Thank you to our sellers sharing knowledge in the community, and with us daily here at TCGplayer. Staying connected and hearing from you throughout this time has been great fuel for all of our teams. From the COVID-19 journey we have learned new things from our partners in the industry, and wanted to share some of them with you as the business landscape continues to evolve.
Doors are beginning to open! While regulations vary from state by state, many businesses are now able to take the first steps in phased reopenings throughout the country. We have heard from some retailers about different ways they have maintained revenue throughout the lockdown period. Sellers have fought their way through a challenging Spring by implementing new methods to get more products online and saleable such as:
- “No Contact” mail order fulfillment
- Providing curbside and delivery service
- Incentivizing gift card purchases
- Initiating subscription services
- Leveraging extended payment terms and affiliate rebates
- Utilizing this time to organize and prepare for reopening
Our friend and Pro seller Darcy Leech shared a great vlog update about Mind Sculpt Games first day “back” with a phased reopening that began on May 4th.
In his blog, DSGCW: The Backstage Pass! Michael Bahr of Desert Sky Games also shared a cautiously optimistic “day 1” recap. The celebration last week at DSG was not Cinco de Mayo, but celebrating each customer that walked in the door as “One Little Victory”.
Many stores provided ways they were handling orders by adding information to the GAMA FLGS store locator tool. In addition to stores sending out mail orders, as of 4/20/2020, 113 stores reported to GAMA that they were able to fulfill orders via curbside and local delivery options. 174 additional stores reported curbside pickup only. Some stores set up conditional curbside and delivery options:
- Curbside pickup specific hours
- Local delivery with $x+ order
- Less than 10-mile radius
Stores coming back to life after the closures have introduced modifications like plexiglass barriers, extra hand sanitizer, and channeling entrances and exits, so that there is a controlled flow of traffic through the store. They have also taken to redesigning physical space to promote safe distancing in-store by altering their layout and expanding shopping areas into temporarily unused playspace. Some have implemented an “appointment only” model for in-store visits and are limiting the number of customers allowed in the store at a single time.
What are your best adaptations to this era of gradual reopening? What questions do you have for the TCGplayer team, or for your peers? As the doors slowly begin to crack open across the country we would love to hear your insights, questions, or tips you would be willing to share with the seller community, by contacting us here.