While franchise retailers with online eCommerce capabilities may have better chances to survive, or even thrive, during the COVID-19 pandemic, many independent and traditional “brick and mortar” businesses which have been forced to closed are facing uncertain futures.
Now is the time to get creative
If your independent retail business has the ability to order by phone or via social media messaging and can deliver, either by post, pickup or drop off, consider utilizing your existing social media channels focusing on one “themed” product. First, consider your “best and most likely customer”. Who are they? How are they spending their days?
Choose your product, keeping in mind that you need to satisfy your “best and most likely customers’” current need or want.
Remember, you are not alone.
With so many communities “coming together” and a resurgence in “shop local” campaigns, now may be a great time to reach out to other independent retailers in your community to learn if there are opportunities to “package” your products or services together.
If a local business has a “service-only” operation, perhaps a gift card for future use, combined with a phone or video consultation (which relates to your business!) is an ideal offering.
Whether you choose to take initiative on your own, or if combining your offering with other local businesses, be sure to establish expectations immediately, such as:
- The best time to call or order and response or wait times (We are able to reply to messages Monday to Friday from 10am until 4pm. Our goal is to respond to all inquiries within one hour.)
- Availability of product (We have 5 available, first come, first served!)
- Turnaround time (We will have your order ready within one business day.)
- Delivery, drop off or pick up options (Please let us know your desired method of delivery, we have three options available.)
- Payment options (We are able to accept cash or eTransfers.)
- Explain your commitment to keeping your employees and customers safe (We accept eTransfers and offer contact-less drop offs to your home or business on Tuesdays and Thursdays.)
Harness technology and utilize your social media and existing email marketing lists
- Create informative (even if “home-made!) videos, remembering to speak to your best and most likely customers in their language.
- Use images and descriptions to demonstrates the features and benefits of your product.
- Share the expectations you’ve established.
Finally, we’d like to hear how your traditional, independent brick and mortar business is succeeding during this time. Please drop us an email or leave a comment on creative offerings or methods you’re using to reach your customers.