How to Manage your Online Business as Shoppers Head Back In-Stores
No one could have predicted just how much the pandemic would change the landscape of the world, let alone online entrepreneurship. Although many industries struggled, including in-person retail, ecommerce flourished. However, now that the world is exploring a sense of normalcy, getting back to in-person shopping & events, how do you prepare your online store for the next shift?
Focus on Convenience
The name of the game in ecommerce is all about convenience. In today’s fast-paced world where it seems everyone is working remotely, squeezing in online shopping is the norm.
Ecommerce entrepreneurs should think bigger about what convenience means for shoppers. Start by keeping your email updates, social media posts, & push notifications updated & relevant to the products & services your customers love most. Beyond keeping in touch with your audience, assess how convenient your online store really is. Can customers find products easily? Do you call out new items you just listed? Is your UX & UE strategy top-notch? The more you can think like your own customer, the more likely you are to exceed their expectations.
Offer Unique Experiences
In-store experiences are a major strength of brick & mortar stores looking to attract a loyal customer base. From wine tastings to cooking demos, physical stores are masters at providing unique experiences for their customers.
Ecommerce store owners can gather inspiration & create their own online experiences. Whether you’re showing people how to make the best charcuterie boards or how much dogs love your raw food treats, give your customers a reason to show up & buy.
Stay On Top of Current Trends
Whether the world is grappling with supply chain issues or no gas at the pumps, stay on top of the latest trends. Let your customers know they can still shop without getting into their cars or extend your sympathy to everyone trying to commute that day.
When it comes to supply chain issues, it’s also an opportunity to let customers know you’ve got it under control. Partner with CustomCat’s white-label, print-on-demand, & dropshipping services. We fulfill & ship everything out on behalf of your business so you can focus on other things than what’s going on with your inventory.
Offer On-Demand Customer Service
Even if you’re an avid online shopper, you’re likely to head to a store in person for the benefit of in-person advice on an item. Adding a phone number to your online store is one way to connect with customers but isn’t always practical. People shopping online don’t always want to talk to a live person or stop what they’re doing to hop on a call. Instead, leverage online chat tools or an active presence on Facebook or Instagram to answer all of your customers’ questions.
The on-demand customer service strategy is also a savvy way to keep your FAQs updated. Add the most frequently asked questions to your website or hop on TikTok & make a quick video where you answer customer questions while engaging with your audience.
Digital products, printables, & online courses give your customer instant gratification & convenience. You can still sell your usual round-up of physical products, but adding an instant download offers customers a greater sense of satisfaction that what they want is at their fingertips. Beyond how digital products benefit your customers, it also adds revenue streams to your online store.
Recruit the Experts
Despite the expansive reach digital platforms offer, retailers still aren’t taking advantage of content marketing strategies like video interviews & podcasts. For example, YouTube has more than 2 billion logged-in users consuming content every month! Making video or podcasts part of your ongoing content marketing strategy can make a powerful impact on your business.
Kick-off your new content journey by inviting your favorite brands & artisans to talk shop. Your current customers will have a reason to show up & engage, and you end up attracting a new consumer base eager to explore your offerings.
Personalize Your Business
There’s something to be said about walking into a store & the clerks saying hello and greeting you warmly. You can also leverage the power of personalization & give it a twist in your ecommerce business.
Add an online chat feature to instantly connect with shoppers who may have questions about your products. Sending a follow-up email to a purchase to find out if they enjoyed it is also a way to stand out from the competition. Or imagine thanking a customer by name for shopping & turning it into a reason to celebrate on Instagram or TikTok.
Introduce Flash Promotions
Flash sales are complex for brick-and-mortar stores to pull off & get customers in the door. People are too busy to leave their laptops or kids’ soccer games but are likely to browse their smartphones & jump on a flash sale at a moment’s notice.
Regularly update your email marketing efforts & social media strategy with ongoing promos & flash sales. Training your customers to expect the unexpected also keeps them checking in on your store to see the latest incentive this week.
Online brands & stores are masters at staying connected with their audience on social media. However, start thinking bigger than ongoing updates & posts. Host a Facebook Live or Q&A to connect directly with your customers. While brick-and-mortar shops are struggling to stay on top of shopping lulls or foot traffic influxes, you’re selling items online without missing a beat. You’ll be ahead of the trend in live commerce & fueling a buying frenzy.
Remember to combine your social media strategy with the power of ads. While you’re bringing in more customers & window shoppers on Facebook Live, your Facebook ads are also working in the background to entice old & new customers to come by your store & shop.
Celebrating the world getting back to normal doesn’t mean your ecommerce business needs to take a hit. Instead, focus on how to improve the customer experience & make online shopping a win. What about you? How are you handling your online business now that people are headed back to in-store shopping?