In reality, every industry has been affected by the pandemic. Even though there’s a decline in its impact, its effect on the economy is still ongoing. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19, a lot has changed in the laundry industry– from its business operations, sales, and safety practices. More than 90% of the laundry business owners claim that their business operations have changed due to the pandemic.
Laundry and dry cleaning businesses heavily depend on how their clients personally drop-off and pick up their laundry. However, for the past months, we have been in quarantine or advised to stay at home to slow the spread of the virus. Thus, the regular visits to laundromats or dry cleaners have been lessened.
The Effect of COVID-19
Although the laundry and dry cleaning market is expected to grow over the next few years, what happened in 2020 is not the best. The market declined by 2 billion. It may not be a significant drop, but it has caused several businesses to close their doors while some business owners rethink their business strategy to survive the year.
Laundry and dry cleaning businesses depend on their clients that drop off their laundry or pick up their items. They even look after those clients who run for a quick wash at their laundromat after working from home. However, with the pandemic, clients are working from home, and the need to go out and use their services has declined. The new normal has put a toll on the laundry and dry cleaning businesses.
If dry cleaners used to wash 500 items daily, they might only be washing less than a hundred today. It obviously tightens business earnings and their staffing. If there are not enough people coming in for their services, some staff has to be laid off, and the remaining staff has to focus on more tasks– it is hurting not only the business but also their employees.
Travel Bans Affected Laundry Businesses
The effect of the pandemic is more evident in the commercial laundry market. It is included in the economic domino effect. Hotels and restaurants have had a few guests since May. Without travelers, no rooms will be booked, and the fewer the need to change bed sheets and towels. Moreover, the lack of guests in restaurants means fewer linens are used. Thus, third-party laundry services are affected as well.
The travel ban does not seem to ease up soon. Countries are still continuing and enforcing travel restrictions, and especially there’s a new strain of the virus. It will be a long road back to lift the travel bans.
However, the tourism and hospitality industry is looking forward to the day the travel ban will be lifted. Several people are interested in cheap flights right now. Although a lot cannot travel today, there is an increased interest in traveling in the future. You can focus strategy on providing tips or content about laundry and travels, such as laundry on vacations or what trip or activities are safe.
Although the change or new normal is stressful, the best thing a marketer can do is to help the consumers keep their interest by giving out a clear and accurate message.
You have to maintain a relationship with your customer through effective and efficient communication. Continuously build their trust through proactive communication. You can engage with them through email or through your website.
Let them know if you have promotional discounts, postponement of operations, or any news about your business. If you have changed something on your business operations, it is best to update your Google My Business profile.
Update your business hours and service description. Let them know when they can stop by or add information for safety precautions or if you are already offering laundry pickup and delivery.
Always consider the relationship you have with your customers. It may be a relief point for those who are experiencing stress and hardship in these trying times. They might need a hand or tip with their laundry.
The Future of Laundry Business
Business experts foresee that laundry businesses will have a rebound later this year. They expect that summer travels or tourists will make a full swing on the laundry business trend. However, laundry owner businesses need to have an alternative to the traditional services they offer.
Most of the consumers have stopped visiting laundromats and dry cleaners due to the quarantine. If you have observed enough, the solution to this is in your consumers’ hands– through mobile.
Laundry businesses with mobile laundry apps and mobile-friendly websites can cater to the need for an on-demand approach to laundry and dry cleaning. Since food pickup and delivery is already famous, why not apply the strategy to the laundry sector?
If you know that your services are on-demand in your location, allow your customers to order dry cleaning or laundry service, and request laundry pickup and delivery. Just like Liox Laundry, offering this convenience to your consumers makes them feel safe since they do not have to visit your shop. Moreover, they stay informed with their laundry because of your app’s push notification, and your website gives them more informative content related to your business.
Although some businesses already offer their services online, you should push through the plan if you haven’t. Bring your laundry business right to your customers.
The virus has affected people around the world, and the number one priority today is how to keep the communities safe. Many businesses are feeling the effect of the pandemic. Thus, every business owner keeps their eyes on the pandemic and how they can strategize their business operations. Keep yourself informed on new information and updates that can help your business during this challenging situation.
Moreover, while you are still operating in business, ensure you are taking every precaution to ensure your staff and clients’ safety. Practice social distancing, encourage compliance of “shelter at home” or quarantine and exercise proper hygiene.