Safe to say that 2020 has been a very strange year. And by the same token, it’s possible that the next few months will be a very strange Christmas. The onset of the coronavirus crisis has had a drastic impact on the shopping habits of the general public, and many of those those new trends are likely to continue as we move into the later months of the year.
While the onset of lockdown resulted in understandable hardship for butchers all over the country, it’s not all been bad news. One of the major positive trends that came out of the lockdown is that greater numbers of consumers are now choosing to shop locally, and many independent butchers have since reaped the rewards. Back in June, UK independent butchers saw a spike in red meat sales, with some up by almost 50%.
Now that many of these shopping behaviours have become more ingrained into the national consciousness, you’ve got to make sure you continually adapt to them as we all move into one of the busiest shopping seasons of the year.Here are some of the biggest ways that you can make sure you’re prepared.
Help your customers to shop safely
Shopping safely is perhaps one of the single biggest priorities for UK consumers right now, and the majority aren’t going to step foot inside your shop unless they think that you’ve taken as many precautions as you can to ensure their safety. Now, we won’t go into exhaustive detail here, because we’ve already done an entire post on how butchers’ shops are changing to stay safe.
However, at the bare minimum you’ll need to ensure that you’ve accommodate for basic social distancing requirements, and you’ve got hand sanitising stations strategically located at entrances and exits. As far as staff are concerned, you’ll also need to ensure that they have the proper PPE, including face masks, and it’s worth considering installing extra plastic screens between them and your customers for maximum safety.
Click and collect, and doorstep deliveries
Even as businesses take as many measures as humanly possible, there are still record numbers of UK consumers choosing to avoid stores together and shop online instead, getting their purchases delivered right to their door. So if you already have an established digital presence and you’re in a position to make deliveries, it’s worth taking a quick look over any company vehicles you may own, and think about how you could accommodate any potential spikes in demand. Are your logistics processes as efficient as they could be? Could you temporarily expand the effective range of your delivery radius for the festive season?
Similarly, don’t forget to keep a close eye on your digital presence. Make sure there aren’t any serious bugs or problems with your website, and take care to ensure you’re replying promptly to customers on any social media channels you might have.
Make sure you’re equipped for rising demand
According to a recent survey by supermarket Marks and Spencer, this year the British public is planning to start their Christmas shopping sooner than ever. That means not just with presents, but also for food and other essentials, such as meat for their Christmas dinner.
Due to the possibility of further restrictions shaping our festive celebrations this year, you may find the seasonal spike a little less predictable than usual, so make sure you’re prepared with plenty of stock in good time, and take care to ensure that your store is well-equipped enough to process orders.
If you’ve been meaning to replace any of your butchers knives or butchers machinery, now’s the time to do it - they’re worth their weight in gold to help staff fulfil orders with maximum efficiency!
Knowledge and customer service
If you’re one of the many independent butchers who has established brand new relationships with customers in your local community over lockdown, here’s another valuable time to reinforce the value of that relationship. Lots of people specifically choose independent butchers for the perceived extra expertise and personal level of customer service they offer compared to supermarket butchers, so make sure to go the extra mile in terms of customer service.
That means take care with the presentation of your products, and focus on tailoring any advice to each individual customer’s needs. At this time of year, it’s never a bad idea to proactively brush up on some festive recipes you can suggest to customers - whether they’re old personal favourites, or brand new recipes you’ve recently learned of.
Those are just a couple of examples though - when it comes right down to it, you’ll know your customers best! We’ll leave the specifics up to you. What you can rely on us for, though, is to provide a fantastic range of butchers knives and butchers machinery to help you get in the zone for the festive season. Our range encompasses knives, meat bandsaws and meat mincers, as well as a large range of spares and consumables. If you’re looking for something in particular, don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01254 427 761 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll gladly see how we can help!