How to develop a shop during a pandemic?

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How to develop a shop during a pandemic?

Apr 22, 2021


The pandemic has changed the way shops and service establishments operate. Experts warn: even when we manage to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic, some new habits and consumer expectations will stay with us for longer (and maybe even forever). So how to develop your business to meet the expectations of a "new" customer? First you need to find out what has changed.


The pandemic changed the customer's habits

It is no secret. Our lifestyle has changed, we work from home and limited contacts with distant family or friends mean that we are less likely to move away from our place of residence. Convenience stores, which are nearby, have benefited a lot, and shopping in them can be done quickly, without the risk of queuing or crowding in the store.


The new consumer is more likely to buy fresh vegetables, fruit and meat because they also cook at home more often. The quality of the products becomes more important than that the store has the widest possible assortment. Such changes may be noticed by those who observe the changing behavior of their customers.


The above-mentioned convenience model may of course be the answer to the expectations of such a "new" buyer. If you are considering such a solution, we have some tips.


If you plan to open a store in the convenience model:

  • find a neighborhood with high traffic, your store must be easy to locate and visible,
  • limit the range to products, instead focus on high quality,
  • take care of a wide range of impulse products, 
  • plan the customer journey so that they can make quick, easy and safe purchases.

You have to choose an assortment yourself, but do not hesitate to make changes based on sales results. Remember that your customers will include novelty enthusiasts and traditionalists. So it's worth keeping your finger on the pulse.


Model convenience store


Meet customer expectations and develop your store


Large retail chains are quick to respond to changes and this is what you can follow when it comes to developing your store during a pandemic. Above all, remember that the best strategy is to focus on meeting the expectations of your customers (regular and new). How to identify these needs?

  • listen to what your customers say to you when they come to the store just to file a complaint. In many cases, a conversation is enough. One in which you listen carefully and analyze what you can improve for the future. 
  • take care of cleanliness - awareness of the existing risk makes us look at the products we buy differently. We pay attention to their cleanliness and protection against external factors.
  • plan the distribution of your assortment - complementary products (e.g. washing-up liquids, sponges) should be close to each other. Thanks to this, shopping can be done faster and safer.
  • take care of nice and quick service - the customer of the grocery store expects employees to be experts who know everything about the store and the assortment The staff must work efficiently, but also establish contact with the client.
  • introduce modern payment methods - a modern store must allow cashless payment. It is not only about credit or debit cards, but also about the possibility of paying using the application on the phone or the BLIK system. Here, flexibility is important, thanks to which even a forgetful customer without a wallet will be able to make quick purchases.
  • adapt opening hours to the new lifestyle - consumers are increasingly using the option to shop late at night. This can be a nuisance for staff, so keep an eye on when your customers show up and adapt your working hours to suit their new lifestyle.
  • take care of parking spaces - if your customers commute to you by car (e.g. when there are single-family houses in the vicinity of the store), one of their main expectations will be the possibility of easy parking nearby.

As you can see, a modern store combines the best of small convenience stores and chain formats. As consumers, we appreciate, above all, the quality of products and numerous amenities.

Postaw na świeże, wysokiej jakości produkty


Will machines replace service?


As a store owner, you certainly know that the problems reported by customers largely relate to the service. So, can the solution for the "new store" be to replace salespeople with self-service checkouts and vending machines?


Of course not!


A nice, honest, competent and helpful employee is a treasure of every store. It is not only about efficient work, but most of all about the fact that customers like to come back to friendly places. However, modern technologies can support your employees. Retail is developing in 3 directions:

  • self-service stores are established,
  • sellers offer purchases in click & collect model, 
  • you can offer some products in vending machines. 

Be vigilant


The pandemic has accelerated some changes that would have happened anyway. It is worth observing the market and implementing solutions that will help, first of all, to strengthen the relationship with the customer, his trust and loyalty.


We write about such ideas in our newsletter, which we send out once a month. We browse the trade press for you, compile research and suggest those proposals that have a positive impact on the market. Subscribe to the mailing list and use our knowledge.



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