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How Has the Pandemic Impacted the Retail Sector & Their Suppliers?

Updated: Jun 6, 2022

Shopping cart with lots of images surrounding it relating to the retail sector.

The retail sector has been one of the most impacted industries as a result of the pandemic, within the UK. Throughout the lockdowns and tough restrictions, businesses within the industry have struggled with reduced footfall and increasing costs, it has been difficult for many of these businesses to stay afloat. In fact, the total volume of retail sales in Great Britain fell by 1.9% in 2020 compared with 2019, the largest fall since records began.

Non-essential retail especially has been impacted by the pandemic, unable to operate under many of the tough restrictions that forced stores to close for long periods of time. Even when lockdowns began to ease, certain restrictions meant limited customers in-store and consumers were less inclined to visit their local stores. The pandemic has caused a significant increase in permanent store closures and left businesses struggling to stay afloat throughout the past year.

Adapting to The Changes in the Retail Industry.

Companies within the retail sector have been forced to change the way they operate by adapting their business to these new challenges. These changes in the retail industry have provided an opportunity for companies that may not have previously supplied into retail. Suppliers should now be looking at ways to assist these changes within the retail industry and support business’s that now require different products to succeed in this new market.

For example, due to social distancing measures, retail companies have a reduced number of customers in-store and will be looking at new ways to reach their target audiences. Suppliers who previously operated within the industrial sector could now be looking at adapting their products to assist the changes of these retail companies.

Businesses who manufactured industrial doors and windows could now adapt their offerings to begin manufacturing service hatch windows to improve the way companies interact with their customers.

Alternatively, companies who provide cameras and sensors for businesses to understand their customer footfall could now adapt their product to suit the new social distancing rules. A solution could be provided that would define the maximum number of customers within an area and detect and alert if this number was exceeded.

Adaptations like these that suit the different needs of the new market can help you as a supplier to break into these industries and establish yourself as a supplier that can assist these companies to increase revenue.

​Targeting the Retail Industry.

With more businesses able to open their doors in the past months, retail stores will now be looking for new suppliers that can help them save costs and generate more business after a challenging year.

This is the time suppliers need to act and get in front of their ideal customers to explain just how their offerings can help these retail stores. If you have identified a new opportunity within the retail market, what is the most effective method you can use to reach your potential customers and get your message across?

How are you going to be targeting these businesses and let them know you can help?

targeting a specific audience of people being outlined with a red pen.

How Telemarketing Can Help.

After a tough financial year, you may be considering opting for promotion methods with a low time and cost investment that take a more passive marketing approach. This passive marketing may include, posting on social media, writing a blog or email newsletters, which can all help to increase brand awareness, but are they as effective at generating new business?

Sometimes it takes a more direct approach for you to start seeing worthwhile results that help grow your business, and although the initial investment may be higher, the ROI can be far more significant. You need a strategy that gets you engaging with your audience, explaining the need for your product/service and generating demand.

This is where telemarketing comes in, as an effective way of cutting through the noise and directly getting in contact with your audience to discuss why your offering can help. It enables you to clearly explain the benefits of your product/service by having a two-way conversation with your ideal decision-maker and resolving any queries a prospect may have.

Telemarketing is a great way to engage with local and small businesses who will often enjoy a more personal touch when discussing what your product/service can do to support their business. These SMEs prefer having a real conversation instead of the generic messaging they receive on email or social media.

You need to be grabbing the attention of your prospects and getting in front of the right decision-makers if you want to grow your business following the challenges of lockdown. So instead of sticking with the low risk, low reward marketing strategies, start actually speaking to your audience and generating new business through an effective and direct form of marketing like telemarketing.

telemarketing woman putting phone down

In-house or Outsourcing.

In-house telemarketing allows businesses to have full control of their campaign and manage the entire process with their own team. Yet when an in-house team doesn’t have the knowledge to effectively perform these activities, the campaign is likely to fail.

Some businesses that attempt in-house telemarketing often do not have the correct infrastructure in place to generate quality leads and fall short on the resources and experience required to run an effective telemarketing campaign. The price of managing staff, purchasing telemarketing equipment, acquiring data and much more can be costly when starting out, but through outsourcing, these costs are already covered.

Outsourcing allows for a more cost-effective campaign with a team that has the talent to generate the results you need.

a signpost with directions of outsourcing or in-house telemarketing being written with chalk

How We Can Help.

If you are looking at telemarketing as a way to get your business back off the ground but don’t know where to start, we can help.

At River, we offer award-winning telemarketing services to help take the hassle of generating quality leads and appointments off your hands. By choosing to outsource your telemarketing to a specialist company, you can leave your campaign to an experienced team that has the know-how to generate your business quality opportunities.

If you are interested in outsourcing your telemarketing to a company with over 30 years of collective experience and want a dedicated team who can generate high-quality results, then visit the Our Services page to find out more about how we can help.


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