A New Mindset for A Changing Environment: Highlights from 2020 BCCA & ACCA Virtual Conference

| Business, Community, Governance
CO-OPS are flexible, relevant & responsive

COVID-19 has led to dramatic shifts in consumer behaviour. To meet ever-evolving customer experience requirements, co-ops will have to remain flexible, relevant, and responsive. And as people-centred businesses, co-ops should be strategic and invested in sharing how they are there for their members and their communities.

At the fall 2020 CIU Strategic Foresight Virtual Conference, co-hosted by ACCA and BCAA, guest speaker Stephanie Guico shared insight about platform co-ops. Furthermore, Guico also encouraged attendees to become relevant and accessible online – as an essential strategy for success and survival.

“It is typically a good idea to reach our clientele where they are at, and they are online right now,” shared Guico, a guest speaker at the fall 2020 CIU Strategic Foresight Virtual Conference. “Lives have moved entirely online and, concerns about private security, data, and accessibility of our services have moved to the forefront.” 

Act now on data-management. 

Start a dialogue on how your co-operative is compiling and using data. Firstly, connect with other co-operatives, or directly through BCCA. Secondly, see how you can work together to broaden and deepen member insight. Ask how to use data-management to improve value to the members. Finally, check with BCAA about plans creating a data co-operative and how you can help. Make it clear it is a priority for you.  The services offered by the CIU might be a great place to start. 

Consider your Online Profile

Websites are a necessary part of today’s business profile. As well as having an up-to-date website (social media profiles too), websites should be easy-to-use and attractive. Shut-downs and slow-downs a current reality for many. Subsequently, now is the time to take stock of your online profile.  Consider it a real opportunity to expand your customer base and increase your online profile. 

Depending on the nature of your business, look into ways to adapt to what you offer to internet-friendly services. For example, consider curbside pickup, delivery & alternative payment methods. Perhaps partner with a non-profit to utilize their volunteers to shop for their vulnerable clients. Moreover, if your business model involves people coming in to browse or interact in-person, figure out how to make that happen – virtually. Psst… There are a lot of creative ideas online that can help stretch your imagination.  

It’s time for show & tell…

As people-centred businesses, co-ops should be strategic and invested in sharing how they are there for their members and their communities. Because, now more than ever, Canadians want to buy from Canadian brands and their local community. Highlighting the fact that you’re Canadian and that you feature national or locally made products can help you increase sales and loyalty.  

Finally, as you reach out to your customers, be courageous, and ask them if they need anything else. For instance, maybe another supplier has let them down, and you can fill that gap? Look at this as an opportunity to explore other options that could bring in additional cash.  

If you haven’t yet, please take time to watch and share the short video featuring highlights from the virtual conference co-hosted by ACCA and BCCA.


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