How retailers can leverage e-commerce business to account for store closures

Published March 19, 2020

Many life-essential retailers—think grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations—are having to modify their business hours to keep consumers and employees as safe as possible during the COVID-19 crisis.

Other retailers are closing their physical doors entirely, like Apple, Macy’s and Nordstrom, to limit the spread of the virus. Consumers are being inundated with emails from their favorite brands announcing these voluntary closures. But how will retailers face these changes?


Retailers of all sizes will have to rely on e-commerce to keep running.

Between store closures and consumers limiting their non-essential spend, U.S.-based e-commerce retailers have seen a substantial spike in online spending. The obvious demands include things like cleaning supplies, paper products and pantry staples.

Retailers that carry items like clothing, accessories and higher-end products will have to get creative to appeal to their customers right now.


Here are two ways to drive more traffic to your ecommerce channels:

1. Use social media to offer online deals

In the height of uncertainty, as a retailer, you can share a gentle reminder to your customers that they can still access their favorite products on their website. Want to entice them even more? Offer a discount or an online deal, like free shipping, that will reward patrons for shopping online. In this critical time, it’s important to use all your available channels to reach consumers right now.


2. Offer discounted gift certificates now that consumers can redeem later

We’re seeing a lot of this in the restaurant industry - experts are recommending that patrons purchase gift cards now that can be redeemed once this crisis is over and social distancing is no longer a concern. But the same can be said for retailers of all sizes, especially if you don't have an e-commerce presence.


In a time of uncertainty, count on NCR.

NCR is committed to helping retailers of all sizes navigate the many challenges of the Covid-19 outbreak. For more information on how to make the most of e-commerce today, and ready yourself for the future - or just for an empathetic ear and ideas to help - please contact NCR.

Our retail solutions experts are in the trenches with our customers, working hard to help provide guidance, solutions and recommendations.

You can find us at, have us call you back, call us in the U.S. at 1-800-CALL-NCR or call outside of the U.S. at 1-937-445-1936.

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