The covid-19 pandemic has shaken the world and business continuity has been impacted. The steps taken by the Government to safeguard the people against the covid-19 disease have collapsed many businesses.
Sales are on the decline for most businesses due to the pandemic. The fashion in which we used to do business before pandemic work no longer. We won’t be back to “business like usual” shortly.
“Business as normal” is not heard anymore these days. A few months back, the changes in the working of the business were believed as this is something that is to be suffered for a short period. But as businesses come into reality, the present conditions will be new normal.
Especially for small and startup businesses, it is a challenging time to survive. But some ways can help to develop business or at least keep it floating. There are possibilities to sustain your business or even increase sales if you take the strategic steps in the right direction.
Businesses need to shift from temporary fixes to long-term strategic plans because of the environment we are living in now.
Here are some of the sales strategies for E-commerce businesses during the pandemic and after it.
Reevaluate your Offering
Covid-19 has changed the way of our daily lives. And this is the thing you cannot ignore in the matter of your customers. Few products must be irrelevant at this time while others may be more in demand.
For example, if you are selling travel products and party wear clothes, these products are no longer in demand. To adapt to the changing situation, you need to stop selling these products or transform them so that they are fine for at-home use.
Image Source: Bewakoof
Bewakoof is a great example of this. They added a “Slay at Home” collection to their site to accommodate the current state of circumstances. With the halt of physical appearances, people are working from home, so these products are in great demand. They have also added sanitizers and masks to their daily essential products.
Magento 2 store owners can inform their customers about the products that are temporarily unavailable for purchase with Magento 2 SMS Notification via SMS(Text Message).
Readjust your Services
You must bring clarity to your customers. Whether customers need your help for refunding, returning, or even finding a particular product, widening your customer service is the option.
77% of customers would recommend a business to a friend, after having a positive experience. Below are a few tactics to ameliorate your customer services before and after the pandemic.
- Offer customer services for longer hours.
- Be available for your customers via different channels like phone, email, live chat, and social media.
- Create Blog posts, How-to tutorials to help customers get knowledge about your products.
- Be honest about the delivery issues. Due to lockdown deliveries may be delayed. Inform customers about how you are dealing with this issue.
Move Online where possible
If you run a physical store, you must move online if you haven’t yet. Take time to build an online store that helps customers to shop easily without risking their health.
An online store will be beneficial in the long run too. According To Meticulous Research, the E-commerce market will reach $24.3 Trillion by 2025. Lockdowns or a decrease in foot traffic are not a matter of worrying with an online store.
Buy Online Pick-up In-Store (BOPIS) is another way you can adopt to increase customer experience. Collecting their orders by hand helps customers to avoid the delivery fee. As reported by invesp, 67% of customers use Buy Online Pick-up In-Store (BOPIS) to avoid shipping costs. Without a doubt, shipping costs are one of the main reasons why customers hesitate to buy something. By adding a store pickup extension to your eCommerce store, you can help your customers find the most convenient store location and times.
Communicate with Customers
During the pandemic, it is inevitable for the business to keep constant contact with their customers. Businesses and customers both are undergoing a crisis, may it be a financial or daily routine.
Let your customers know about what’s changing in your business due to the pandemic. Utilize messaging channels or social media for the same. Include the following things:
- Are you all the products available or are you halting the selling of some products?
- Are you stopping delivery to some countries or areas?
- If there is a delay in the delivery of products due to lockdowns.
- Ensure the safety of your staff and customers by speaking up about the measures you have initiated.
- What services will be returned once the pandemic draws to an end?
Inform important changes to your customers with a notification bar at the top of your Magento 2 website’s home page.
By discussing with your customers, you can evaluate what changes they want for your business and can respond to their valuable feedback. Ensure them that you care about customers more than money and you are committed to helping them in a meaningful way.
As said, Better Late Than Never, start planning for the crisis right now. Plan how you will be handling the rest of the pandemic and return back once we pass through it.
With frequent start and end of lockdowns, it is uncertain to decide the precise date for physical working. So give room for change if the plan needs to be altered due to the situation.
Where you are gaining sales, where you are losing sales, and where your sales are stuck? How your business has been impacted due to Covid-19 and what you can do to lessen the damage.
Focus on the below points for your marketing strategy:
- Employee collaboration and productivity for remote working.
- Broken supply chains and operations.
- Problems for trading with other countries due to lockdowns.
- Delayed projects and campaigns.
Stay updated with the decisions of the Government of the country your business is in. This will affect your business during and after the pandemic.
Tailor your Marketing Strategy
You already might have planned your marketing strategy before the pandemic. So the first thing you must do is to change your marketing strategy relevant to the circumstances. Remove or change anything that is irrelevant.
Go through your campaigns, social media posts, and email marketing that you have already scheduled to determine what needs to be changed. Apply the below techniques:
- Clear and accurate messaging regarding the pandemic.
- Avoid making memes and jokes about the current pandemic situation.
- Pay attention to bringing awareness about the covid-19 safety measures.
- Try to bring smiles to the customer’s face during these hard times.
Make sure you do not use this pandemic to advertise your products. Instead get an idea of how you can provide services to customers to become a helping hand, neglecting your sales.
Get Better with your SEO
More people are shopping online like never before and there is no indication that this is going to stop even after the pandemic. During the pandemic, you cannot lean on your physical stores and start preparing for the online stores. Hence, SEO is very important.
Here are some of the important SEO points you must consider during the pandemic:
- Improve your page load speed to allow customers to quickly search for their desired products and improve Google rankings.
- Create and update content based on your niche keeping in mind the current situation.
- Target search terms that users usually search for these days.
- Get listed on Google My Business to let customers know about the physical store of your business.
- Keep track of your SEO performance using the Google Webmaster tools.
We cannot predict when things will be normal. However, reconfiguring your sales strategy will help you to reduce the losses and increase sales during the pandemic. With the proper modifications, planning, customer services, and sales strategy you can come out of the pandemic powerful than ever.
Gaurav Jain is Co-Founder of MageComp and Adobe Certified Expert-Magento Commerce Business Practitioner. Being a Computer Engineer and possessing Extensive Marketing strategy and skills he handles all kinds of customer Queries and his Happy & Helping Nature makes customer’s day Delightful. When he isn’t working, you’ll find Gaurav Reading on Books or Traveling. Also, he is Speaker at Magento Meetups.