Commerce has changed in the last three months. Retailers have had to adapt quickly to Coronavirus conditions. As restrictions are lifted and stores re-open, here are some short- to medium-term quick wins for trading post-lockdown.


Refunds, returns and reverse buyers

Retailers are hoping that pent-up demand will see shoppers hurrying back into stores as lockdowns lift. At the same time, many consumers have managed to save during lockdown. All those bought-in lunches, daily coffees, meals out, commuting costs and other unspent daily expenses add up.

However, many in-store visitors could be reverse buyers. They want to return pre-lockdown purchases. Or are suffering buyer’s remorse and want a refund. Or are simply returning online purchases.

Train your frontline staff on how to deal with refunds and returns. They are in a perfect position to guide customers through the process to make it quick and efficient for everyone. They can also explain your arrangements for reasonable alternatives, such as store credit or vouchers.

On the back-end, it’s helpful if your payments provider can tokenise card numbers cross-channel. This helps power omni-channel retailing end-to-end. Customers can order something online via card and return it in-store for a refund using the same card. The token created for online purchase is the same one used for the refund.

If you sell via a call centre or catalogues, the same token can be used in these environments, too. This further simplifies back-office financial processes. Not many payment providers can tokenise across channels. PXP Financial’s tokenization also works across countries and different brands in a retail group for a global payment template.


Changes to in-store layout and workflow

We’ve already talked about returns. For retailers of physical goods, this may involve changing in-store layouts to have more space dedicated to returns and customer service. It may also involve changes around logistics and inventory management, especially if government guidelines advise keeping new and returned stock separate.

Retailers also have to reconfigure stores to accommodate social distancing. For example, installing floor markings and signage to manage queues and screens at checkout for greater hygiene.

From a payments point-of-view, the spending limit for contactless cards was increased in several countries to make card payment quicker and easier for merchants and consumers. Contactless limits are now €50 in many European countries and £45 in the UK. There’s less need to enter a PIN for everyday payments, which has obvious hygiene benefits. Please see our previous blog on the increase to contactless limits.

If you’re looking to install more self-service terminals or in-store ordering capabilities to minimise human contact, our experts would be happy to advise you.


Changes to channel mix

Generalising for the sake of brevity, online sales have seen a huge uptick during lockdown. This may well continue over the short- to medium-term as consumer confidence recovers. For retailers, this may mean offering more home delivery slots and hiring more staff. Plus, reconfiguring store space and workflow to allow for more click-and-collect and fulfilment of online orders in-store.

Whatever your channel mix now or in the future, it’s helpful if your payment provider can reconcile all sales on to a single statement. Otherwise trading across multiple channels, never mind multiple markets, can quickly become complex and time-consuming. In short, a back-office headache that no retailer needs.

Consolidating relationships into one global payments partner helps maximise time, cost and efficiency savings. PXP Financial delivers just such a many-into-one proposition with a single statement and settlement date. This comes with a single set of rates and real-time reporting for a holistic view of your business — all on a single contract.


Want to know more?

To request a free 30-minute consultation on post-lockdown trading for your retail business, email or complete your details on the contact form below.