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It looks like Indian small business owners are a glass half full kind of bunch.
A recent survey conducted by American Express shows that a significant proportion of Indian small business owners (80 per cent) are optimistic that their business will survive the COVID-19 pandemic and 71 per cent say that they are confident of the measures taken to gain consumer trust.
This sentiment is corroborated by the 63 per cent consumers as well who are quite optimistic about resuming their pre-COVID shopping habits in the next 3-6 months.
Building customer trust through hygiene no.1
The survey examines the impact of the pandemic on the country’s small businesses, and their plans for business continuity by adopting new approaches aligned with the changing consumer preferences. Contactless payment and delivery methods, social media marketing and communication and in-store safety and hygiene stand out as focus areas for small businesses to build business resilience and trust with consumers.
Innovation key to maintain and build customer trust and make businesses more resilient – Innovation is the key to success. To retain and build trust amongst the consumers small businesses have adopted new ways of doing business. 45 per cent of small businesses started accepting new methods of payments (e.g. contactless payment channels); 43 per cent educated/trained self/staff on maintaining safety in the stores; 37 per cent increased efforts to advertise on social media and a whopping 34 per cent started new methods of delivery (e.g. contactless delivery methods) to their consumers.
Sharing his thoughts on the survey insights Manoj Adlakha, SVP and CEO, American Express Banking Corp. India said, “With the lockdown restrictions easing it is heartening to see small businesses and consumers being optimistic about returning to pre-COVID shopping levels while taking appropriate safety measures. Interestingly, our survey reveals that 70 per cent consumers are likely to prioritize shopping from local small businesses as they open. While people are starting to head out again, small businesses are still facing the challenge of getting consumers to return at the levels they need.”
Business will survive
4 in 5 merchants predict that their business will survive, even if COVID-19 were to increase in their region. 42 per cent small business owners hope to see consumer spending return in the next 3 months for their businesses to stay afloat. 71 per cent say that they are confident that they have taken measures to gain consumer trust. Mental health advice (32 per cent) and financial assistance/relief measures (28 per cent) emerged as the top two most helpful support areas during COVID-19 to run business.
Words Of Wisdom From CEO: Tips On Business Survival During Covid-19 Pandemic
The CEO Corner
Whether the pandemic ends within a month or two or stretches into the long-term, business owners need to be ready to adapt and make changes to their business strategy in order to weather the storm and beyond. Here are a few tips to start implementing and planning form the CEOs.