Merchants Are Finding New Ways to Survive and Thrive During the Pandemic

Necessity is the mother of invention, and that has become painfully obvious during 2020 as we’ve faced a months-long pandemic that promises to stretch into a year or more. Restaurants are embracing takeout and delivery options, supermarkets have curbside pickup and home delivery, and ecommerce is on the rise both for the big online services and the mom and pop shops. For example, independent bookshops have seen a 484% conversion increase since the pandemic began.

A restaurant banner offering takeout and delivery, one more sign of the pandemic.Even the payments industry has had to make different adjustments to be able to reach and help their customers. We’ve updated the ways we handle chargebacks, Visa and Mastercard are changing the way they manage disputes, and contactless payments are growing faster than previously expected.

Simon Fairbairn, in writing for Greensheet.com, thinks there may even be a silver lining in the COVID cloud.

However, these are the times when the best of our people and the best of the companies earn their salt. Taking stock of what they do, they push back not just responding to survive but using the challenges as a catalyst for change and innovation. They see it as a moment in time to drive and accelerate change in their business model, the way stuff gets done, and even the means by which we all consume services. The world plainly hasn’t stood still; it’s just been thrown an almighty curveball we all have to adjust to.

For one thing, says Fairbairn, the business economy is realizing that maybe we don’t need “so much expensive real estate.” Companies are embracing smaller, more flexible office space “built around collaboration and key events.”

Nowadays, corporations that insisted all work had to be done onsite are embracing work from home like they invented it. Even coworking spaces are becoming viable options for companies that want to reduce their overhead costs.

Retailers are jumping into online sales and marketing like never before, and they’re undergoing a digital transformation. Companies that barely had a website are now either setting up their own marketplace or have joined Amazon and eBay’s marketplaces, serving as a third-party vendor on those sites. They’re beefing up their social media presence, and they’re adopting email newsletters.

Other retailers are embracing local deliveries, even going so far as doing it themselves. The Raven bookstore in Lawrence, Kansas provides free local delivery to Lawrence residents and for a time was offering $1 shipping to anywhere in the U.S. As a result, they never had to furlough any of their employees. If anything, they got busier.

In the payments industry, companies are helping merchants to increase the online presence of their marketplace, teaching them how to use ecommerce and drop shipping, and eliminating a lot of the unnecessary bureaucracy found in the typical bank-as-merchant-services-provider setup.

Other merchants are embracing contactless payments or are learning how to accept alternative payments, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay. ACH has also become a major new way for companies to pay one another or even for consumers to pay large bills to their customers, even as ACH has increased their number of payment windows and ease of use. And off-the-shelf mobile and tablet devices are being harnessed as new mobile payment solutions, eliminating the need for expensive POS machinery and dedicated phone lines, which helps reduce costs while making life easier for merchants.

Things may look down now as companies struggle to stay afloat. But those companies that are finding ways to adapt, offer new services, or even make things easier for their customers, they’re the ones that are finding success and even new growth opportunities.

Do you want to help your company adapt to this new normal? Are you looking for ways to reduce fraud, prevent chargebacks and disputes, or find new ways to serve your customers? Corepay can help. To learn more, please visit our website or call us at (866) 987-1969.

Photo credit: Maryamarce (Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons 4.0)