The coronavirus has caused a shift in the way people are purchasing goods, with many businesses being forced to switch to online sales as their sole or main income for the time being. It is very likely that the effects of COVID-19 could be long-lasting, too, changing the way businesses operate online from here on in. There has never been a more important time for businesses to take a look at how they exist and function online, with the rising presence of E-commerce making it a more competitive environment than before.
As such, here is some timely advice for running a business online both during and after the Coronavirus pandemic.
1. Stay active on social media
We all know the importance of having a social media presence in 2020, but the current global crisis has made this even more important. As a business, your social network channels are your opportunity to communicate with your audience every single day and with the right post, you are never too far away from converting a social engagement or impression into a sale.
Keep that link to your E-commerce site in your Instagram bio and do not be shy in sharing access to your shop or website across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn too. Update your followers on how you are adapting to this unique and monumental moment in history. You never know who is watching or following you on social and where they are on their purchasing journey.
2. Pick the right online payment infrastructure
Online payment solution companies are a really important part of running a business online and, as the opportunity to do business in person is temporarily and indefinitely put on hold, now is a good time to make sure you are using a plan that works for you.
Whilst you are unable to be a presence on your usual high street or town centre, it is a good opportunity to build an audience nationwide as online commerce and social media can connect you to a wider audience than ever before if used effectively. Be sure that your current E-commerce platform offers your potential customers the most common methods of paying as well as offering payment over the phone.
3. Limited time offers
The harsh reality of the coronavirus has left a lot of businesses in an urgent need of sales to provide financial security for their owners and employees over the coming months. However, there are some simple ways that can take the pressure off merchants in this challenging time.
For example, it might be a good opportunity to offer customers some limited time offers and advantages for shopping with you. Likewise, consumers might be down on their disposable income as a result of COVID-19, so cutting the price of products, offering free shipping or cut-price packages could be a good way to keep the sales coming. As mentioned, more businesses are shifting online due to store closures, so it is crucial to offer something that your competitors do not.
Similarly to the point mentioned above, choosing the right E-commerce brand can help with providing limited-time offers. Check to see if your current online payment infrastructure allows you to set up discount codes, for example.
4. Encourage contactless payment
If your business has been allowed to stay open for trading in person, it is wise to not only abide by government guidelines concerning the coronavirus but to actively promote them. Doing your bit for your community around you is just as important as the commercial side of your business in these troublesome times, but encouraging customers to stick to contactless payments is an example of how you can combine both goodwill and sales.
Contactless payments are preferred as they minimise the risk of spreading the virus, so once again, ensure that your payment infrastructure offers good technology that allows you to accept such payments.
This is particularly poignant since, from April 1st, the contactless limit for payments will be increased from £30 to £45 to increase the use of this payment method.
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