Tag : coronavirus

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Take your biz online_pandemic tips for small biz

Business Protection: Getting Your Business Online

In uncertain times, one thing remains constant – people will rely on the internet to continue to support their most favorite brands and businesses. While your brick and mortar location will always remain important to your company’s success, one way to ensure you will never miss out in times of local closures is to move your business online.

This task may seem daunting, but with a well laid out plan and the right resources it can be a simple way to make all the difference in revenue. Let’s get some of those plans laid out for you now with a list of ways you can easily get your online business started.

Create an Ecommerce Website

With an expected 2 + billion digital buyers in the world in 2020, creating an Ecommerce site is more crucial now, than ever before. There are a few things to consider when beginning the design of your site that will set you up for success in the long run. Firstly, make sure your site is clean, easy to navigate and effective. The easiest action a consumer can take is to click out of your website and onto another. Make sure customer experience is top of mind. Adding functions like a search bar to locate specific products, focusing on detailed product descriptions to ensure the buyer is more confident in their purchase and plenty of high quality photos are all very important. Next, the site should reflect your brand. When a consumer visits your site, it should be an extension of your physical location by matching in store branding, aesthetics, products and experience. Doing this will create a sense of trust and reputability and turn into conversions. Nice additions like one click contact buttons and easy to access customer service options always impress consumers and ensure retention.

Use Additional Platforms

While having an ecommerce site gives you a leg up on the competition, there are 3rd party sites like Amazon and E-Bay that allow you to create stores and sell on their websites too. Adding your products there, in addition to your ecommerce site, can, in some cases, double your online revenue. Each month more than 197 million people around the world get on their devices and visit Amazon. Selling through 3rd party vendors will allow you to choose specific inventory, upload your own images and product descriptions and process your orders daily. Having a big name behind you like Amazon can boost sales and build your online reputation to consumers who may not know of your brand locally. Not selling a product? Create an ecommerce store to create deferred demand with gift cards that can be used at a later date.

Utilize Social Selling

Another ever growing and great option for selling products online are social media sites like Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook. Make your posts on Instagram shoppable and promote and link all products in one organized space. With a whopping 1 billion people using Instagram every month, can you afford to not sell on this high traffic area?

Not selling a physical product? Ensure your website is optimized to sell gift cards to create deferred demand. This is vital to the service industry like restaurants, hair salons and more. Creating these deferred demands create immediate revenue that ca be redeemed at a later date.

Market and Promote Your Online Business

Just like every other aspect of your business, you will need to make sure you are marketing your online business properly. If no one knows of your new website, or places to purchase your products/service online, this portion of the business will remain idle. Place the links to your site everywhere you can! Start with daily social media posts. Place the direct link the bio of your business pages on Facebook and Instagram. Print the link on your in store receipts, send out e-mail blasts to your loyal brick and mortar customers and even on your store front windows. The more it’s out there, the more traffic to your site and the more conversions.

It’s always nerve racking to start something new but we’re here to help! If you want to get your business online and ensure you’re never closed for shopping, contact the Social Thrive team today!

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How Your Business Can Survive Coronavirus, the COVID-19 health crisis

How Your Business Can Survive Coronavirus, the COVID-19 health crisis

With so much uncertainty around business as COVID-19 continues to control our daily lives, it can seem like a difficult time to make progress. We’ve already talked about Marketing Your Brand Through a Crisis, and now we’re focusing on the action items.

How can businesses continue to survive and thrive under quarantine?

Review Relief Resources

A lot of businesses are hurting and there are several relief offerings being administered by major companies and the government. Free Google Ads credits, Facebook’s 100MM grant, or turning your Yelp page into a donations center via the GoFundMe x Yelp partnership are things you may need to take advantage of right now to stay afloat. If you are trying to build a content/creative arsenal now for when you open back up – turn to free video software via Mark Cuban & Spectrum! More importantly, SBA.gov COVID-19 page has all of the latest information for the different aid you can access as a small business owner.

Keep a Communication Flow

Though it seems simple, communication with customers is key. Let them know how they can continue supporting you. Use social media as a way to communicate how your business is responding to the rapidly changing measures in response to the situation. The “Question and Answer” feature on Instagram stories is a great way to maintain engagement and answer customer questions. Make sure to always include where your customers can continue supporting you, whether that be through an online store with a coupon code, takeout and delivery, or gift card purchases. The #buyagiftcard movement in Boston is a great example of this! If able, consumers want to help. Make it easy for them.

Support Your Community

Now more than ever, consumers are paying attention to how brands carry themselves and support their employees and community in the face of uncertainty. Think about how your business can be used to help those on the frontlines of this pandemic. Can you donate food to a hospital staff? Are you able to continue to provide salaries and benefits for your employees? Can you partner with local businesses to provide new value to customers who are suddenly forced to stay home? Step outside your business’ needs and focus instead on how you can use your resources to help alleviate society’s overall discomfort during this time. Your consumers are watching and will assess loyalty to your brand according to your behavior during a crisis.

Build Virtual Value

If all else fails, adapt to the changing times. People are stuck home, feigning boredom and fighting the urge to refresh social media outlets and news sources. Create value that can be accessed online. Let customers recreate a dining experience at home by sharing a signature recipe. Share tips for those working from home, anything from how best to manage your time to how to design a workspace that creates comfort and cultivates productivity. If you offer subscription services, perhaps offer a discounted rate to loyal customers to deter cancellations and keep cash flow moving. Utilizing Instagram and Facebook Live platforms to provide free services are a sure-fire way to retain customers during physical distancing and give them a reason to come back once these measures have been lifted.

If you haven’t had time in recent years to focus on your own business’ critical needs – now is the time to brush up! Hit your website and finally update that portfolio page! Refresh that business plan and give your business the care it needs during this time while you are limited to person-to-person interaction.

Look Inward

No one could have predicted the economic turmoil Coronavirus has caused. And maybe some of these tips aren’t feasible for your line of business, or do little to help your situation. Just like we’re all being encouraged to do on an individual basis, take this time to look inward. How can you pivot your business to cater to a world where quarantines and physical distancing is the norm? What will your business look like on the other end of this? How can you expect consumer tastes and needs to change in a post-COVID world? You may have not been able to prepare for this outbreak but you can prepare for the changes that are to come as a result of it.

Continuing to be a source of value and calm during these uncertain times will add to your brand’s overall value, even if that may not translate in dollars just yet. There’s always a way to appropriately stay relevant and Social Thrive is here to help you figure out what that means for you and your unique business needs. Here are other creative ways small businesses are still succeeding during the global health crisis from Fast Company. Please feel free to contact us if there’s any way we can assist.