The coronavirus (COVID-19) has upended the global economy and has created an unbelievable challenge for small business owners as they attempt to not only survive, but move forward and try to understand and adapt to the new reality of a world they have never known. It has forced every business owner to reconsider how they operate their business and serve their customers in new ways that are customer-centric, as well as profitable and sustainable.
These are “interesting” times, in the words of the old Chinese proverb but while it’s easy to fall into the rabbit hole of doom and gloom, it is also possible to adapt your sales model and overhaul your digital marketing in ways that you can “pandemic-proof” as much as possible your business and revenue stream moving forward through the inevitable economic recession and beyond.
Evaluating the Problem. Pivoting to the Need.
Firstly, now is the time to really evaluate what your offers are. Is what you offering in the way of products and services still what people want, or has their interests shifted because of the pandemic? If your product and service offering needs to be tweaked, now is the time to do it. Or perhaps your existing offers need to be simply repackaged with a “locked down” feature and benefit proposal. And lastly, do you need to offer something related but entirely different given the current market reality.
One wise old marketer we know also has a sage piece of advice: now is not the time to increase your prices. Now is the time to offer real value. Your customers are, virtually without exception, looking to meet their needs and lower their costs. What about free shipping? What about free, no-contact local delivery? It’s all about building customer trust and offering personal, value service.
E-Commerce: Take It Online
If your business has always been a traditional Syracuse brick-and-mortar type business, now is the time to step up and take it online. For proof, you have to look no further than Amazon to realize that online sales are phenomenally successful and with people staying away from public places, online shopping is extremely attractive.
While you’re getting your ecommerce website designed and running, make sure you are also utilizing small business online marketing tools to their fullest advantage. They can boost your website’s visibility and provide you with valuable customer interest insights. Remember, Google Analytics, among other online tools, can be not only your friend, but a real eye-opener and business saver.
If you’ve never had the opportunity to build an online eCommerce website store, you might be tempted to try to create it from scratch just to save money, but without web development experience and understanding of how search engine optimization works, you may end up creating something that doesn’t work the way it is intended to (why doesn’t my payment processing work?), but you may very well find that it is virtually invisible, thereby being an albatross around your neck that generates no sales whatsoever.
With small business significantly switching to online sales, it’s more important than ever that your website works, and stands out right from the start. Now is not the time to learn about ecommerce by trial and error, and loose valuable time and revenue in the process. Instead, invest in professional ecommerce website design services by an experienced development partner. Then instead of being stuck with a website that you’ll need to fix and fix again, you’ll be able to focus on building your online ecommerce business so that down the road, it is a real asset and compliments your physical store moving forward.
Messaging: Digital Marketing and Covid-19
In the era of Covid-19, Syracuse and Central New York consumers are by and large fearful, being bombarded constantly with negativity. Make sure your marketing does not add to their sense of helplessness and fearfulness. Concentrate on positive, upbeat messaging. Make sure your marketing and messaging is consistently positive, relevant, and empathetic, and conveys your awareness of the struggles your customers and client are facing.
Finally, do what you should have always been doing right from the first day you opened your doors for local Syracuse business: let your customers know that you care about them and that you are here to help them. Even if your products and services are just “comfort for the soul” and not essential to their lives, they can still fill a need and help customers feel better about themselves and their lives. whether it’s building a new deck on the back of your house, or a buying a new piece of equipment for your model train set in the basement. Make sure your customers know, understand, and ultimately appreciate that you are here to be by their side through these difficult times, and all the months and years ahead.
We encourage you to contact our Syracuse ecommerce web design and digital marketing team today to discuss how best to reimagine and reinvent your marketing online presence.