your community while supporting your staff. We’re spending our days working on more ways to support our merchants to help you weather the storm. In addition to our blog posts, check out these web pages on financial relief, business preparedness, and our general merchant resources.
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