The coronavirus pandemic has left a scar and reshaped many aspects of our daily lives. Whether you work online or hybrid, increase sales is the ultimate goal. The world is unsure of whether we’ll ever be virus-free. Make no mistake, though, the world hasn’t stopped. No matter what variant is running or whether we’re masked or vaccinated, life continues. Consequently, it’s time to review what the pandemic means for your business.
The Transition to Safe Space, Self Distancing and Online Everything
We all remember the lockdowns and lack of in-person business. And while many have returned to “life as normal as it can be”, others have yet to leave their homes for more than a grocery store run. It’s clear that life will never be the same again.
One way that businesses have survived is to creatively strategize how to grow their businesses without breaching the personal distances people are comfortable with. This has involved questions such as:
- How do I recreate the layout of my restaurant to meet the self-distancing rules?
- How do I show my clients respect by allowing them to feel like they’re in a safe space?
- How do I protect my customers without ostracizing others while taking into account the patchwork of COVID-19 rules across the United States?
Here’s where we start this blog post: at the border between the pandemic and the “normal” business world. How do you survive as a business?
Stake a Claim in the Online World
Thanks to the lockdown rules effective during the pandemic, more people were confined to their homes, bored, and with time on their hands. That trickled down to a sharp rise in online engagements globally. For instance, the video streaming service Netflix registered a staggering 15.8 million new subscribers in 2020.
E-commerce sales also skyrocketed. The Census Bureau’s Annual Retail Trade Survey reported a 43% increase in e-commerce sales in 2020. This represented $815.4 billion in sales.
Suppose your local business depended pre-COVID on more face-to-face interactions; you may now need to establish relationships in the online realm. One way to achieve this is through e-commerce which are transactions that take place online. (M-commerce is e-commerce conducted on mobile devices.) E-commerce allows you to create new income streams while reimagining ways to sell your products or services. Online shops are easy to set up and a cost-friendly investment that can help your business thrive in these current times.
Reevaluating What Your Business Is Offering
Customers’ needs and desires are constantly evolving and often irrational. That, coupled with the conditions changed and set with the COVID-19 pandemic, means that the services and products we offer may be irrelevant at this time. Before the pandemic, no one would have anticipated toilet paper hoarding and flour shortages, or that face masks and hand sanitiser would be must-have in-demand health products.
Take a moment to evaluate which products may not be of interest to your customers in the current environment, and which products are appealing for home use. For example, if you own a hotel, perhaps avail of weekly balanced diet meal plans for in-home-office deliveries.
Survey the effects of the pandemic and pinpoint any needs that may be neglected. How can you fill the gaps with new products that are relevant to customers in the present circumstances, while remembering your brand and business niche? It can be easy to get carried away.
Provide Educational Solutions
During the coronavirus pandemic, the online education industry saw an increase in interactions with their services. So much so that the prominent online e-learning companies in China earned over 3.2 billion dollars during the COVID-19 period. If you have experience offering your services, providing online DIY guidance or teaching your customers can increase your sales through engagement and trust. You can add a new business income stream by charging for your online teaching.
Invest in Social Media Influencers and Online Ads
Networking is a vital way of connecting to your customers and is even more crucial now. Social media influences are the key movers and shakers in the digital world and have legions of devoted followers. Cultivating relationships with influencers allows you to promote your product and shape the perception of it.
The ROI of using social media influencers tends to be higher than any other marketing and sales strategies in use. Keep your target audience in mind to align it perfectly with the influencer’s existing market platform. For instance, small businesses in the beauty and fashion industry can benefit from using make-up artists, stylists, or modeling influencers.
Another way to maximize the millions of social media consumers is by paying for ads to give exposure to your product or services. Social media use has increased even more since COVID-19. Utilizing social media ads on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, you can significantly increase the engagement and sales of your products. Facebook ads in particular can be an affordable and flexible option for most small businesses.
Improve Communication with the Customers
Keeping in communication with your consumers is integral to how your business grows. Especially during globally difficult phases, consumers trust and find companies that understand, address and communicate the customers’ needs. That can be an excellent way to ensure you retain your sales and increase them in the future.
Social media and emails are great ways to keep in touch with your existing clients and potential new ones. The interactions can also help you gather information about the unique needs of your customers, and what changes or adjustments you need to make. Ensure you sharpen your business’s communication skills and customer service.
Reshape Your Marketing Goals
Your marketing strategies shape your overall sales outlook. It is important while figuring out ways to boost your sales that you also think of improving your marketing techniques. If you are reevaluating your products and business goals, your marketing plan will need to match those new goals.
Review your previous marketing strategies and edit any irrelevant information. It is also important that you avoid marketing content that includes offensive pandemic touches of humor, sensitive or troubling pandemic banter or conversations, or offers that are no longer available in the post-pandemic period.
Operating in the post-pandemic world feels like a fresh start for small businesses, especially if you suffered adversely from COVID-19 effects. Now is a time to rediscover new objectives for your business and align it with effective marketing for the best sales returns. The guidance above can get you started on recovering and blooming your sales, so try them out effectively and reap the rewards.