The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing all businesses, small and large, to undergo certain changes in order to survive. The temporary and permanent closures of brick-and-mortar shops and restaurants are challenging business to transition to digital.
However, experts suggest that this can also be a chance for businesses to re-calibrate, explore new opportunities, and reduce costs by over 60%.
1. Offer Delivery to Reach More Customers
Some businesses transformed the way they offer their products to customers who are limiting their exposure to other people. They’ve changed the preparation to make their products suitable for takeout or delivery. This isn’t happening only in the food industry. Home kits are also offered by arts and craft stores, fitness centers, toy makers, and many others.
Making your business delivery-friendly involves more than proper logistics. You should also make sure that the potential customers will be satisfied with the experience. Are your products suitable for being delivered and used/made at home?
Take this opportunity to establish a distribution channel that your competitors haven’t explored yet.
2. Put Up A Website
Space rental, maintenance, electricity, and other expenses related to having a physical office takes a huge dent of your budget. And this the perfect time to shift to an online store.
With limited possibility of potential customers walking past your business, investing on online presence is today’s best way to thrive. Depending on what you offer, you might find ways to make your business more internet-friendly. For example: a fitness gym can start offering online coaching, workout classes, and webinars on staying healthy for their house-bound clientele.
Of course, your website must be easy-to-navigate, attractive, and SEO-friendly to rank well on search engines. Many small businesses are able to tackle the COVID-19 challenges using email marketing that handled by a professional digital agency.
Aside from putting up a website, you must also update your social media profiles to make the market feel your presence more.
3. Accept Digital Payments
Since the hit of COVID-19 pandemic, the cashless payment rate in Australia has experienced a continuous spike. Data from MyState Bank shows that 68% of Australians preferring contactless payment systems since the pandemic outbreak. The heaviest contributor to this is the trend of avoiding cash and ATMs, which might be laden with microorganisms.
By accepting payments through digital wallets, such as PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay, you are catering to the hygiene concerns of a large clientele. If customers can see that you accept a digital payment, you’re increasing the chances of closing a sale. A highly-specialized professional digital agency can integrate a number of payment methods into your website.
Shane Perry, small business lender from Max Funding, says “In a time when people are limiting their contact to actual cash, a business might lose buyers to a competitor that offers more payment options, particularly through digital wallets.”
Adapting digital payment systems can save you from expenditures involved in manual handling, secure storage, and preparation for delivery to the bank.
4. Connect To Your Local Market
In this challenging time, consumers are more inclined towards businesses with a strong rapport with the local community. Showing support in whichever ways possible helps the vulnerable population and grow your network and brand identity at the same time.
If your business hasn’t been particularly popular before the pandemic, seize this moment to highlight your contribution to the community. Share how you’re adapting to the new normal and how you’re helping ease the burden of your local market. Because travel is still very limited, consumers are now more focused on their local choices. This is why many businesses are investing in local SEO these days.
Have you heard of clothing companies that have shifted to tailoring PPEs? Or brewers that started making sanitizers? Evaluate your assets and figure out how they can be used to provide the needs of your local community.
5. Assess Your Transportation Expenses
Now that your business has adapted to remote work, it’s time to reflect on all the transportation expenses you had in the past. Were you able to negotiate smoothly with a supplier who’s 5,000 miles away from you? Did you really need those short trips to neighboring states when you can certainly achieve goals using modern tools? The limited travel in the past few months should help you determine which travels are necessary and which are not.
Digital transition can also be challenging, especially if you’ve been using the brick-and-mortar system ever since. But there’s an easier way and that’s to hire a professional digital agency.