11 Recommendations for every food shop during COVID-19

Hotels are eager to reopen after the lockdown. As we know, COVID19 has a major financial impact on the hotel sector. As lockdown restrictions are eased,

With the rise and fall of COVID-19 panic-buying many food retailers, butchers, deli shops etc. across the world saw a second Christmas in March-April. The sudden spike in business meant many changed their business models overnight. Partially due to the huge overnight decline of the household restaurant spend, many retailers saw a shift of household spend as many turned to purchasing of home cooking.

Numerous restaurants jumped on the bandwagon – creating new online ordering websites, implementing home delivery, and extending their product offering. Now, as social distancing restrictions ease around the world and people are busy themselves with the norm. The question is, what are the lessons, learnings and good opportunities we can take from the past 6 months and carry them with us?

If you are like the majority of food shops in Europe and saw the influx of sales during the panic period, you have probably been encouraged already to invest in new processing and packaging equipment to remodel you business model.

So, with an added set of offerings, new production capacity and the proved persistence to get through a struggle – here are 11 new ideas for food retailers to hit the 2020-21 fiscal year running!

1.      Give your packaging a refresh

Is it time to rethink your packaging? We often get so used to the way things are that we are blinded by new opportunities.
It could be as easy as adding a color sticker to your packaging or printing your logo on a shrink bag with our simple stamp print. Or, if you only supply your meat fresh, consider packing in a vacuum or shrink bag for added security and shelf life.

Remember, you eat with your eyes so you want to make first impressions count.

2.      Refer-a-friend campaigns

90% of consumers trust in companies and services recommended by friends, relatives or people they know. Only 33% of the consumers trust ads.

Refer-a-friend campaigns help brand’s gain trust since the referrers have already tested the product before referring them to their friends. This places refer-a-friend campaigns among the top of the most effective marketing strategies.

Give your customers coupons or discount vouchers which they can give to their friends to increase your customer base.

Bonus: Giving entries for shares in social media widens the campaign, and more people can learn of the programs as customers share to their friends in their social sites. The drive is suitable for cementing loyalty, if you want more people to participate in your refer-a-friend campaign, simply have them share with their networks and reward those who provided the most shares.

3.      Offer home delivery

Chances are you are already or have recently implemented home delivery to your workflow. Now is the time to refine and streamline it to make it a win-win for both customers and your business. The most important questions you should ask yourself; Do you have the correct partner ?

There are many  third-party like; Take a way, UberEATS, Deliveroo etc. But ask yourself the question, where expect our customer to find us? That’s the partner you want to be working with.

Streamline the packing of the home delivery meal so you can guarantee the high quality and focus on preparing the meal instead of packing it. Keep in mind packing is more than a way to transport the meal to your customer it is a way of communication, keeping it safe and presenting your company identity.

Butchers, seafood shops and deli  add a ready meal range to your assortment! More and more customers are wanting to see fresh ready-cooked meals or ‘heat and eat’ options for daily meals. By expanding your offering may create the niche needed to keep customers coming back.

order mail seal tray

4.      Exclusive Membership Programs

Going a step above by offering a tiered based reward. You can create special clubs for the customers who reach a certain order lever or bring certain number of new customers for you. Offer them exclusive benefits that are available only to the club members.

Being part of an exclusive program can grow as your referral program grows. You can create the top 5, top 10, top 50 member exclusive programs to spice up your members to get excited about the next reward type they can enjoy as a member.

5.      Start a weekly newsletter

Maybe you already have a regular blog, social post or email newsletter? Well now is the time to ramp it up! The key here is keep it personal, tell a story, and update your customers like it is your family dinner talk. Speak about how COVID-19 has effected your business and what you have done.

Sign the email with your name and encourage readers to reply to your email, call to action and start a conversation.

6.    Add a general pantry range

Selling more to your existing customers is one of the easiest ways to grow and generate revenue for your business. With a bit of digging you will be surprised to find a myriad of gourmet food producers in your area which you could become a stockiest for.

Leverage your existing connections and test new products in your shop, it’s when you break the mold that you will really reignite the interest of your existing customers.

7.      Spread the knowledge

Let’s face it, people dealing with food are a pretty skilled bunch, consider sharing your knowledge and expertise with your customers in short videos you can post online, you may be surprised how much this will spark their interest and in return keep coming back to check out what they can learn. It’s about giving, giving and then the return will come. Don’t limit it to skills, share ‘how-to-cook’ and ‘what to do with uncommon cuts’ videos.

8.      Start a team idea bucketaudion packaging ideas

Sometimes the best ideas come from the most unexpected sources, by leveraging the team around you – the next big idea could be born. We are all very busy, so the key is to have somewhere to record the ideas then make it a monthly activity to look over the idea bucket or board and see if there is anything worth implementing.

9.      Keep your website content fresh

Fresh and informative content is one of the main elements that pull in new visitors and potential customers. Keep your content fresh by publishing a blog that reports the latest business news, key-takeaways from whitepapers and hot topics within the food industry. Use polls to monitor the opinion of your customers in order to adjust your business model.
Fresh content will also help your website be found in search engines.

10. Referral Contests

Referral contests also encourage a lot of customers to participate actively in your campaign and are a great idea driving customers to your food shop. Offer a product which is high in demand for the winner of the contest. The product can be an expensive electronic device like a smartphone or iPad.

Offer something nice for the runner-up and the second runner-up as well. While some customers might not be able to get the big reward, providing gift cards to the mass or top 20-100 of your members who referred a specified amount of friends can be a great way to encourage referrals. Also, offer discounts or other benefits that don’t cost you anything to other participants.

A contest can create an entire army of customers who will work for you and bring new customers.

11. Support your locals

Giving back to the local community in small ways is a great way to establish good connections and build trust as a local food provider. Supporting local events, emergency services, sports teams and other initiatives is the perfect way to display you care amongst the locals and will surely be of positive benefit.

Interested in what possibilities Audion packaging machines can offer in the fight against the Corona virus?

Contact us by filling in the contact form or call us directly on +31 (0)294-491717, we are present at the office and will be happy to advise you!