California to Reopen, But Not Statewide

CA Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced partial reopening on Friday with some modifications on stay-at-home rules and only in counties that meet benchmarks.

The governor said that he completely understands that the current state of the pandemic crisis is not uniform throughout the region. According to Governor Newsom, requirements include meeting certain numbers of testing kits, hospital beds and the capability of the local health department to keep track of infected people and their contacts.

Although there is some air of excitement over the reopening announcement, there is also confusion. Apparently many missed the part where the Phase 2 guidelines state that reopening will allow some outlets to operate, but only for deliveries or for curbside pick-ups.

That being the case, it is clear that in the reopening, retailers who have already adopted business-to-consumer (B2C) ecommerce in their selling practice, will have an edge over those that have not made similar modifications on how they run their businesses.

Businesses to Reopen Under California’s Phase 2 Coronavirus Playbook

Under Phase 2 of California’s coronavirus crisis playbook, only low-risk establishments such as toy stores, florists, sporting goods, clothing boutiques, music stores and bookstores can reopen; but only for pick-up or delivery. Some manufacturers, offices where teleworking is not doable, and childcare centers where safe-distancing can be strictly implemented, can also reopen.

Personal grooming services like barbershops, salons and similar outlets where physical contact cannot be avoided, are still excluded. Entertainment venues including malls, concert and sports arenas, as well as offices where work is carried out in close proximities will likewise remain closed.

Essential businesses likely grocery stores, pharmacies, medical clinics, gas stations and auto repair shops, including factories involved in supplying the products needed by such businesses, will continue to operate under strict safe distancing guidelines.

The Business Outlook During the Reopening Stage of a Health Crisis

Business experts are saying that economic activities during the reopening stage of a health crisis can produce erratic results. Store operators cannot expect consumers to immediately go on a buying spree, since many have already depleted whatever extra funds they have. Yet during widely observed occasions, like the forthcoming Mother’s Day celebration on Sunday (May 10. 2020), restaurants, gift shops and florists could be flooded with orders.

In a slowly re-emerging economy, it is important for businesses to become more customer focused. Inasmuch as the opportunities to provide consumers not only their needs but their wants are limited, preparedness to meet orders smoothly and flawlessly will make a big difference among customers.

Not a few retailers and restaurants have made preparations ahead of the reopening phase, by adding ecommerce features to their website. Many are into offering mobile-ordering apps, have streamlined their work processes and are now collaborating with call centers in handling customer services. Now that reopening is about to happen, their outlet stands ready to receive and handle orders even with just a skeletal force; but one that is largely focused on meeting consumer expectations even when the number of orders exceeds the normal.

Call center outsourcing companies like 31West (www.31west.net) for one, can provide businesses with local and highly-trained call center agents to handle all types of customer services whilst using ecommerce technologies. A greater advantage in addition to the local costs is the no-contract arrangement by which they can engage 31West’s outsourcing capabilities.