7 tips for retailers to survive the COVID-19 crisis

During these unprecedented times, retailers are going to need to become more innovative than ever. With shops forced to close, staffing levels reduced, and customer spend increasingly focused on essential items, how can retailers adapt to survive over the next few months? It’s undoubtedly going to require a little “out of the box” thinking, but it’s certainly not impossible.

Here are seven tips that may well help you to continue to keep the revenue coming in during this time of crisis:

1. Go Mobile
There are increasing restrictions on the use of cash given COVID-19’s ability to stay alive on surfaces of all types. Bearing that in mind, it makes sense to expand your accepted payment methods to include mobiles, including Apple and Google Pay.

2. Contactless Over Card 
Following a similar theme, just think about how many fingers touch the PIN pad of a card reader during a busy day at a physical store location? That’s why it makes sense to switch to contactless payments, minimising the risk of infection.

3. Move Online 
Take what parts of your retail business you can online. Setting up e-commerce functionality might not be as hard as you might have first thought. You can turn to companies such as SafeCharge to host and run your payment page for you, allowing you to remain PCI compliant.

4. Cater for So-Called “Silver Surfers”
Retailers that have neglected their online presence because they target retirees and pensioners should quickly follow suit. It’s a good idea to shift to delivering a more functional online experience to elderly individuals who are rapidly being trained by family members in the art of ordering online.

5. Look to New Markets Overseas
There are still parts of the world that remain mostly unaffected by the virus as of yet. Therefore, this is an excellent time to expand your reach by targeting new markets abroad — leverage technology to localise your solutions for methods, currencies and languages, to increase conversions.

6. Take Advantage of Increase in Digital Consumption
Demand is soaring for digital and self-service versions of physical products, particularly in the entertainment, education, and utilities sectors. Thus, see if you can strategise methods for turning any physical products you traditionally sell face-to-face into digital versions.

7. Utilise New Social Attitudes
The virus is bringing out the best of humanity, with videos showing acts of kindness regularly going viral on social media platforms every day. This increase in social consciousness presents an opportunity for retailers in the non-profit sector to increase donations and sales. It’s also a good idea for traditional retailers to move advertising budgets online, particularly toward social media, to increase brand awareness and sales.

According to IMRG’s latest blog many brick and mortar retailers are looking to pivot towards online operations to ensure their survival. Creating a strong online presence to shift their physical traffic to their website.

If you are an online merchant interested in more information about how SafeCharge can help with your online payments challenges during this turbulent time, please complete the short form on our contact page and one of our payments experts will be in touch swiftly.

About the author:
James Perrett, VP Retail, SafeCharge, a Nuvei company
James Perrett is an experienced finance executive with a proven track record developing and delivering on payment strategies for some of the world’s most recognisable retail brands.
Passionate about commerce, payments and customer experience, James heads up retail for SafeCharge, a Nuvei company, and a member of the IMRG Taskforce.



SafeCharge Limited is an Electronic Money Institution authorised and regulated by the Central Bank of Cyprus and is a principal member of Mastercard, Visa and Unionpay International (CUP). SafeCharge Financial Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority as a Payment Institution. Both SafeCharge companies are wholly owned by SafeCharge International Group Limited.