This is my twelfth official day of social distancing. Twelve days of video calling, online meetings, a deep yearning for cappuccinos (the real deal) and mobile shopping. I’m used to staying at home even with a baby in tow but not for such a long stretch of time 😞
In the past weeks, we have seen a general shift to online buying. Internet traffic spiked as more people resort to staying at home, working from home and distancing themselves from others*.
Think about it. We already spent a considerable amount of time on social media, pre-COVID-19. Everywhere you turned, people were on their phones. If people are spending more time indoors, chances are, they’re spending even more time online. Now more than ever.
Consumers have more time to invest in online research and browsing. They google, they follow local micro-influencers, and more often than not, they pose questions in Facebook groups to weigh their options before purchasing.
“Are there any supermarkets delivering before April?”
“From where can I buy toys for kids online?”
The doors to many businesses have been temporarily closed. At this stage, no one knows for how long. So, LISTEN UP 📣 In no way is this the time to disappear from social media. On the contrary, turn this unfortunate situation into an opportunity to get creative and step up your game.
Restaurant owners decided to introduce and reinforce take away and free delivery. Wine importer? True, the flow of orders from restaurants and bars has inevitably come to a halt. Why not connect directly with people staying at home? Introduce deliveries. If you do not have the capacity or riders, sign up with a local delivery service.
“One of the few good things that came of this: Delivery.”
How many times have you read this on your Facebook timeline or thought about it yourself even?
During mobile marketing sessions I had carried out (in collab with the Malta Communications Authority), I always asked for a show of hands. Who shops online, who makes a purchase from their mobile device? This was a couple of years ago. I was surprised at the few hands raised. Then again, the sessions were targeted at small business owners who wanted to expand their digital marketing knowledge.
🔵 Businesses – if you haven’t already, get working on a plan. Think. How do people search online? Where is your audience – Instagram, Facebook, TikTok?
Online presence is essential in this day and age. Be in social media groups, follow trends, keep up. If this is too much for you to handle, find someone who can. But please find someone who knows what s/he is doing.
🔵 The big question is: What will happen after this? What repercussions, if any, will this have on your business? Change, albeit terrifying, can be beneficial. As in this scenario.
Business-permitting, consider having an e-shop. If money-wise this is not the ideal time to invest in revamping (or creating) your website and introduce an e-commerce platform, you can always take it to Facebook for the time being. You can take orders via messenger or Whatsapp. However, be prepared. Post-COVID-19, things will be different.
If nothing, the COVID-19 pandemic has urged people to take it up a notch and go digital. Remember, if people at home are happy with the service, they might keep at it. How convenient is it for consumers to order things online and have them delivered straight to their door? Not sure about this? Ask them. The easiest way to conduct a quick survey is to ask your clients directly and see for yourself what they think.
One last thing, help local businesses. As a freelancer, I know first-hand how hard things can get during times like these. If you need help setting up, let’s start a conversation 💬
Meanwhile, stay safe!