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We’ve officially made it through the first 20 days of the national COVID-19 lockdown with another 15 to go and hopefully it does not get extended further. For those lucky enough to have a busy at-home schedule the time has most likely flown by; but for possibly the majority of you it has been a painstakingly slow week with the only “excitement” stemming from the panic that races through your body when you wonder how your business will survive lockdown.

Although the rules were pretty unclear in the time leading up to the lockdown, the government has since stepped up by setting out clear guidelines and regulations for businesses and consumers to follow and there is much hope that they will be allowing couriers to deliver non essential items as well and thus restrict people leaving their homes.
All things considered, we are fortunate to be in lockdown now in 2020 instead of a decade or so ago when technology wasn’t as affordable and generally available. With a good internet connection and by making use of readily available tools, you can get creative and diversify your business into online.

For those of you who have based your life’s work in the arts, such as professional photographers and musicians, under lockdown you have the opportunity to make some money by leading online classes. Same applies to yoga and gym instructors, as well as chefs who can lead virtual cooking classes.
If you were thinking about creating an online store for your craft or product idea then now is the perfect time to do so. If you are an artist you can easily set up an online store to sell your works of art (include digital pieces as well for instant transactions), or if you are a jewellery designer now is the perfect opportunity to create a beautiful online store to list your products.

With more employees working from home and less shoppers visiting physical stores, the time is now for brands to strengthen their direct-to-consumer (D-to-C) mind-set. Even lightweight solutions, like creating a simple online store to offer curbside pickup or local delivery options to your customers, can eventually lead to a more holistic shift to selling all or most of your products online.
If you’re a brick and mortar retailer and you’re not selling online, now is the time to get set up and start.

It doesn’t matter what type of product you sell – fashion, footwear, homewares, sports equipment, gardening equipment, books, toys. You name it, more and more consumers want to purchase online. You might think your customers don’t want this, they need to touch and feel the product, to try it on. The growth of online shopping over the last 15 years proves this is no longer the case.
In 2020 we face uncertain times in the retail sector. Now is not time to panic or look for a quick fix for your business. It is unlikely either of these will have a significant impact. If your business is structurally sound, use the downturn to get the foundations for online selling right.