With virtually the entire world in lockdown thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is fair to say that shopping habits are changing at an incredibly fast rate.
One of the biggest issues facing businesses right now is that consumers are still unsure about what they can and cannot buy.
Frequently asked questions range from “Are you still open for business?”, “How long is delivery currently taking?”, and “How long do I have to return my unwanted goods?”
These are all very important questions and if customers are unable to find a clear answer online, the risk is that they will simply choose not to purchase.
So, if your business is struggling during this period and you need to get more sales through the door, we have got some helpful tips on how to clearly show that you’re still open for business.
Clear communication can not only help boost your revenue, it can also reduce the volume of queries being funnelled through your customer service channels – allowing you to spend your precious time and resources where they are needed the most.
1. Create a web page or blog post communicating that you are open for business
If you haven’t done so already, create a blog post or dedicated web page communicating that you are still open for business, detailing the steps you are taking as a business in order to keep staff and customers safe.
We have previously written about the SEO value of regular blog posts on your website.
Keep your tone of voice friendly and reassuring and aim to make the messaging clear, concise and easy to scan. This ensures that nothing is left unanswered.
Use this page to communicate if you have had to scale back any of your services.
And be clear about setting expectations, such as extended delivery times or a longer wait time for emails and telephone calls to be answered.
Offering a note from your CEO or Managing Director can be a nice personal touch: in today’s uncertain world, it may mean a lot to your loyal customers who are looking for some reassurance and direction.
However, a word of caution: don’t overdo it! Your customers want to know how they can continue to buy from you, rather than receive yet another well intended letter of concern asking how they are coping with Covid-19.
2. Signpost your service offering throughout your website
Once you have your dedicated web page or blog post communicating that you are still open for business set up, link to it from various places on your website.
Placing a link at the top of all key web pages can help because your customers will see it wherever they land on your site. It is important to remember that not all customers will enter your website through your homepage.
There are various ways you in which to create this link. You might wish to add a banner to the top of each page, summarising your message while including a link to your page to find out more. This is probably the least distracting way to approach the delivery.
You could also use a pop-up message that opens when a customer lands on your site. Whilst clear, pop ups can also be disruptive (and irritating) to the customer journey.
Finally, you could pop a link to this new information on your navigational menu.
Ultimately, which one you choose will depend on your design preferences and what works for your brand.
Another useful tactic is to pin a short version of your Covid-19 statement across your social media channels so that when customers visit, they can see your current business availability straight away.
3. Update Google My Business
If you have a Google My Business account, check that all your contact details are still correct.
If you need to update your telephone number because you are not in the office, you can make temporary changes that customers will see when they search for your business on Google. You can also set your new opening hours and even change your business name if you need to.
Google is also now allowing businesses to write a short message. This is a great space to update your customers on any changes to your service proposition.
The same goes for social media too. When you update Google My Business, make sure you update your social channels with the same information.
If you don’t have a Google My Business account, now is the perfect time to create one. New registrations are taking a bit longer to set up while Google is working to a reduced capacity.
However, stick with the process as it is a great way to keep your business details up to date for Google searchers, both now and in the future.
4. Offer an incentive to drive visits and engagement
Now is a great time to offer a promotion or some kind of voucher to your customers, that they can use against any future purchase. This keeps your audience engaged as well as encouraging them to complete their purchase.
The market is currently discount heavy and maintaining a full price business is tricky while the population is mindful of how much cash they have to spend. Therefore, offering an incentive may help you stand out amongst your competitors while encouraging customers to convert.
You could also run a competition to win a product or service that customers could redeem once you re-open to full capacity – for example, a stay in a holiday cottage. This is a great way to engage people on social media and remind them whilst they may not be able to access your products right now, you nevertheless remain in business.
Of course, right now you will be wanting to keep costs low too. Therefore, your incentive doesn’t have to be financial. Anything that puts a smile on your customers’ face will have an impact, so have a think about what your brand can offer without incurring any extra costs.
5. Update your marketing emails with up to date information
Insight from BounceX suggests that as of 14th April, email open rates are up 40% from before the Covid-19 crisis.
Perhaps because they have more time on their hands, more people are currently engaging with emails. So make sure you fill them with content that is relevant, on brand, and hits the needs of your customer in this very moment.
When creating your emails, make sure all your details are completely updated on your headers and footers. And if time and resource allows, it’s a good idea to create an up-to-date service banner that you can put on the top of your emails. This will be the first thing your customer reads. For best practice, link it to your Covid-19 update page so they can access all the information they need to make their purchasing decision.
Clothing brand Boden does a brilliant job of this on all their marketing emails to really reinforce their service message:
Research suggests that Tuesday is the best day to send a marketing email, but do some testing to see what works best for your brand. While consumers are seemingly fully engaged with content at the moment, there’s a wealth of opportunity to try something new, giving you learnings you’ll be able to use for the future.
Looking for support for your business during Covid-19?
We have previously written about how to communicate with your customer during Covid-19, in a blog post packed with useful information on how to create a marketing strategy that converts.
But if there is any aspect of managing your business online during Covid-19 that you would like a hand with, please do not hesitate to get in touch with The Content Marketing Team.