15 Ways to Improve your Online Sales During COVID-19
Coronavirus | COVID19 | Digital Marketing | Digital Marketing Strategies | Online Sales | Social Media Marketing
How quickly everything changed! Not long ago we saw from afar how in a Chinese city the spread and contagion of COVID-19 began, it seems more like yesterday that the first confirmed case of coronavirus was in the news.
From that day until today, we went from having our normal lives, transit through the streets to panicked purchases in supermarkets, government quarantine declaration for all households. The situation of this virus causes great concern throughout the country and the world. Although we are quarantined, we are not held incommunicado.
Thanks to technology! Since we can keep in touch and maintain the link, the keyword in all this is CONNECTION, but with what or who? and the answer is with our CLIENTS.
Three Ways to Beat the Blues
Meetings, interviews, and conferences will now be conducted online. So set up ways to meet prospects virtually over distinct Web Conferencing tools. Leverage the power of digital communication and make new connections.
Re-Invest your Time
Seconds or minutes or hours saved from travel and other time-consuming tasks can be well utilized now to enhance your skillset or venture into a new business sphere, not served earlier.
Educate your Customers
Podcasts are worthy aspects of gaining the trust of customers and have been a popular mode of communicating closely with the audience. Make the best use of them via sharing your success stories of business, product/services, features offered, etc. that may spread a vibe of optimism among prospects and bring fortunes for your business.
#Create Social Experiences: Be Social, Act Social
This is the time to accelerate your efforts and make a stronger presence on social media. As in Quarantine, you have fewer options to divert people from their social platforms onto anything else.
Masses are more active on social platforms than ever and are simply waiting to hear something new and exciting from your end. This is where you need to hit the pivot and build “Connection with Content”. (Images/blogs/videos/ads/GIFs)
Next, go for creating an online experience via live streaming. Instagram TV, Facebook Live, both have been used to their best by many organizations to create a live experience, remotely. Yes, they are marketing amid the Corona crisis and are being successful.
[Pro Tip: you need to engage with your audience emotionally in order to be remembered and recalled when the isolation comes to a halt.]
An Online hub has already been created with a headstart. From virtual showrooms to gym classes to yoga sessions to distance learning to WFH, all business types continue to leverage the power of digital communication, venturing into the quarantined life of the potential audience.
#Engage with High-Value customers
Connecting with high-value customers can help you generate sales in the tough time of the global financial crisis. Offering discounts don’t work every time, you need to go beyond this by personalizing your content and reaching out to them via:
- Text messages
- Email broadcast
- Messenger conversations
- Notifications and updates
Tell your custom audience everything, what you aim to sell, how it will help people at this troubled time, what you plan to do in future once things go normal, etc. Be transparent, open, and close to them.
How to be Close?
Get the emotional connect, Customize your text:
- Always by your side
- We’ll together deal with it
- With social distancing, it's time to be closer on the web
- Stay home, stay safe, leave aside your worries
- Together we can make a difference
#Add Live Chat/AI-Powered Chatbots
These automated services are built to bridge the gap between you and your customer. These virtual machines act as the first point of interaction with a visitor/customer and are competent enough to build relationships at the initial level of communication.
#Perform with Social Ads
Instagram is an influencing platform that must be leveraged by businesses for their brand promotion. The Instagram Ad posts created precisely and creatively, have seen tremendous likes by the app users where the number in percentage is 76%.
This count calls for all the marketers and influencers to shift their digital and social media marketing strategies to earn a living in the provided limits of the pandemic. Undoubtedly, Instagram is a platform that doesn’t need much effort to fulfill your intent; however, the way you decide to move with it is the ruling aspect for advertising your brand.
Want to engage with the audience on Instagram?
Share pictures, post videos, make a great story with connecting content and give it the shape of an ad and you will land up getting visitors, organic traffic, and leads. The only need is to present yourself different from others to compel people to swipe up and start a conversation with you.
#Leverage Email Marketing
Whether your business is active or closed right now, sending emails to the target audience is one of the effective ways to be engaged with them in the present challenging era of the Corona outbreak.
This is a great opportunity for marketers to refine their digital marketing strategies to procure new leads for business via newsletters and emails. Three major pivots to hit the nail are:
- Stimulate user interest with engaging and entertaining content
- Raise lead count and signups for email newsletters
- Develop custom audience to upsell at a future date
With your highly crafted emails, you can continue to make up a connection with the users aligned with the purpose of sale in the long run.
You can run Ads to get Valuable Subscriptions:
- Give a 30 days fitness challenge to the followers or custom audience and get them subscribed
- Run a campaign of first come first serve for upcoming brand promotions or sale or new launches
- Give free trials of software products/tools/apps/games
Remember, minimalism is the key, you lead generation forms must accommodate minimum words with a maximum impact, asking the needful from the users. (like name and email address) We don’t want them to opt-out, rather opt-in for our service.
Next, be proactive in delivering the reverts. Set up your email newsletters responsive for follow-ups and sending replies instantly with engaging content related to your campaigns.
#Communicate with your Staff and Add More Flexibility
The crisis time also brings a responsibility for you to take care of your staff and peers, keeping their safety intact and offering flexibility in working ways for seamless execution of business processes.
- Inform the forms of prevention and care against the COVID-19
- Keep your employees informed with accurate information about the virus. It helps quell rumors and fake news and promotes calm.
- Try to be as comprehensive as possible, have a contingency plan in case you suddenly have a shortage of staff. If your business is operating, manage measures so that your collaborators move safely.
- Refine your working policies and grant the access of Work From Home (WFH) wherever seen as a possibility.
[A Worthy 2min Read: “How to Empower your Business Continuity Plan Remotely?”]
#Be Budget Ready
Of course, with running short of money and essentials worldwide, definitely, your consumers and customers are going to change their buying patterns not only presently, but beyond this too. This asks you to be budget-ready to cope up with the unexpected changes in purchasing patterns and decline in your business gains.
Check out the complete report on COVID-19 Customer Survey rolled out by Sellics which details the overall outlook of customers’ demands, supply, and expectations and its impact on businesses.
#It's Time for Remarketing
People today spend a maximum of their time on the web which gives you a great opportunity to attract their attention towards you. But as others are in the same line of competition you have to make a move with delineate planning.
At this point in time, a marketer must lookout for a way for acquiring high return over investments where remarketing with paid ads seems to be a feasible and fruitful option.
Who to Remarket?
The Custom Audience you built!
Custom Audience is seen in the form of:
- People who added products in the cart but never made a buy
- Current subscribers/visitors
- Past customers or social media fans who know you or like you
- The audience who have seen your online products but didn’t add it to the cart
Make use of Facebook Messenger Ads or Click-to-Messenger Ads to remarket the custom audience by offering them gift cards, small surprises, discounts on deadstock, pre-orders, play fun quizzes, asking to poll and many others.
Messenger Ads help you target the most potential customers who are likely to make a purchase of a product or a service. Look at the below example. A perfect example of upselling by Pearl Source, an eCommerce retailer, using the right call-to-action combined with the most appropriate content.
[Prefer Reading: “Why Digital Marketing is Essential for Small Businesses?”]
#Identify Alternate Revenue Streams
It is evident that many brands have inclined their revenue strategy towards manufacturing the essentials during the lockdown. The aim is to balance the business slowdown alongside supporting the society for a welfare cause.
We all know how much grocery, sanitizers, masks, matter in the ongoing period of stagnation. And when any such hot commodity runs out of stock or is wiped empty in the stores it nearly questions the survival of humans upfront the deadly virus.
Taking into account the urgent needs and demands, Anheuser Busch, an American brewing company took a hero-entry to serve the striving communities by producing and distributing hand sanitizer bottles across 4 facilities in America. Some other popular names like BrewDog, Tito’s vodka, have shown up, serving mankind, acting likewise.
Many brands have set examples supporting people and simultaneously running a marketing campaign to full both the purpose of building humanity and driving business.
So what are you thinking now? Gear up to fulfill the same purpose at your convenience and make a business mark globally.
#Extend your Return Policies
Certainly, things are tough for everybody and all of us are hesitant to expand our monetary expenses. But here, you have a magic mantra to make your customers and users more comfortable and happy with your services by relaxing your return &/or agreement policies.
#Keep a Close Eye on Government’s & Bank’s Relief Measures
Emergency loan packages and schemes have been rolled out by governments across the world with sheer collaborations with the banks and payment service providers.
Country-wise and state-wise, the authorities have established relief measures and setup provident fund contributions for companies, and their employees with respect to some minor terms and conditions for continual business processes.
Central banks and reserve banks have offered relaxations on loans and installment mode of payments, promoting liquidity of overheads in the troubled time of the corona crisis. There are many initiatives taken by the central administrations of affected nations one such being the Government Programs and Loan Resources for Small Businesses Impacted by Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Facebook has also emerged with a Business Grant Program to aid them with a boost of financial support. Entrepreneurs and business owners must be aware of these updates and changes made by the ruling authorities and business leaders to support their businesses in the challenging time periods.
#Create a Post Coronavirus Plan at the Earliest
With experience in difficult situations, we must be able to create a plan in case something similar happens again, here are some guidelines to consider:
- Evaluate your expenses and losses, this information will be useful for you to recover.
- Check the government aid and see if your business can benefit.
- Talk to your distributors, check their recovery, do not go out of stock, when everything calms down.
- Before returning to the physical store, review the sanitary processes of your business to give you, your employees and consumers peace of mind.
- Check your online presence and communication with your customers, if you do not have them it is time to start.
- You have e-commerce and you do not show all your products, it is time to place all your assortment since you have to give way to everything that generates sales. Take this time to review your processes, surely it will have to be corrected.
#Manage your Inventory
If you are an online store with a tight inventory, you should spend quietly keeping the stock. Make sure that you are giving away fewer discounts than you normally do, instead of making your online store shut down completely, analyze, and monitor your supplies as per the market demands. Run the stock analysis to determine the most selling product or item and sell them wisely, negotiating.
It must also be said that if you belong to a sector whose products are not in such high demand in times of coronavirus, it would make sense to include discounts on your site to promote sales.
To maintain and balance the loyalty of your customers and with your patience, you may go for promotions like this:
"In the next purchase will offer a 20% discount."
Use email marketing campaigns to inform your customers through the newsletter that they have the possibility of ordering online in the event that your physical store has to close. This is one way to increase your customer retention rate.
In this way, you could inform them of discounts if they buy in the online store.
#Refine your Payment Plans
Concerning reduced expenses and low cash flow, you must make a wise move in your business revenue plans.
In order to preserve the integrity of your supplier/customer relationships, you need to redefine your work and techniques and establish an agreement on which you both can proceed in the short-term scenario.
Moreover, rethink or hold any standing orders based on the ongoing demand in the crisis time to push back future payments and maintain a healthy supplier/customer relationship.
#Control your Expenses
Try not to spend money on items that are not essential for the operation of your business. It's time to cut back on the nice and focus on the essentials to keep your business running as efficiently as possible.
We must maintain a positive attitude towards adverse situations and take this time to organize, plan and face the crisis in the best way, not only for the good of our business but also for the good of our collaborators, friends, and family.
I hope the article proves to be a worthy read for all of you out there and if, unintentionally, I miss out on a necessary pointer, feel free to share it in the comments down below. We always welcome valuable feed given to our readers.
Till then Stay Home, Stay Safe, and Keep Marketing!