The COVID-19 pandemic has had an extensive impact on many businesses and the effects will continue to be felt for some time.
Footfall on high streets is limited – restaurants and bars, as well as shops not selling essentials, have been forced to close their doors.
This has required some businesses to adapt in order to continue operating. Restaurants have moved fast, those with online ordering systems having encouraged their customers to order online before the closures. Non-traditional businesses now offering home delivery include coffee shops, butcher shops, and fruit and vegetable wholesalers that previously catered to commercial kitchens.
Our UK customer Lola’s Cupcakes, traditionally a seller of baked goods, has started taking online orders for fruit and vegetable packages to be home delivered as consumers struggle to find supplies in supermarkets or wish to forgo up to three weeks’ waiting for a supermarket delivery.
Pharmacies are also adapting. While playing a critical role in maintaining healthy, functional societies, many of the elderly and other vulnerable populations do not want the risk of venturing in store to collect medication. With prescriptions kept on file, many pharmacies are – for the first time – introducing card not present (CNP) transactions to be able to take payments over the phone, and deliver to customers’ doors.
Diversification is key.
So ask yourself – what is it that my customers need right now and how can my business respond to generate cashflow? Is it the ability to order online, and home delivery? With use of cash also being discouraged, is now the time to offer a payment method other than cash?
The payments industry has reacted accordingly, increasing limits for contactless payments.
In Poland, that limit has increased from 50 PLN to 100 PLN.
In Ireland and Germany, contactless payment limits have been increased from €30 to €50, and in the UK, the previous £30 limit has been increased to £45.
In Norway, the limit is 500 kr, up from 400 kr.
Whether it is setting up an online store, or taking payments without a customer being physically present, or modifying the ordering and delivering process – small businesses have always had to be nimble, and never more so than now, in these unprecedented times.