The Coronavirus pandemic has disrupted everything from daily life to events, and business. However, the one thing the virus hasn’t disrupted is the use of the internet.
As a majority of the U.S. nation is in isolation, foot traffic has come to a grinding halt while social media usage has skyrocketed. This presents a huge opportunity for businesses to keep connected with and sell to customers where they’re spending the majority of their time– through social newsfeeds.
CommentSold has helped thousands of retailers sell through natural, engaged, and personal interactions through social media. As we observe how retailers are adapting to the new normal, here are the features we’ve seen them use for the most success and how they can benefit your business too.
1. Sell on Facebook Live Video
Facebook has seen dramatic spikes in usage as people try to stay connected with friends, family, and coworkers. Many are scrolling through the social platform, looking for human connection and ways to blow off steam.
Facebook Live sales are the perfect way for businesses to serve up both! Inspire looks and cheer while providing retail therapy and entertainment. Facebook Live broadcasts are known to deepen customer relationships through the real-time, two-way dialogue that live video offers.
This method of selling is unmatched by faceless digital storefronts. Not only does it provide a uniquely human element to businesses, but this form of media is also highly favored by the Facebook algorithm. As a result, your video can wind up on numerous people’s newsfeeds.
2. Use Waitlists to Secure Sales From Sold-out Products
With the supply chain in flux, retailers may have to wait a little longer to restock items from certain vendors. Use waitlists to gauge customer demand, as you buy some time and keep things interesting until the next restock. This helps you maintain sales momentum even when you don’t have inventory on your shelf.
As a bonus, waitlists make the shopping experience fun and exciting. Much like auction fever, they increase demand for scarce items. In turn, they can raise your average order value and help you get paid quickly when customers use credit card authorization to ensure purchases.
3. Use Multichannel Retailing to Diversify Revenue
The customer journey isn’t always linear. Many times, customers jump from devices and platforms when they are browsing the web. To meet them wherever they may be at any given time, you will need a sell on multiple channels. This practice is known as multichannel retail.
Whether that’s on Facebook, Instagram, your website, or your branded mobile app, you can ensure that your brand is always visible and top of mind.
Multichannel retail also protects your business by diversifying revenue. Should your website go down or algorithms affect how often your customers see posts, you’ll have secured other ways of doing business.
4. Provide Flexible Shipping Options for Homebound Customers
Free shipping is a significant deciding factor for online shoppers, but it’s not always easy to offer it. However, you can make free shipping affordable and raise average order value by setting a free shipping minimum. Combining orders is another way to make the shipping faster and more cost-effective.
If you have a physical storefront and you’re open for business, allow for local curbside pickup with buy online, pick up in-store options. Local pickup is a zero-cost way of getting items to customers fast while maintaining social distancing measures.
5. Offer Gift Cards So Customers Can Show Support for Your Small Business
For brick and mortar businesses that are in a shelter-in-place area or anticipate it, it’s a critically important time to offer gift cards. All over the country, communities looking to support small and local businesses have turned to purchasing gift cards.
Offer and promote your gift cards as soon as possible. Gift card sales will help you free up cash flow today and ensures foot traffic once you open your doors back up.
6. Lower Operating Costs and Maximize Efficiency with Technology
If you haven’t invested in software to bring your business online, now’s the time. Even e-commerce retailers can significantly benefit from software to enhance, streamline, and expand their online presence right now.
Technology can make this simple by shouldering more menial administrative tasks and simplify your workflows. This is useful for freeing up time to work on more critical aspects of your business, especially during this challenging time.
Software, such as CommentSold, can connect your inventory to Facebook and Instagram, websites, and mobile apps, so you’re able to sell wherever your customers may be. Order management, invoicing, and payment processes are automated so you can sell more without complications from overselling or manually invoicing.
Focusing on growth and marketing during a crisis may seem tone-deaf. However, nothing can improve if we stand still. These methods can move the needle and prepare you to grow and scale beyond these unpredictable times.
It’s not just about making a dollar, either. Your business’s response to this crisis matters to customers. People are looking for leadership, as well as a way to escape from this new reality.
Each time you interact with them is an opportunity to connect and serve your customers when they are feeling overwhelmed. With the help of technology, you can now easily make that connection captivating, fun, and germ-free.
To make this task more manageable, and to support businesses during this time, CommentSold is extending the free trial period to 30 days to all new customers.
CommentSold has empowered thousands of retailers to drive new business, connect with customers, and increase revenue through these means. Now we hope to help you do the same.