As uncertainty over coronavirus continues to grow, consumers are taking their precautions about shopping in public places and are using online shopping as a means of getting necessities.
So it goes without saying that consumer shopping habits are shifting during this period and retailers should strategize how to better accommodate their customers in this time of uncertainty.
Communication is critical, more so than ever before. For businesses, it has become almost mandatory to show social responsibility to their communities and most importantly find the right tone when engaging: staying human.
Here are tips that can help you smartly navigate your business through this turbulence:
1- Highlight the focus on shifting online
Take advantage of the social media platforms available and reach out to your customers.
Viewing the uncertain times, inform them about the shift from in-store shopping to your online platform. Always use an empathetic tone and make them feel that you are sharing the same experiences and feelings.
Adidas used this key marketing tool and reassured its customers with a social media post explaining the measures they are taking to curb the spread of the Covid-19.
2- Offer your customers free shipping
Many marketers believe that there is a relationship between customer retention (or customer loyalty) and offering free shipping.
Free shipping motivates purchases from potential customers, improves competitiveness, increases conversion rates and eliminates shopping cart abandonment.
In a time where fear is the predominant factor, consider using this tool to encourage your customers to stay indoors and help save your business.
Offering free shipping will boost your customers’ spirits when shopping and will also give you a competitive edge.
In this heartfelt message, Mulberry & Me, a fashion clothing retailer, informed their community on their retail store closure and offered free shipping services to encourage their customers to continue shopping.
They used an empathetic tone to highlight that they are “in this together” and this is the time to support each other. They are focusing on building relationships with their customers while saving their business.
3- Highlight the precautions you are taking!
As an attempt to actively slow down the spread of CoVid-19 and drive growth at your online shop, inform your community about the precautions you’re taking to ensure a safe and healthy process.
Comfort your customers that your services are abiding by the health guidelines required. This will reassure your clients and encourage them to order from your store.
Wakilni posted a series of posts informing their customers about their updated delivery process.
On their social media accounts hey included:
- Checking body temperature every morning and evening
- Wearing masks when handling packages and delivering to clients
- Sanitizing hands with an alcohol-based solution before and after every delivery
- Most importantly washing hands with soap and water on a regular basis” – Wakilni
Customers and followers are now put at ease that this is a company that cares about their safety and their clients’ safety above all.
4- Activate & promote your online payment gateway
To take it a step further, ensure a contact-less delivery at checkout and don’t let your customers worry about having to pay in cash.
They should know that you are always trying to meet their needs even in such circumstances.
Tip: For a contact-less delivery process: You can safely continue to support your community and instruct the drivers to call/text when they arrive and have them drop the packages at the front door instead of handing them over.
Toters reminded their customers of the advantage of the online payment feature in order to avoid cash on delivery.
5- Offer your customers discounts & giveaways.
Now is the time to incorporate discounts into your strategies.
Turn a challenge into an opportunity and nurture your relationship with your customers.
Offer them discounts and giveaways on your products or services to drive their loyalty during these hard times.
As a bonus, take advantage of the upcoming events (i.e: mother’s day) and offer them a discount package. This will serve as a positive distraction from the daily stress we are all going through.
WSPR is offering a 10% discount for mother’s day. Using this strategy, they vied for their customer’s attention competing with competitors, not just on price but brand too.
So, one way to stand out is to use promotions that make your customers feel good.
6- Train your team to meet the health guidelines
As a business owner, you have a responsibility towards yourself, customers and employees.
This is why you should train your community and shed light on the importance of taking all the precautionary measurements regarding the outbreak.
Source: Zomato Email
Zomato took the initiative upon themselves to train their employees and ensure a healthy and safe environment.
In addition, they informed their customers on the importance of raising the right awareness and assured them about the lengths they are willing to take to provide a safe process.
In conclusion, transparency is key. When it comes to coronavirus, proactively addressing customer frustrations and fears, will support your brand’s reputation and encourage customer loyalty.
Also, whether it’s through social media, emails, or SMS, don’t forget to maintain frequent communication with your community in order to show that you are updated and swiftly adapting to how things are evolving.
Ecomz is an award-winning ecommerce platform driven by a passionate team of experts and innovators in the world of ecommerce and backed by institutional investors such as the World Bank and leading VCs in the region. It is powered by advanced store-builder capabilities, aesthetical CX-focused themes, a comprehensive suite of AI and machine learning-powered tools, in addition to innovative multichannel integrations. It provides its clients with unparalleled local support and guidance focusing on a professional, transparent and growth-driven approach.
Ecomz operates in more than 55 countries, serving more than 7,000 merchants helping them generate over $50M in sales. Named 2018 Top 5 B2B website by Seamless Conference, 2017 Top 10 Business by ArabNet, Ecomz has also been recognized by Google, Disrupt San Francisco (TechCrunch) and MIT Silicon Valley Program for its achievements and has been awarded by the 2018 Touch Innovation Program (TIP) and BLC Bank’s 2018 Brilliant Lebanese Award (BLA).