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How has COVID-19 affected market stalls?

No More Stalling For Market Traders

By the end of this weekend, most shops, restaurants and bars across England will, once again, be open for business.  As we kickstart the economy, this new surge in footfall and spending may very much give the impression of a country returning to normal following an extremely bleak few months.  Although lifting of restrictions is great news for the retail and hospitality industries, what about market stall holders?

In the market for new clarity

The market is a national institution and, for many people, still the go-to place to buy fresh produce such as fruit and vegetables.  Unfortunately, unlike retail stores and restaurants, most market stall holders are not geared up to take volume card payments, relying instead, as is traditional, on cash payments and perhaps some expensive card transactions with minimum purchase amounts applying.  Since COVID, cash is, of course a no-no and, many market stall holders will find themselves struggling to come up with a payment solution which suits both themselves and their customers.  As many market stalls have very small profit margins, most holders are reluctant to go to the expense of investing in credit and debit card machines as a payment solution or encourage all their customers, however small their purchase, to pay by card.  Similarly, many of their older customers are reluctant to make payments by card for fear of security issues.  With government guidelines very much advising against the handling and exchange of cash, this poses a very real dilemma for market stall holders who are desperate to get their businesses back up and running. 

Back in business

As we navigate the new normal, there’s no doubt that market stall owners will need to figure out new and safer ways of conducting their business – which means finding a payment solution which works for them and their valued customers.  

Thankfully, help is at hand in the form of a new secure payment solution, Ordo.  A safe, non-contact way of requesting and receiving payments, Ordo allows stallholders to request payment for goods using the customer’s email address or telephone number whilst remaining a safe distance and without any need for contact.  The customer is then able to access the Smart Request on their phone and make payment directly from their bank account.  Another benefit to stallholders is that Ordo even allows for an itemised bill to be attached to the Smart Request keeping their customer happy, and for their own reference to be against the payment in their account making accounting simple and keeping the books straight. 

For businesses like market stalls which are looking to not just survive but to thrive post-lockdown, it’s inevitable that some changes will need to be made.  From maintaining distance from customers to reducing hand to hand contact, commerce is going to look very different from that which we left in March.  Thanks to Ordo, no matter how many bumps in the road stallholders experience, receiving payment needn’t be one of them.