SOURCE: Retail Project magazine

An authoritative RP MAGAZINE Collaborator proposes an analysis of the actions that the world of retail trade can dare and may dare in the near future in response to all the current emergency situation caused by Coronavirus. Davide Cavalieri from Cavalieri Retail.

There have been many pandemics throughout history but with the Sars-CoV-2 we find ourselves challenging our idea of invulnerability because we have never encountered anything like it in the last century. The repercussions of the global lockdown are adding to the economic and financial problems that already exist in a system that with enormous effort was trying, even before all this happened, to manage the consumption crisis, the unsustainable energy of the planet and the technological revolution.

In addition to the complexity of oversized public debt, we will have to take into account an equally important factor: the emotional management of the emergency. The period of forced coexistence with the coronavirus, will produce a change in the lifestyle and in purchasing habits; just think of the inevitable changes to tourism and multiform industry of entertainment, just to give some examples.

In a circular business model like ours, we know well how the link of a chain cascades to hinder all other sectors. How to cope with this type of crisis, so profoundly different from all those that have followed one after the Second World War to today? More than ever, it is necessary to start from the few, but sure, reliable data.
We all have needs; never as in these days have we given new value to the so-called primary ones, such as nourishment and physical health. The others, however, are always present, only more latent or otherwise visible.

Retailers who know how to provide effective solutions by focusing on the value of their products or services will receive indisputable benefits.

In order to do so, it will be essential to create a corporate culture oriented towards creativity, capable of accepting "wrong" proposals in order not to suffocate innovation, at the cost of assuming the risk of encountering "containable errors".

Management will increasingly have to turn its attention to the internal customer. Only in this way will it be able to provide a correct vision and direction to the moods of its collaborators; otherwise they will face a period of profound loss that will inevitably result in lost profits. It will be necessary to train the development of a new kind of empathy, characterized by protective barriers and social distancing; not for this reason less profound and loyal.

In the same way, visual communication in physical touch points will have to be enhanced, to make the observer's understanding of the offer and services even more immediate; a visual capable of intercepting needs and providing the necessary stimuli to make the choice spring. All the studies achieved and the methodologies applied so far, will certainly retain their value, but will necessarily have to be integrated.

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Constructive confrontation and circularity of ideas will remain winning factors; but unlike in the past, those who will not be able to implement them will inexorably see any entrepreneurial ambition decline.

Closing in a sort of "thought quarantine" is the danger to be avoided with force for the Brands who wish to build a phase of Renaissance a.c. (after coronavirus). The development plans that were being worked on will all be pursued but with new tools and methods. We will witness an acceleration of digital systems, in all their forms; an increasingly social marketing, the enhancement of skills and the implementation of the most sophisticated business intelligence models.

Of course, all embryonic applications will come to light faster than expected. This will require considerable decision-making skills, to avoid embarking on the "closed lanes" of innovation.

A renewed sense of partnership must be developed, more based on trust and on the connection of diversified knowledge; this will be an indispensable value. From the search for potential financiers, to the advice of recognized professionals in the various areas of expertise; the concept, sometimes too abstract, of the win-win game will become truly concrete.

In short, the opportunities will not be lacking, but will have to be discovered with responsibility, attention and a lot of commitment on the part of all of us.


SOURCE: Retail Project magazine

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