How Small Businesses Can Retain Customers Amid Coronavirus
For brick-and-mortar businesses that rely solely on foot traffic, the current outbreak of COVID-19 is debilitating. However, by being quick to adapt, small businesses can not just survive, but thrive.
This unprecedented outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has unfortunately forced many small business owners to close their doors indefinitely. For brick-and-mortar businesses that rely solely on foot traffic, the current situation is debilitating.
Given that consumers everywhere are either unable or unwilling to physically step through your shop doors at the moment, it’s crucial that you offer customers an alternative way to shop with you.
How? By shifting your business online.
Whether you’re tech-savvy or not, making the switch to ecommerce is much quicker, easier and painless than you might think.
Step 1 is to create a website and online store.
You might currently have no online presence whatsoever, or you might have an existing website that you use to promote your shop.
Either way, it’s time to up the ante so that customers can browse your products from the comfort of their very own home, and make purchases that will be delivered right to their doorstep – all of this without them even needing to leave the couch!
Ecommerce platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce can provide you with a sophisticated, professional and highly interactive online store.
Not only can these providers get you set up fast, but they cater for businesses of all shapes and sizes, and their monthly subscription rates are generally quite affordable. However, I still recommend doing your own research and shopping around before committing to one.
Step 2 is to partner up with some reliable delivery services.
For small boutique retailers that only tend to sell a handful of products each day and generally rely on locals for their business, it might be possible to personally deliver each online purchase yourself.
But if your business tends to make more frequent sales and personal delivery isn’t feasible, then I’d suggest exploring third party delivery services like Postmates or Wish. Right now, Postmates has temporarily waived marketing commissions and subscription payments in an effort to support small businesses during this difficult time.
Step 3 is to ramp up your communications and engagement.
By offering email receipts for purchases made through your online store, you can rapidly build up a respectable pool of email addresses. From here, you can use this email list to send e-newsletters informing customers of exciting developments, new products and exclusive offers.
You can use your website and social media pages to promote special competitions, limited time sales and a digital loyalty program (if you have one). Once you’ve made it to this point, there’s no limit to how creative you can get with your online marketing.
In this difficult and uncertain time for businesses, going digital is the best way to stay afloat and continue to engage your customers from their homes.