How COVID-19 Changed How People Shop
In recent years, there was an obvious and steady trend (actually robust in some cases) for sales to originate from online platforms. With the advent of COVID-19 however, this trend rapidly accelerated, with online purchases quickly becoming the only potential source of sales revenues for countless businesses.
During the pre-pandemic era, many businesses that had a web presence (mainly as an afterthought), primarily focused on traditional foot traffic to support their operations. It was precisely this type of business that was very much caught off guard by the pandemic. While the loss from relying on traditional foot traffic is tragic, the good news is that there is another alternative available. This alternative not only allows businesses to reach out to their current customer base, for some, it also allows them to reach out to a whole new audience, perhaps even on a global scale.
When the dust finally settles and the pandemic begins to fade from memory, those organizations who took advantage of an alternate way of doing business will be uniquely poised to mitigate further risk, with a well-rounded business strategy consisting of a strong web presence, as well as their traditional storefront.
What the Web Offers Today
Expanded Websites — Before the pandemic, it wasn’t uncommon for a company website to list little more than their name, location, phone number, and store hours. After the onset of the pandemic, many of these establishments found their site was woefully inadequate to support a new way of doing business.
Fortunately, it is possible for many of these companies to expand their site and begin to offer the actual sale of their products through an e-commerce platform. Not only is this beneficial for their local customer base, over time, it may help expand a company’s reach to serve even a global audience.
Social Media — Popular sites such as Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram provide businesses with an easy, inexpensive format in which to visually highlight their products and/or services. They also provide easy avenues for businesses to interact with customers whether it’s to say “thank you” for a compliment they received from a satisfied customer, or to answer inquiries from an interested party. These types of sites also allow businesses to promote interest-generating activities such as an upcoming sale or a product give-away for a lucky winner.
Video — Some individuals prefer to receive their information primarily through a video format. For these people, their go-to sites for information centre around sites such YouTube, Dailymotion, or Vimeo. Businesses who decide to set up their own channel on one of these sites have a unique opportunity to engage interested parties in a more subtle way. Savvy businesses see the value of offering helpful videos on how to use their products, or relaying some of their expertise related to the services they provide. Over time, people repeatedly come back to listen to those companies who are valuable sources of reliable, expert information. This type of outreach can help build a solid base of customer loyalty.
Online Advertising — Google Ads is another avenue that businesses can use help them reach their marketing goals, whether that means increasing traffic to their website, promoting brand awareness and reach, and/or increasing sales leads. Google Ads also makes it easy for interested customers to call a business with just a few simple clicks.
Google Ads features are available on both the Google search engine and Google Maps. The latter option is particularly helpful for businesses who are able to offer curbside pickup or take-out. When a customer locates a nearby business with the use of Google Maps and is able to easily follow through with a phone call in a couple of clicks, it makes completing a sale almost a seamless process.
Smart companies understand that now is actually the ideal time to expand their digital presence online and take advantage of the many marketing tools available online. Let Adaptive Marketing help your company make the transition from traditional to 2021 and beyond.