If you’re like most businesses, chances are you’ve experienced some hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic. According to data from Ubersuggest, organic traffic was down in nearly every industry at the height of COVID (organic traffic refers to traffic that doesn’t come from paid ads). This is just one insightful statistic that illustrates a much larger picture of what’s happening in the current business landscape.
Across the globe, businesses are forced to re-adjust their strategies or risk shutting down shop permanently. Thousands of small businesses are applying for recovery grants. Although social distancing rules are slowly being lifted and restaurants and retailers are slowly but surely opening their doors, there’s still plenty of lessons that business owners should keep in mind—especially if some experts suggest a new wave of COVID cases in the next several months.
Acknowledge the Virus
One of the first things you’ll want to do is address how your business is handling the coronavirus pandemic. By now, chances are you’ve already received at least one correspondence from a brand letting you know how they’re handling the coronavirus and what they’re planning on doing in the future.
Acknowledging the virus can help you infuse empathy in your marketing communications and help you humanize your brand. Without empathizing, it can merely seem like you’re taking advantage of the situation. In doing so, stay relevant and acknowledge how you can still cater to their needs. Most importantly, allow them to let you know what you can do better or what you can do differently.
Start Getting Creative
Now isn’t a time for you to give up on your business. Instead, it’s a time for you to re-evaluate your strategy and go back to the drawing board. Begin brainstorming how you can ramp things up. For instance, if you own a lifestyle brand that sells eco-friendly yoga equipment, how can you work with influencers to help promote your brand? If you have a line of grass-fed beef jerky, why not work with CPG recruiters to find marketing talent that can help you revamp your packaging? What about guerilla marketing and co-branding partnerships? The point is—don’t throw in the towel just yet. Even if you’re going through tough times, take this as an opportunity to think outside the box in unique ways you may not have otherwise.
Offer Payment Plans
Payment plans are a conversion strategy that boosts conversion rates by 12% on average. As a retailer, the ability to offer payment plans is much stronger than you might think. For instance, online retailers can offer payment plans through services like Affirm or Quadpay.
If you choose to do so, be sure to market your decision and let customers know that you care about their financial situations and struggles during these tough times. Payment plans provide your current and potential customers to pay for total products over the course of several months, releasing them of some financial burden.
Diversify Your Geography Profile
Even though the coronavirus has impacted countries around the world, it’s certainly hit some countries more than others. If you were traditionally only focusing on the American market, now is a great time to expand your horizons and look at potential market segments in other countries.
Avoid Exploiting Consumers
There’s a big difference between making the most of a situation and exploiting a situation. A perfect example of exploitation is a marketer that buys hundreds of face masks, plants a couple dozen ads, and hopes to make money off of the venture by increasing the margins exponentially. Not only is this disingenuous, but it’s also a shady way to make a quick dollar. It isn’t even smart marketing because it’s so short sighted; with strategies like this, it’s difficult to build a loyal customer base.