Almost without exception, every local business has felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. For some, there was an increase in sales as more people used their services. Others would have experienced a reduction in productivity as their staff acclimatised to working from home. Many experienced the real stresses and strains of being forced to close for an extended period.
With the ever-changing situation, companies and individuals have adapted to the environment around them and we’ve seen “hedge veg” type shops cropping up and selling all kinds of wonderful local products.
Some businesses have used the time to complete long-overdue projects such as website updates, and others have focused on improving their businesses in preparation for their reopening.
Over the past few months, we have seen an increase in the demand for online shops as businesses find alternative ways of generating income. What were once their supplementary services and products overnight became their primary short term focus. To some, this is the most obvious change to be expected for most businesses. Going online was the only way to interact with and provide services to their customers. In this first lockdown, the rush was to get online but should it happen again, a lot of these businesses will be able to cope with the various challenges much more easily.
The second-largest increase, but one we fully expect to become increasingly popular, is the facility to accept online bookings. With Guernsey seemingly powering through the exit stages of lockdown, more and more business are starting to reopen after months of closure. The most significant drain on their resources is the administration surrounding the rebooking of countless cancelled appointments and then opening their books again to future bookings. It’s a resource they can barely afford because having someone is on the phone taking bookings, means they aren’t directly generating some much-needed income. Particularly useful to the beauty industry, online booking systems suddenly free up a beautician, stylist, or barber to do the job they’re trained to do. The booking of future appointments can mostly take care of itself!
Implementing the options available now can provide new opportunities for the current situation but they will also provide a level of protection against any future lockdowns or business developments. The right solution could help businesses flow seamlessly through the different stages and ultimately, continue to operate as much as possible.
If you’d like to know more about creating an online store or utilising an online booking system, contact us to discuss your ideas and requirements.