We’ve all probably heard Heraclitus’ adage that “the only constant in life is change.” In 2020, most of the world has learned—sometimes painfully—just how true that is. Even months into the pandemic, there remains considerable uncertainty about what the “new normal” entails. I believe a closed mind can only close off opportunities, and the reality is that the only constant in retail entrepreneurship is change. In order to succeed, in retail and in business, you must learn to embrace change as an entrepreneur.
Many (if not all) entrepreneurs get to a point where they become uncertain whether their business will survive. But the most savvy retail entrepreneurs are able to roll with the punches and learn how not only to survive, but to THRIVE in uncertain times. Innovative professionals embrace change, and are always looking for new ideas to improve their businesses. They never stop learning and evolving, and that flexibility and willingness to adapt is what grounds a business.
Ask yourself, “How can my business reinvent itself to not only keep our doors open, but to provide new options and offerings that give us a competitive edge?” Consider leveraging your business’s greatest asset: your employees. Organizations that collaborate in reverse mentorship rely on their employees’ insights—both inside and outside their relative areas of expertise—in order to identify opportunities for adaptation in the face of adversity.
During these past few months, we’ve seen businesses grapple with reinvention with varying degrees of success. Those that are willing to adapt to the current situation and roll out new business models and means of operating are able to survive, and even prosper. We’ve seen great success these past few months with increased curbside pickup volume, brick-and-mortar operations switching to ecommerce, and businesses getting innovative about how they connect with their customers virtually.
At T-ROC, we are embracing these same principles. We expect to see people continuing social distancing for the foreseeable future, and one way we’re reinventing is through VIBA. Developed in response to the need for contactless brick-and-mortar retail in light of COVID-19, VIBA is a means of harnessing the power of technology to meet both customer and retailer needs in a time of crisis.
A VIBA, or virtual interactive brand ambassador, is an in-store TV display with a live virtual associate available to answer customer questions, provide product demonstrations, and provide assistance. VIBA provides an alternative to in-person sales agents in order to promote social distancing practices. But the benefits extend beyond COVID precautions—when a customer is in a store with a VIBA, they won’t have to search for a sales associate or wait for one to become available.
We’re excited about this new technology and how it will help shape the future of brand ambassadorship while solving some of the problems facing brick and mortar retail in this current climate.
Pairing creativity and technology can help you win the race, both today and tomorrow. To remain successful, your business must remain agile at all times. After all, you never know when a crisis could require you to turn on a dime.