14 tips to
increase online sales in this Pandemic

How to Increase Online Sales in This Pandemic Situation!

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The brick and mortar businesses have been highly impacted by the lockdown but on the flip side of the coin, the online shops have gained a chance to grow.

The Internet has become the prime medium of connection for people and they’re heading towards online stores more than ever.

The results are in front of us. Amazon has made $75.6 billion of revenues in this first quarter of 2020 which is 26% more than that of the previous year, although this usually is the slowest period of the year for Amazon.

As Alexandria Keener from MGW has quoted –There has never been a better time to sell online

Here are a few ways that you can implement to increase your online sales in this pandemic situation –

Utilize Your Online Assets

The email list that you’ve built over the course of your business lifetime, now it’s the best time to utilize that to the fullest potential.

This is the time to ramp up communications to your target audiences. Send out helpful content, COVID-19 tips, social posts, broadcast emails, discount codes, sales notices, and anything and everything helpful to them and will keep your brand top of mind.

I know the time is hard for some people but others still have disposable income. So make sure you let them know that your business is open and they can still get their desired product.

Take me for example. I am a foodie and I’ve been craving for the foods I love but alas! Most of my favorite restaurants have prohibited dine-in facilities. 

I use foodpanda a lot here in Cyberjaya but it didn’t even come in my mind that it could still be open, only before they sent me a few emails letting me know how they’re offering touchless food delivery.

I was so pumped seeing that I can still get my favorite food delivered and that too, safely. You can already imagine how much food I’ve already ordered and this was the money foodpanda would’ve left on the table if they didn’t make me aware that they’re still open.

Add Extra Sales Channels

This foodpanda example led to the next tip, which is adding extra sales channels to your business. As I’m ordering food from foodpanda, are they the only party that’s making profits?

No, the restaurant is making money too.

Now, think that the restaurants were not on foodpanda, would they be still making the money?

Mostly no. Because most of the restaurants do not have a well put together online sales structure as Foodpanda, which includes an interactive website, a well-designed app, a large delivery chain, and most importantly, the recognition of being a food delivery system.

I don’t know your business niche but there could be such a well put together channel that you should be utilizing to the fullest.

Utilize the Power of Social Media

This probably is the peak time of social media. People are bored at home and they spend a major chunk of their day scrolling through their timeline. Now it’s your time so show up there frequently.

Increase your social media activity to the fullest. Share relatable content to your audience and influence them to engage. Sneak in a little bit of sales promotion here and there.

Schedule Facebook or Instagram live sessions and try to promote your product there. You may consider hiring a social media manager to utilize it the best way – it’s a smart investment at this time.

Change Your Marketing Angle

You need to put coronavirus into perspective when determining your marketing angle. Too complicated? Let me clear out with an example – 
Blue Light Kids is a company that sells children’s protective eyewear which dilutes blue light during their screen time. Now that schools are closed and online learning is going on, they’ve changed their sales pitch to something like this –

Isn’t that smart?

The takeaway is – Change your marketing angle in a way that tells people how your product can help them during this pandemic situation.

Adapt or Launch New Product

Make a few adjustments to your already existing product to meet the needs of the corona. For example, the fashion industry is going through a tough time now and those expensive fashionable clothes are not cutting it as people are not attending any events.

That’s why, Brian Lim, the CEO of iHeartRaves, a clothing brand, has put more focus on producing outfits like loungewear with their existing facilities.

You should do a similar tweak in your existing facilities as well.

On another thought, you could also launch products that go well with this situation and solve a current problem. As we were talking about the apparel industry, here’s an example –

I mean, yes, it’s a tough time but we need laughter too, right? 

Here are a few other examples –

Think of appropriately humorous or useful innovative products in your niche and just launch it.

Help Other Under the Name of Your Brand

Coronavirus has taken people’s life, made businesses close down and millions have lost their job. This is simply heartbreaking. We’re in this together and we need to help each other to recover from this.

For the bright side, the COVID-19 seems to spark generosity and appreciation around the globe.

I’m sure you also want to help from your side which I highly appreciate, but suggest doing it under your brand name instead of personal. But the purpose of helping should be genuine in the first place.

You could distribute sanitizers, masks, PPE, etc if you have access to them. You could supply food to needy people according to your capabilities.

At no cost, you could send useful tips, give regular updates, send out press releases, and do so on things, under your brand name. The exposure will result in click-throughs to your website.

Double Down on the Sales you Make

The rate of getting new customers is slow during this period. So you could try to upsell the existing ones, that will be way easier.

These people have already committed to making a purchase and they’re in a prime position to get sold to again.

To do that, you need to take a few actions. 

Try to upsell or cross-sell just after making the sale. You could promote other complementary products related to the one you just sold, on the product confirmation page.

Follow up harder than ever to ensure that the customer is happy with his/her purchase and sneak in with related products and services.

Since acquiring new customers can be tough, try to make as many post-purchase sales as possible.

Avoid Price Gouging at all means

Price gouging in the hope of more profit would be inhuman, and could be a threatening step to your business. This time will be over soon and people would remember if you had tried to take advantage of the situation and charge them a premium.

In a similar way, people would also remember if you cared about them in this crisis time by keeping the prices reasonable and they’ could become loyal customers of yours after all this is over.

The decision is yours, short-term or long-term?

I recommend reducing the prices where everyone is increasing it – this will help you stand out. Sure, the profit might be a little low, but this will pay off in the long term.

And you’ll probably generate more sales due to the price reduction, which will help to maintain the cash flow.

Grow the Blog

Sure you got a blog on your store and this is the time to grow it with the extra time you are getting. If you don’t, it’s time to create a knowledge-base in your store.

This will add value to your customers.

You probably know the pain points of your customer and the dilemmas that they face when they buy the products and services. You could write guides to help them choose the perfect option for their needs.

You could write about how to get the best performance out of that product and how to maintain it properly.

Basically, you’re an expert of the product and service you sell and you should spread the knowledge, which will add value to your target audience’s life. Send the posts to your email list as well.

Sure, that’s a great thing, but where’s the sale?

See how they inserted a link to their sales page in-between the article?

People often get interested in buying an awesome product that they’re reading about, and a link to that product at that moment could be golden.

Also, linking between the pages of your website has SEO benefits and it could rank you higher in the google search results, getting you some targeted, highly relevant, yet free traffic.

These people are interested in your product and they have a good chance of converting.

Win-win.

Improve Your Customer Care Service

Since the stores are off, the only media the customers can use to reach you is your customer care call number and social pages. So be active on both.

Consider making the communication in customers’ choice of medium, be that Facebook messages. Give equal priority to them, because in this time of crisis, any and every lead you get is crucial, so try to get the conversion rate higher by putting in the extra effort.

Consider making the customer care contact available a true 24*7, because this pandemic has ruined people’s sleep cycle and a lot of bored, late-night shoppers are being seen these days.

Focus more on Digital Marketing

Offline marketing is of no use at this time so digital is the option where you should put more effort and money. I believe businesses should be generally concerned about digital marketing coming in 2020, regardless of the crisis.

However, better late than never, businesses should put more effort and money into digital marketing. You could take the help of a professional firm like us to put together a proper digital marketing strategy for you for both the short and long term. 

After all, that’s the thing that will get you more sales during this time.

Improve Your Website

Just the way you care about the interior of your store, now it’s time to nitpick your website in every corner. After all, that’s your storefront for now.

Using a few better-quality images here and there, rewriting few product descriptions, updating a few pieces of information is a good start. You don’t need to spend a ton of money re-creating the whole website, just make tiny changes around all of it to make it more user friendly.

Researches tell that a user-friendly UX design can boost sales made by a website by a good margin.

Deliver Your Product to Doorstep

Delivering a product to your customer is a challenge now. People can not step out a foot out of their house so what they need right now is a proper doorstep delivery.

If you can ensure a potential buyer that his/her product will be delivered right at the doorstep and in a healthy, safe way, the dilemma he/she faces when about to order, will no longer be a deal-breaker.

You could partner up with a quality home delivery agency for this purpose or you could put up your own infrastructure, which could be expensive though.

Take Help of Social Influencers

Social influencers are now the big thing because they’re getting more attention than ever as people have nothing else to do. Why don’t you utilize that to boost your sales numbers?

A promotional Facebook or Instagram post by them or sponsoring a youtube video doesn’t cost much but could get you great exposure to your target audience.

Find out the most influential influencers in your niche and set up a deal for a subtle promotion and see how it goes. If it clicks, you could get a good amount of sales.

Final Thoughts

A lot has changed over a few months. People are losing their lives, economies are falling. It might seem a little selfish when you’re thinking about growing your business in such a situation.

But if you look deeply into it, you’ll understand just the way the virus is taking the life of so many people, the economic recession it’s creating will have an equally serious impact in people’s lives after the pandemic situation.

Business is done for life at the end of the day and I don’t think business owners should feel guilty trying to grow their business in ethical ways (those people that are manipulating the market and increasing prices unfairly are excluded from this list, they’re inhuman).

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