The COVID-19-pandemic and implications for businesses: Innovative retail marketing viewpoint.
Product: The challenge of retail marketing during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond is to ensure that businesses produce the “right” products to meet customer needs. The core business of retailers is to provide the market with the right products at the right time, the right price, the right place, the right quantity and the right quality). The pandemic has hugely disrupted retailers’ ability to deliver on their core businesses. Since the advent of the pandemic, consumers have exhibited stockpiling behaviour which is different from their usual shopping behaviour thereby leading to a huge spike in demand for some products and failure by some retailers to supply the required goods and services.
Price: The price represents the value that retailers attach to their products and services. From the customers’ perspective, the price denotes the value customers are willing and able to exchange for the products and services that retailers offer. The disruption of the global supply chain and subsequent unavailability of some products has had an influence on consumers’ price sensitivity with some consumers willing and able to accept price increases of even up to 300% for certain emergency products such as masks and sanitisers. Much as some retailers have made huge losses as a result of reduced demand, others have made billions in profits as a result of a huge spike in demand for certain products, especially food items and PPE.
Promotion: The need for efficient and effective communication has been brought to the fore as a result of the pandemic. Retail marketers need to make sure that all their stakeholders are kept informed about the pandemic and how it will impact the availability of their preferred products and services. The pandemic demands that retail marketers communicate relevant, and practical information to their audiences in real-time. Retail marketers will need to share information about product availability, in-store health and safety so that they protect the well-being of their employees and their customers. This information should be shared across stores and across geographical markets. Efficient on-point communication about product availability across markets will also ameliorate
the challenges caused by panic buying and stabilise the supply chain of certain products. Furthermore, there is a need for retailers to share knowledge about changes in shopping behaviour during the pandemic.
Place: The “place” of the marketing mix element represents distribution and it seeks to ensure that products and services are available to customers at the point of sale. The shutdown of some industries including the transport sector in some countries has led to a massive disruption of global supply chains. This has led to stock-out situations for some products and increasing demand for others. For instance, the closure of borders and restrictions on exports compel retail marketers to diversify their supplier base, find alternative suppliers and in the particular case of South Africa reduce dependence on Chinese suppliers. Panic buying and stockpiling of staples such as rice, pasta and tissues in countries such as South Africa, the United Kingdom and Australia has had a negative impact on the global supply chain. The disruption to the global supply chain and the subsequent stock-outs, therefore, challenges retail marketers to review their supply chains in order to rationalise them so that they are shorter, agile and responsive to market shocks.
• Discuss the implications of a global crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic on the marketing mix (The four P’s) of organisations from a South African perspective.
• Include in your discussion the challenges caused by a pandemic and your suggestions on managing and implementing innovative solutions, such as an e-commerce alternative and digital marketing, for example, to address these challenges.
• Provide suitable examples to support your argument correctly referenced using the Harvard referencing method.
Answers to above questions on Business Managment
Cobid 19 pandemic has its impact on businesses worldwide, and businesses in South Africa in particular are also affected by it. It has a significant implication on the marketing mix of organisations that are operating in South Africa. As for example, the impact of pandemic is evident in the pharmaceutical businesses across South Africa whereby it was evident that people have started stockpiling the medical equipment such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and this has resulted in some retailers that failed to meet the demand from the public. The impact is also witnessed in terms of pricing decisions of South African businesses, as there has been a significant surge in the prices of food items because of heavy demand from customers.
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