The pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges, especially to the hospitality sector. Streets are no longer full of people. People have to self-isolate and stay at home. Restrictions and curfews on pubs, bars and restaurants mean many are facing months of greatly reduced turnover.
In many ways, the pandemic is accelerating existing trends from 2019. We are seeing a shift away from physical money. Online shopping is booming. Furthermore, companies have to be empathetic to social issues and the coronavirus situation.
Crucially, the goal for hospitality in 2020 is not to thrive. It is to weather the storm of coronavirus and prepare for a long winter ahead. Importantly, we are not alone in this situation and many sectors are suffering from a dramatic drop in business. Here are 5 ways you can shield yourself from the possible loss of cash flow.
In 2020, hotels simply can not afford to neglect Google’s rankings. Having a mobile-friendly, quick-to-lead and easy-to-navigate website is extremely important. As people are spending more time indoors, their usage of the internet rises. Thus, it is important to start building up your online presence. Content marketing, Google Advertisement and boosting your SEO scores is key.
The use of cash money has decreased from 50% in 2000 to 15% in 2018 in the UK. With the coronavirus pandemic, this downward trend of cash payments consolidatin further. As shown in the following chart from the BBC, debit card payments are expected to soar to over 20 billion per year. This shift is global. It indicates a future where you can pay for everything digitally.
At GlobePay, we enable Alipay and WeChat Pay for UK companies. This means Chinese nationals living in the UK (students and professionals) can pay the same way they do at home. 92% of Chinese travellers would rather pay with their phone using Alipay or WeChat Pay than carrying physical cash.
Image Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-48544695.
Throughout the pandemic, the sense of community is keeping people going. You are not alone in your hardships. Others can empathise with the current situation. So why not use this opportunity to create a Facebook Group? Post uplifting content to cheer up your community. Since many people are restricted in their movements, hospitality will be unable to service customers. Despite this, you do not have to disconnect completely from your community. Take the community online and stay in touch with your regular visitors. Let them know what you will re-open and give them updates on your company’s developments.
Despite the gruelling application processes, it is no secret that the government schemes and action plans have been essential to keeping the UK economy running. The economy is far from stable, however there are ways to receive financial help. Government loans and lowered interest rates are options worth looking into.
Unfortunately, no one knows how long coronavirus will continue. It has also been suggested that even if a successful vaccine were to be developed tomorrow, it could take up to 2 years for manufacturing and shipping to safely cover every nation. If we are in this for the long haul, investing in good quality coronavirus safety measures is a positive way forward. Start with physical products like face masks, cleaning supplies, hand sanitiser and a forehead thermometer. For hotels, safety measures such as limiting people numbers and removing loose items like notepads and pens are important. Additionally, hotels should make a coronavirus-positive safety procedure in case a customer should fall ill while on the premises.
Lastly, remember that there will never be a perfect decision. Company leaders and managers have to make decisions and make it the right one. Tweak your procedures if you need to. Find new ways to connect with your customers. Adapt to the changing landscape. Once coronavirus is over, you will have developed core skills to tackle any future problems.
GlobePay is a cross-border payments provider based in the UK. We specialise in Chinese digital payments such as Alipay and WeChat Pay, which are used by a majority of the Chinese urban population. To learn more about Chinese consumers, marketing or payments, contact us via info@globepay. We are here to provide support to our clients and community during this difficult time.
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