by Heather Redding
With COVID-19 and lockdowns around the world, retailers are being hit harder than other business owners. Whether your store is closed due to mandates or lack of foot traffic, you need to adjust your strategy going forward.
Customers are more timid than ever about venturing out in public and going into stores. To mitigate this, you can implement helpful strategies to stay connected with them during the lockdown. That way, you can strengthen your relationship and keep your brand top of mind when they’re ready to go shopping again. Here are 4 great ways independent retailers can stay connected with customers in lockdown.
Offer Home Delivery
The rise of online shopping has conditioned consumers to be more comfortable with the concept. Your customers likely already use Amazon, Uber Eats, and other services to purchase products on the web. If you don’t offer home delivery, now is the time to start. Set yourself apart with “contact-free delivery” and other safe methods that make customers feel more protected from the risk of COVID-19.
Create a Web Shop
Even if most of your revenue has come from in-store visits, it’s time to embrace the web. Online shopping is predicted to surpass $4 trillion in 2020 alone. Of course, with Coronavirus in full swing, your customers are more likely to choose the online option for the foreseeable future.
Not having a solid website and payment portal to take digital orders is leaving a huge portion of potential sales on the table. Luckily, sites like Wix, WordPress, and Squarespace make it easier than ever for retail business owners to create an online store.
Create Great Content
Once you have a website in place, your ecommerce journey is still not done yet. It is no longer enough to simply put up your site and hope that “they will come.” Actively create compelling content around your brand that speaks to your target market. This can come in the form of social media posts, in-depth product descriptions, excellent photos, and engaging video content to showcase your products.
Create an App
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. If a competitor has an easy-to-use app that is just a few taps away, customers are more likely to use it. The good news about creating an app is that it allows you to control the messaging, branding, promotions, and customer service you provide to your market. You can stay connected and adjust to changing consumer demands in real-time.
Best of all, you don’t need an entire IT team to build an app. You can outsource it to experienced companies and freelancers so you can focus on what you do best.
With the rise of digital shopping due to COVID-19, you already have your work cut out for you as a retailer. But now, you need the right tactics and strategies to maintain your connection with your market more than ever. With worldwide lockdowns, you need to get creative with your branding, messaging, and customer communication. That way, you can grow your business even in times of economic downturn.