Wow! Who could’ve seen this coming? Markets have changed seemingly overnight. Unemployment is on the rise. And the economy is seriously looking at a decline. It looks scary for sure.
The current COVID-19 pandemic is dramatically impacting businesses all over the world in a way many of us haven’t seen before. And this has left eCommerce business owners wondering how they can survive this crisis and keep their doors open.
But do not worry. This could be a turning point for you. To reinvent itself. To rethink your strategy. And hopefully, to come up with better ways to do business.
Let’s go over 4 tips that you can put into action immediately to remain stable during these uncertain times and get through this crisis successfully.
1. Stay in touch with your loyal customers
Now is the time to show appreciation for your loyal customers. Send them a thank you letter. Or if you really have the time and can make the effort, give them a call. There is no better way to build a relationship.
If you need support from them, be transparent about it. Encourage them to buy from you now to support your business so that in turn, you can still be around to serve them after this pandemic ends. Be open and honest with them. A lot of people don’t realize how bad business owners are struggling right now. So, if you’re honest with your loyal customers, they’re more likely to help you out.
Also, now is a great time to ask for those reviews and testimonials. Most of your customers will be home. So they can spend time in writing one for you. In return, reward them with vouchers and discount coupons. Remember that it really pays off at the end since loyal customers are really valuable.
2. Keep an eye on your messaging
“It’s not what you say, but how you say it.”
This quote is highly relevant in your marketing messaging now more than ever.
In whatever you say as a brand, context matters. And when a cultural moment shifts as dramatically as it has currently with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s very important that you evaluate the words your brand is saying.
Avoid language that sounds like it’s capitalizing on the crisis. No “Hot COVID-19 deals!”. Use language that promotes optimism, empathy, and hope. Remember, the more you show your human side, the more personable your brand will become.
3. Make use of social media
According to a Statista March 2020 survey of social media users, 43.1 percent of respondents said that if confined to their homes during the pandemic, they would use Instagram more during that period. Similar is the case for YouTube and Facebook.
With nearly everybody staying home, there will be a lot more people logging in to and spending time on social media. So, this is a great time to re-think your social media strategy. If you don’t have one, this is a great time to start.
Find out the platforms where your target audience spends the most time and be helpful over there. Give them credible, detailed information about the things they need. Bolster the fact that you exist to help them.
Look for people — be it your employees, people who use your products, or people who could use support and find ways to support or celebrate them on your social channels.
Remember, during these difficult times, you can make social media a park of happiness for everybody.
4. Invest right now for the future of your business
Use this time to find ways to streamline your business. For starters, implement automation to do more with fewer resources. This is ideal for tasks that you do regularly but does not need higher-order thinking, or tasks that hold you back from what you really need to be doing to run your business.
For a lot of eCommerce business owners, one major bottleneck is bookkeeping. If you are one of them, figure out what parts of bookkeeping can save you time, money, and effort. Some examples can be creating invoices, payroll processing, tax filing, etc.
Another great way to invest now for future gains is by updating & testing the software you use for your business. All your software applications might be up and running right now without a problem. But with all the news of cyber crimes, day in and day out, you have to make it a priority that yours and your customers’ data is safely protected.
These are unprecedented times for small businesses, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. But surely these tips can help you. And don’t forget that we’re all in this together. Wash your hands. Practice social distancing. Stay positive. And when all of this is over, you will be so much more efficient and ready to continue doing business.