10 Tips for Doing Business During COVID-19
Keep your customers engaged and connected!
With the latest state shutdowns to combat the COVID-19 crisis, businesses - particularly small businesses - are suffering one of the worst economic environments in US history. What can be done to help mitigate these issues and how can you continue to serve customers when they can't actually get to your store, gym, etc?
1. Offer Online Shopping
As storefronts remain closed during the COVID-19 crisis, it's prime time to start looking at online sales opportunities if you haven't already. Platforms like Shopify are easy to use and even offer a free trial to start selling your in-store products online.
2. Build Your Audience
For businesses that are still able to operate, now is the perfect time to collect customer information to retarget those consumers at a later date. Turn your casual shopper into a regular costumer by creating a sign-up form using a free tool or asking them to follow your business on social media for updates and specials.
3. Engage On Social
Social media will be your best friend during (and even after) COVID-19 restrictions. When you don't have physical customers in your store, it'll be important to keep their attention online and social media is the best tool for this.
4. Test Special Offers
Use your social channels to announce specials or sales happening online. Offer a percentage discount if customers purchase before a certain time or reach a certain dollar amount.
5. Update Critical Business Information Online
Is your business offering curbside pickup or delivery of products? Be sure to share the info not only on all of your social media channels, but also your actual website as well. Be sure any changes to hours or info is also updated in your search engine listings - especially Google My Business!
6. Start A Social Media Contest
Social media contests are particularly popular because they're simple to conduct and fun for your following. For example, a simple raffle could be done by asking followers to post an image of themself with one of your products. Choose a few winners to receive a promo code or free gift from your store.
7. Build Your Email Subscriber List
Use your social media (or phone calls from customers) to encourage them to subscribe to email newsletters to make it easier to distribute info on business changes, contests, and more. Use your newsletters to invite subscribers to watch how-to videos you've made or direct them to new features on your site, or what to look forward to when you open again.
Announce sales events socially and offer to deliver your items for free, with a bonus. Example: If you are a bookstore, have a free iced coffee delivered with any book purchase over $50. Zenefits.com
8. Explore Live Video
Consider using live video features for Facebook and Instagram. This will give your following an in-the-moment peek at what your business is doing: re-stocking items to your online store, baking fresh cookies for your bakery, announcing a charity giveaway or fundraiser, anything.
9. Offer Virtual Content & Services
Are you a gym facility looking to keep your patrons fit? Video calls are a great way to talk to your clientele face to face and continue offering guidance for fitness or meal plans. A few of our local gyms have done a great job of posting workout routines through social media and app programs and have begun to loan out equipment that can used for at-home workouts.
10. Communicate & Be Transparent
Be as transparent as possible while you conduct businesses at this time. If you're a restaurant, share a video of how you're taking added precautions in your workplace. If you're delivering products locally, share the packaging process and the care you take to deliver everything.
Doing business during any economic downturn requires some creativity so don't hold back when it comes to attracting and keeping your audience engaged!