The Coronavirus outbreak has changed the world and will probably leave a lasting effect in our lives. For many businesses, it meant closing their brick and mortar shops and making a part of their employees redundant. But we no longer depend on the physical presence of customers in stores to do business. The internet is the invisible connection between people and businesses and it can help you keep your customers.
In this article we will show you how to adapt and survive during the COVID-19 pandemic. You will learn how to keep your customers engaged and devise creative ways to promote your products and get the sales you need to keep your business going.
A Time When Engagement Is More Important than Ever
As we stressed in previous articles, now is the time when you must really be there for your customers. Your commitment to keep them engaged, to be close to them and help them must come true.
They are locked in their homes, worrying and coping with the psychological effects of isolations. Thus, they resort to the internet, to social media networks to stay connected with their friends and find entertaining content. And they rely on the brands they trust to be a part of the solution to isolation – to continue sharing meaningful posts and be available to answer questions.
Here Are Some Ways to Keep Your Customers Engaged during Lockdown
As you will see, the suggestions we have for you will not require a significant effort or lots of money. Apply them, and you will emerge from these difficult times with a thriving customer base.
1. Be Extra Active on the Social Media
You no longer have to run physical stores so you and your employees have more time on hands. Use this time to connect with your customers in meaningful ways on your social media accounts.
This is the time to create and share videos with positive messages and tutorials to help your customers solve various issues. Brainstorm your teams to find ideas of posts that are appealing to your customers during this period. They can range from creative and fun ways to use your products to advice for small DIY home projects.
2. Keep Your Online Chat Open
Online chats are the simple way to create one-on-one conversations with your clients and process orders from them. Some companies use actual employees, others use chatbots. As your shop assistants are at home, you can assign them tasks of answering direct chats on your website or on Facebook Messenger.
Many people use these chats to inquire if your products are still available and how they can order them. Some of them are even inquiring about ways of redeeming coupons, gift cards and other in-store loyalty programs they are subscribed to.
3. Encourage Your Clients to Choose Gift Cards
Gift cards are very useful because they can be stored in specialised mobile apps, thus they do not require a physical card to use in store. Gift cards can help you keep your clients and find new ones during this difficult period.
Instead of going in store to buy gifts, your clients can purchase a digital gift card for their friends. Thus, even if your store is closed, you still have the chance to gain new customers.
4. Find a Reliable Delivery Service
Your clients cannot go over to your store for a last minute purchase. Thus, you must find ways to deliver their orders in a timely manner. Thankfully, you have lots of delivery services to choose from.
In the last few years a lot of services that emulate Uber appeared and expanded across the globe, specialising in local deliveries. A lot of people who own bikes, scooters or even willing to walk a lot sign up to act as delivery agents, covering their local area. Thus, you need to look for such services that cover the areas where most of your customers live.
5. Adapt Your Product Offering to Demand
Many retailers are now focusing on stocking up on the most in-demand products during this period. Clothes stores now offer face masks, while groceries focus on sanitising products, single use gloves, and foods with long shelf life, such as preserves, pasta, and ingredients to bake bread at home.
As you browse your social media pages, note what products your customers ask for in their comments. As fat as possible, try to adapt your offers to suit these demands. In some cases, you may even establish partnerships with local producers who need a distribution channel for these products.