Coronavirus/COVID-19 is currently impacting just about every aspect of daily life. There is no clear timeframe for when we can go back to normal and it might take a long time. Nonetheless, life and business will need to continue and adapt to this new normal. The hope of this article is to outline a few digital tactics that can help businesses during this period.
Is Your Website Set up for eCommerce During Coronavirus?
The most obvious shift is acceleration of an ongoing trend: more and more users will be shopping online. The number of online orders in the U.S. and Canada were up 56% year over year for the 2 weeks of March 22 through April 4. Along the same lines, U.S. online grocery sales for all of March were up 233%.
Now is a good time to ask yourself if your website and digital store are able to adapt and fulfill more orders? Is your eCommerce experience user friendly? Are you able to scale up and fulfill more orders online and deliver? Things to consider when evaluating your online store and eCommerce platform:
- Is my checkout process easy and intuitive?
- Am I ready to fulfill an increase in orders?
- How strong are my delivery capabilities?
- Am I using my platform to its fullest extent and is there anything that can be automated on the backend?
- Does my website offer a positive shopping experience?
Growing your online sales and business is one of the most obvious ways to react to the COVID-19 pandemic. These sorts of business decisions are tricky and unique for everyone at this time. However, if you’re able to, now is the perfect time to invest in your business’s eCommerce capabilities and do your best to meet your growing online demand.
QR Codes – Offer a Contactless Transfer of Information
QR codes might seem like a blast from the past but they have a number of potential uses in a social distancing society.
Our Partner Revelry Boutique, is already using QR codes to enable people to shop their store via their front windows and order products online:
QR codes can allow brick and mortar businesses to offer users the opportunity to literally window shop.
QR codes are also playing a big part of China’s efforts to re-open following their Coronavirus lockdown. The Chinese government is using mobile apps to track citizens’ movements and health status. The mobile application produces a QR code that can be scanned to share a user’s infection status.
While China has a long history of unethical surveillance of its citizens and human rights abuses, this idea is still smart in principle. China and other nations need to ensure technology is deployed ethically to maximize their citizen’s participation. Therefore transparency and ethical use are paramount if this technique is to be deployed elsewhere.
QR codes can offer Chinese shops and businesses a method to verify a citizen’s health status without having to make physical contact. Thinking ahead, we could see similar applications used elsewhere. Citizens being able to share their health status in a contact-free way will help prevent further spread of the virus as we begin to try and “re-open” our economies.
At the very least, providing contact info via QR code instead of a traditional business card could help users around the world practice better social distancing.
Streaming Video in the Age of Coronavirus
As users have to adapt to doing more activities from their own homes, they are increasingly turning to online streaming solutions. Zoom has been an obvious winner in terms of publicity as the platform has become a favorite for online socializing and digital happy hours. Zoom said daily users spiked to 200 million in March, up from 10 million in December.
As schools have been shuttered during quarantine, students and teachers have had to pivot to online learning. With many teachers being forced to learn online teaching techniques on the fly. One thing businesses and marketers need to be asking themselves is, “how can I pivot my business online?”
One of our partners, The Jewish Community Center of Louisville, has been working on such a pivot. With their building closed, The J Louisville has begun offering some of their key services online and have built a “Virtual J” section of their website. They are offering group fitness classes online where users can take part in classes via Facebook Live. Additionally, users can still sign up for online personal training sessions with their licensed personal trainers. In addition to fitness, The J is also offering arts & ideas, jewish life & learning, and kids virtual resources.
Finding a way to turn your in-person service or experience and translate it to streaming may be key in keeping your customers throughout quarantine. There is going to be a learning curve as you venture into this new space so don’t get down on yourself. Learn and improve as you execute and you’ll be all set.
This article outlines just three methods of how you can adapt your business during the coronavirus pandemic. There are still tons of new opportunities out there as well. So in the meantime, keep your head up and try your best. That is all anyone can ask for at this point.