The way we shop and the way we work has changed.
Understanding the COVID Customer
Understanding the Changing Customer to Future-Proof Your Business
The stay-at-home mandate effectively made the globe come to a halt. But spending didn’t completely stop either, it only changed. People want their orders to be delivered same-day. Mobile apps are the next online stores. People’s spending habits have shifted, and so local businesses must evolve.
We are all in the same boat, and digital marketing will be taking priority over some traditional methods of advertising. Local businesses, especially small businesses, have been disproportionally affected by the virus outbreak.
More than one in five small businesses (22%) say they are two months or less from closing permanently.US Chamber – Small Business Coronavirus Impact Poll
E-Commerce Trending Way Up
E-commerce sales have grown in 5.9% total sales. Amazon has seen a 26% increase in year-over-year net sales. Walmart has experienced a 74% growth in e-commerce sales. 70% of UPS deliveries were residential.
All of this growth is not just the massive retailers, like Amazon. Shopify sales are up 62%, and this is the effort local businesses must make in order to compete with the big names. E-commerce plug-ins can be installed online, and it can take just an hour for local businesses to integrate it to their own websites. Tremendous success can be gathered from online sales, and local businesses aren’t limited by foot traffic for sales.
In times of change, there is opportunity.
Customer needs have changed dramatically. If you as a business are able to meet those needs, people will want to support their local communities. The options to shop locally must be made more available; investing in e-commerce options such as Shopify or Facebook Shop is the future of business marketing.
Examples of Adaptation
1. Car companies are offering virtual test drives.
2. Eateries and restaurants are launching or prioritizing mobile apps for customers to order, and pick-up without human interaction.
3. Business App provides local businesses with a set of free tools to digitally interact with their customer base.
For small businesses right now, it’s important to build trust. Not only should businesses have well-designed websites with e-commerce plug-ins, but the business must be found on google or other search engines.
Learn more about Search Engine Optimization.
Not only does an online presence require a website with SEO, it also requires social media in order to build reputation and branding. This is a unified effort to build loyalty in customers, and it is the foundation for added advertising to find new customers.
Once all of this is in place, businesses must nurture it all in order to survive.
For B2C small businesses, the growth model has shifted. Now, the product is presented to customers first, and conversion happens just before in-product engagement.
Transactions made online is a capability that every small business should conquer. Consumers will keep their new habits, regardless if COVID continues to make a heavy impact in our lives.
B2B Communication Strategies
Evolve your small business for the new normal.
E-Commerce is king after the pandemic. This is true for B2C businesses, and even B2B businesses. Regardless of who your customer base is, the most important aspect of marketing is thinking: what are the behaviors of my customer? We go over more in depth how to target business owners here.
Written by Victoria Zade