Planning for Your Brand’s Growth Amidst a Pandemic
As the coronavirus, unfortunately, continues on for the majority of the word, it’s safe to say that we're living in a new normal in that everything we do relies on being connected digitally. Gone are the days when you could easily walk out the door, jump in your car and head down to your favorite store to grab what you need. Recent studies have shown that 58 percent of consumers have already bought more goods online than usual. Retailers and brands are beginning to recognize this as an opportunity to reinvent their digital strategies, letting consumers know that they may not be able to meet their demands physically, but are working hard digitally to keep consumers happy and their brand afloat. As this pandemic continues and more brands double down on their online strategies, it's crucial that brands step out from the crowd. Putting consumers first and taking calculated, well-planned risks will pay you back huge dividends.
Implement Different Solutions to Give Consumers Peace of Mind
During times like this, not all consumers will have the ability to make purchases outright. Everyone’s pockets are tight, and brands need to be sympathetic to that. Implementing a program that allows consumers to finance their purchases will show that the merchant is understanding of their situation, but still wants them to be able to enjoy their purchase. Allowing people to pay over time gives them the flexibility they need to keep more cash on hand for emergencies or savings. Another solution which benefits merchants and their customers is to offer consumers the ability to purchase extended warranties. Nowadays, purchases of headphones, computer peripherals, and other electronics are all on the rise because the majority of businesses around the world are working from home. Offering customers extended warranties and protection plans allow consumers the peace of mind that, should something happen to their product, it's protected and their money hasn’t gone down the drain.
Giving consumers an incentive to purchase now is another great way to stand out from the crowd and keep consumers interested in what you offer. This may be in the form of creating limited-edition colors, products or designs if retailers have the resources and means to do so during these trying times. These products can then be marketed at reasonable price points to show consumers that they're actively working on projects, rather than looking at ways to get rid of inventory. Putting products on sale will demonstrate to customers that you care and want their business — both now and in the future. These solutions give consumers the comfort and security they need in order to make smart spending decisions for themselves and their household.
Keep an Open Dialogue With Consumers
With brick-and-mortar stores closing, brands are experiencing a decrease in revenue. How long the pandemic will last is unknown, but one thing brands can do during these trying times is to create an open dialogue with consumers. Being transparent with consumers and letting them know that you need their support during this time so that you can focus on supporting employees who have also been affected by this situation will go a long way. Consumers are particularly interested in what retailers and brands are doing for communities, and are openly expressing their concerns. For example, the U.S. is experiencing a shortage of medical-grade masks, and if a brand can create special products and then donate them to healthcare workers, it will go a long way. Actions like this show that your brand is focused on the bigger picture, and not just interested in making money.
Transparency with consumers will go a long way. As more consumers are making purchases online, it's critical that merchants let their customers know if there will be delays in delivery. Merchants should also implement quantity limits on certain essential items to minimize the risk that some consumers are left out. Taking the time to overcommunicate with consumers will send a real message that you care, are part of the global community, and are trying to manage this situation as well as possible — just like everyone else.
Stay home, stay healthy, and stay safe.