COVID-19/Coronavirus has presented an unprecedented challenge to retailers, restaurants, pubs, bars, and other businesses that do not have an ecommerce presence, and have to shut their doors due to lockdown or social distancing measures. The solutions that many offline retailers are turning to are online delivery, vouchers, and subscription services. It is our view that they represent the best chance for many businesses to survive what may well be the “new normal” for the foreseeable future. We are mindful that it is an extremely tough time for many businesses. We are currently onboarding a large volume of offline businesses and giving them our assistance at this time to start trading within an hour of signing up.
We would advise you to keep a close eye on small business assistance and relief programmes available, depending on where you are based, as well as additional social security measures that can help any employees affected.
Here is our advice to retailers, restaurants, pubs, bars, or any businesses operating in the “offline world” that are prevented from trading right now.
SimpleShop powers a number of food and drink delivery businesses attached to grocery stores, restaurants, bars and pubs. They run just like a restaurant, where customers select their items from a menu, with the quantity, and any notes or requests. These businesses will set the relevant delivery and tax charges as required.
Your customers will want to help you. An easy way to do this is to offer them vouchers for credit that can be redeemed at a future time. You can set up and start selling these within minutes, and communicate with your customers via email/SMS/social media that these are available. We would advise to keep the expiry of these vouchers open ended. In this way, customers will feel more comfortable purchasing. You can sell vouchers easily as virtual products through SimpleShop, and have them deliver automatically to the customer’s email address.
SimpleShop allows you to offer products as subscriptions, either monthly or yearly. Using Stripe, you can repeat bill a customer at intervals for a regular product you send them. Subscription grocery boxes, care packages, cosmetics packages, fashion hauls, beer, wine and spirits by subscription are all in extremely high demand, and supply is currently not meeting that demand.
These are the two most popular means of taking payment online. Stripe allows you to take card payments, and Paypal remains an extremely common alternative to card payment. They both take small fees (SimpleShop itself will never take any fees from your sales), but will then deposit your sales directly into your nominated bank account. Both are quick to sign up to, and our Stripe integration means you don’t need to set up a merchant account. SimpleShop does allow you to take offline payment, but we would recommend at this time prioritising online payment given the rules and restrictions in place in much of the world regarding lockdown and social distancing.
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SimpleShop operates a 100% remote staff, worldwide, with all dependent services operating remotely as well. We have backup services and resource redundancy where needed.