eCommerce and Staying Open for Business

Retailers and brands are feeling the impact of COVID-19 as the environment of how people move, interact and generally get on with day-to-day life has changed, literally overnight. Physical storefronts are closing doors, malls are emptying and there’s no timeline as to when that open for business sign will be turned around on the front door. If you’ve no ability to sell online and rely on that door, or if you do, and need to ensure you are maximising your digital storefront, we’ve put together a few very simple guidelines to help. Make Stock Available Online If you don’t sell online, move fast. If you want to just set-up a shop then the likes of Shopify, Squarespace and Wix will get you started quickly. If you want to align your point of sale system with an e-commerce site then Airpos do this, the stock in-store is the same as the stock online. If you are heavily into Instagram then consider switching to a professional account and using a Facebook store to sell on Instagram is a simple solution. Choose a Site Reflective of your Brand As you do with your physical store, ensure your tone of voice, branding, typeface, imagery and layout is in tune with your brand. The above sites have a variety of ready-made templates that are actually quite good – just ensure you are as close as you can be to your brand values and you don’t clutter the page. Remember, simplicity, clarity and relevance are the key principles here. Be Sociable If you’re still open for business, then tell the world you're still open for business, it’s just that the rules on how you interact have changed a bit. Technology brings retailer-to-customer interaction closer together. Every retailer has a sweet spot of their audience on social media. You must have a presence now. For some, it’s Instagram, for others Facebook works. Twitter is still the best broadcast media in our opinion. Test, re-test, and test again. Test 10 audiences on each product, so you know where to invest your energy. “When you knock it out of the park with a successful ad, replicate it, but scale incrementally to ensure you’re staying targeted.” We suggest increasing ad spend 20 percent per day, not 500 percent. Language is Really Important Right Now When building campaigns, it’s also vital to use language that’s shareable and creative, with a clear understanding of what consumers would be going through at this time. Endorsement is more important now than ever. Consumers have less energy to truly “shop around” so ensure you give those that buy from you, the ability to share their experience with others. Try incorporating a quantity incentive: if you buy one, it’s full price; if you buy two, it’s 50 percent off and so forth. And pass it on to a friend. Creating an email list is also vital. Email campaigns have a higher conversion rate than cold Facebook campaigns, and you can incentivise email campaigns with rewards. Sell Gift Vouchers Once again not everyone does this, if not then now’s a good time to start. Even better to make them available online or via email. There are an army of shoppers who still want to support local businesses during this enforced downtime. They want to stay loyal to the brands they love, and this is not always the big names, the small retailers matter just as much. Be Supportive Support your ecosystem and redeploy your displaced store staff to enhance phone support or provide guided personal shopping experiences for your customers.