During times of crisis, we're faced with two choices, panic or prosper. If you're currently panicking in the face of the current COVID-19 pandemic, you still have time to switch to a state of flourishing.
Most people are panicked, as these times are fraught with uncertainty, fortunately, despite customers not coming in, with your orders dwindling, you can still generate sales to provide much-needed cash flow now. Let's explore some strategies that you can implement with immediate effect.
1. Pre-sell gift vouchers.
It's a smart decision and one that we've seen from many brands to offer people at home an incentive to purchase gift vouchers which they can use at a later time. Not only does this generate cash flow, which is vital, but it effectively ensures that your customers come back to your store when the lockdown is over. However, don't just push gift vouchers as this only benefits you. You need to provide an incentive for your customer to purchase a gift voucher they otherwise might not need right now. Offer your gift vouchers at a discounted rate. For instance, many E-commerce sites are offering coupons at discounted prices. You'll pay R200 and receive an R300 store value.
2. Offer contactless and transparent delivery.
If you run a restaurant, instead of only offering takeout, consider offering transparent and contactless delivery. Consider setting up a webcam in the kitchen where your meals are prepared so your customers can put their minds at ease by viewing the safety and cleanliness measures you've put in place. You could even use Facebook Live as a way to broadcast and effectively kill two birds with one stone, by increasing engagement on your social platforms. For delivery, many apps like Uber Eats have started offering contactless delivery. Customers can select to have their takeout dropped at the door instead of making contact and risking contamination.
For added marketing buzz, consider adding special incentives for deliveries during these times. Perhaps when customers order dinner for delivery, they're eligible for a second free delivery or meal or discount the next time they order from your establishment.
3. Start A Facebook or Instagram Live program.
People who are stuck indoors right now are definitely yearning for connection and community. Reach out to your audiences with a free video series using Facebook Live or Instagram Live. Connect with your people via daily or weekly programs and offer insights, updates, trivia, contests etc. There's no need to be perfect or have expensive equipment. People are glued to their phones, so we advise just being yourself. Be authentic. Be engaging. Consider a quiz or a contest. If you make it fun, informative and engaging the consumers will appreciate your efforts.
4. Paid video programs.
As people are stuck indoors, there are several new ways to make money with your expertise. Perhaps you're in the food and beverage industry? You could offer a paid and interactive class where you could teach your customers how to make their favourites dishes from your restaurant.
The most successful brands in history are often the ones who came out guns blazing from times of trouble because they didn't replicate what everyone else was doing and became resourceful. Consider this, with whatever online offerings you decide to implement.