The rise of online shopping combined with the unexpected COVID-19 pandemic —and precautions to prevent the spread of the virus— made things difficult for the retail industry. However, where there are headwinds there is opportunity. There’s no denying that the pandemic devastated many brick-and-mortar businesses, but on the other hand, modern-thinking retailers quickly adapted their physical places and invested in technologies to ensure the safety of their shoppers.
“The Great Retail Reset”, as Deloitte calls the post-pandemic era, gives retailers the opportunity to become more profitable and stable than even before the outbreak. Having said that, this can’t happen overnight, nor can success be achieved following the old-school ways. Retailers who want to thrive in the post-covid era must modernize their business models and marketing strategies. The retail space, no matter which specific market you’re invested in, will become more and more competitive, and quite likely, businesses that adapt technology into their business models will gain a competitive edge over others.
Say you want to take advantage of the “Great Reset” and start a new business, a business that comes with a physical space; what businesses will stay viable amid this new era? This article aims to give you a helping hand and kickstart your thinking process by giving you some business ideas, obvious as they may be.
Kitchen and Cookware Stores
The cookware market has seen a significant drop in the last two years due to the pandemic, but it’s on a recovering path now and this industry is healing faster than most others in the retail space. IBISWorld’s industry growth report suggests that Kitchen and Cookware Stores will continue to grow in the next five years and even surpass the pre-covid numbers.
Several other reports anticipate that a large margin of buyers prefers looking for kitchen and cookware items online, but opt for doing the actual shopping in person. These shoppers say the product they pay a hefty price for sometimes isn’t the same as in the pictures of an online store.
Grandviewresearch’s report anticipates over 5.2% CAGR in the US across this market; expecting stainless steel, aluminum, and glass products to continue to lead.
This one is a no-thinker, spirits sell themselves, even during the pandemic the alcohol industry continued to grow and will do so at 7.6% between 2021-2028 according to Grand View Research.
While shopping online for any type of liquor is quite possible, the target consumer prefers having immediate access to their choice of alcohol, and many consumers believe even with careful packaging or boxing the goods may arrive damaged, and it’s a risk many don’t want to take.
Imagine leveraging technology to find out the demographics of your target market and tailoring specific marketing campaigns for them. Who prefers which drinks and in which size and brand? Being able to track all of these would help you maximize your revenue, wouldn’t it?
Takeouts, for a while, were one of the two ways you could order food during the pandemic. Even then it was a risky business, though, there’s no way of knowing how careful your food was being prepared after all.
Needless to say, drive-through restaurants experienced major growth during the last two years —mainly because of lockdowns and social distancing— and the trend is likely to continue in the future, per several reliable data providers. Regular restaurants and food shops are also recovering their wounds, but they require way more human interaction and workforce to keep the business running, and while it’s more profitable to run one, the risk of failure also increases.
This type of business is as opportunistic as it gets and stood its ground, even when COVID-19 was at its most impactful and brick-and-mortar stores were sinking left and right. Data Intelo’s extensive report says the market value of pawn shops in the United States and in Europe will continue to rise, despite tanking hard in 2021.
Several other organizations project that pawn shops in the western markets will see more and more growth as the world is entering a recession period across many prominent industries. The researchers also add that high inflation and rate hikes will force a significant portion of the population to pawn items.
Another key takeaway based on the reports mentioned above is pawn shops that track their sales and transform the information they gather into data will be even more successful. Modernizing a seemingly outdated but ever-growing business will almost certainly grant you the competitive edge, provided you make use of the data at hand.
Pet Hotels and Pet Services
Who doesn’t love pets? They’ve been our faithful companions through thick and thin, and in the last two years many of us, if not nearly all, have been through thicker than thin. However, amid the pandemic all plans were canceled; holidays and celebrations all ceased for a long while.
With life going back to what one can call “normal”, travel plans —whether due to work or rest— found their way back into our schedules. Who will take care of the pets when the owners are gone?
Starting a pet hotel doesn’t require a massive investment and if you treat it as a seasonal business initially, you can cut your costs significantly and invest the money into transforming this business into a steady one in no time. You can further your business with additional services, either by acquiring necessary certifications or by hiring a qualified person.
Another industry that boomed with the outbreak of covid is cleaning services. Data providers and research companies such as Allied Market Research, EMR, and Grand View all forecast growth of over 7% CAGR in this industry.
Homes, offices, schools, hospitals and other types of health centers, malls, retailers, and public transport all require regular cleaning services. With the masses educating themselves on the matter of viruses and how important being in a clean and fresh environment significantly reduces the risks of contracting an infectious disease, this industry will build on the boom it has experienced.
Health and Fitness Centers
Per Mordor Intelligence’s Health and Fitness Club Market report, the largest market for gyms and fitness centers is North America, and the Asia-Pacific market is growing faster than any other. The report also anticipates over 7.21% of growth in the upcoming years.
Of course, you can’t just go ahead and launch your own fitness center right away. If you don’t have the necessary qualifications, you’ll need to hire a qualified manager first, and either way other skilled and educated professionals.
The equipment will cost a leg and an arm as well, but if you have the means to start a gym and you’ve made thorough research and competitive analysis, then you’re investing in a good industry.
One of the main issues gyms and fitness centers face regularly is being overcrowded at certain hours. It’s not a great experience when you have to wait for another person just to use a piece of equipment and you start cooling off and lose your momentum. Having a people counter (a.k.a traffic counter) would allow you to show real-time occupancy at your gym and you can even share this online through your website or app.
Auto Repair Shops
Cars and bikes break down all the time and let’s face the truth, you can’t ship off your vehicle to the repair shop, can you? Addressing the elephant in the room, unless you’re an expert, you’ll need at least one team member who is a qualified mechanic.
By rights, any mechanic should be able to fix any vehicle, at least any car, but most mechanics specialize in specific brands for a number of reasons. To cover a larger market you may have to grow your repair shop’s headcount, just make sure you bring in the right talent for the job. If the area you serve doesn’t have the type or brand of cars your mechanics are specialized in, then what’s the point, right?
Tech Repair Shops
Being stuck at home for almost two years, shoppers turned their attention toward phones, tablets, computers, video game consoles, and other tech devices, and these devices have all sold out amid the pandemic. On top of that, stocks couldn’t be renewed fast enough due to the global semiconductor shortage and some of the more recently produced tech devices have questionable quality, due to the urgency in production to meet the market demand.
Consumers at large, combined with high inflation, rising interest rates, and a recession, will be unable to renew their phones, tablets, computers, etc. and many will aim to maintain their devices.
People trust physical repair shops way more than a digital avatar they see online, especially when it comes to their expensive devices and gadgets. Once your repair business gets on track, you should start examining the demographics of your customers and keep an eye out for what your store is showing you.
Knowing who your customers are can help you come up with event ideas, target specific discounts, and other promotions to maximize your revenue and acquire new customers.
No matter which industry caught your attention the most, the key takeaway here is your store has to beat the competition. To do that you need to understand what your store tells you and the most effective way to accomplish that is to gather insights about your customers’ likes and needs, then turn them into actionable data.
Integrating technology into your retail business and knowing exactly how many customers you get per day, who they are and what products they’re most interested in will give you the upper hand and boost your revenue. V-Count provides the most accurate people counting sensors on the market and it comes with an in-house developed, customizable dashboard. Reach out to us for a free demo and we’ll get in touch with you in no time!