By Ben Bierman
CAPE TOWN – Most businesses have been allowed to operate with strict hygiene and social distancing regulations since the country has relaxed the national Covid-19 lockdown.
They have realised an uptick with the Yoco Small Business Recovery Monitor saying that turnover has risen to 94 percent of pre-lockdown levels.
But experts predict that spending patterns may take as long as two years to return to pre-pandemic levels. Here are some of the trends for businesse to adapt to the new normal.
Most people have adopted online shopping to avoid contact. This has meant that businesses needed to ramp up their digital presence to compete. So ensure your website and social media are up to date, easy to navigate and include an e-commerce element.
Consumers have moved away from using cash or entering cards pins on touch keypads. Make sure your business has various payment options like Zapper or Snapscan apps to ensure that your point-of-sale terminal accepts contactless card payments.
Health has become a top priority and there is an expected increase in demand for products or services that help people to stay healthy such as supplements and home workout equipment.
Spending more time at home has also influenced how people spend money with an increased demand for products relating to domestic hobbies such as baking. Businesses such as restaurants, catering and events therefore need to adapt their offerings for smaller, more bespoke gatherings.
When times are tough, luxuries are the first to go. Businesses that rely on the luxury segment therefore need to swiftly diversify their offering or revisit their strategy altogether.
The heightened sense of empathy brought by Covid-19 and the consequent economic downturn has meant that consumers are more conscientious on how and where they spend their money. This translates to supporting businesses that operate in and do good for their community.
Bierman is a managing director at Business Partners Limited.