The Covid-19 pandemic has forced a lot of businesses to create an online business strategy. It has pushed a lot of businesses to close their doors. It has forced the ones that are still in business to either take severe precautions or work from home. That has led to most companies adopting an online strategy. However, while online was an increasingly crucial part of most businesses already, this has prompted a direct, total shift. Now, online policy has to be completely modified in order to accommodate online requests, customer service, payment plans, marketing, etc.
These changes don’t just apply to employees and executives, but customers too. While there aren’t simple solutions for businesses that only had a small online component, there are actionable ways to function. Luckily, there are so many free apps that can help struggling companies adopt a very workable online business strategy. These include everything from social media apps, payment apps, and cloud-based apps to online business management options.
So here are a few ways in which online business strategy will shift during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Changes in Marketing
Online marketing has been around for decades now, but the shift during the coronavirus pandemic will be quite abrupt. It won’t just involve brick and mortar stores completely shifting to online marketing. On the contrary, it will have to include budgeting to market essentials rather than extra services and products.
Online marketing strategies will have to be focused on promoting the most popular products and services. If it doesn’t drive sales, marketing for that product will have to be placed on the chopping block. Also, marketing will have to be focused on more long-term gains. Short-term marketing campaigns like one-day discount shopping will have to be terminated for the time being.
All marketing will also have to be shifted to emphasize home delivery and home-based services and products. Restaurants, E-commerce players, grocery delivery, etc., will have to pivot to this strategy. Even businesses that don’t deliver will have to shift to this strategy.
Marketing will also have to focus on entry point or everyday items instead of premium purchases. Hence, essential items will have to be marketed more since they’re more likely to be bought. Premium purchases, aside from being one-time or occasional buys, are expensive. At a time when almost everybody is thinking of saving money, premium purchases won’t benefit from marketing.
Marketing actions will also have to be shaped according to the shifting online landscape. Companies will have to track the most common queries and identify the most common keywords to develop their COVID-19 online business strategy.
Changes in Communication Channels
Social media, and already established communication channels and apps, will be the greatest ally of small businesses. During the coronavirus crisis, online business management will struggle without the adoption of these apps.
While most companies already have social media profiles on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc., reliance on them will increase. Having a robust social media presence will help convey messages, advertise deals, discounts, bundles, etc. Most importantly, it will help send important updates regarding changes in operations.
On the flip side, a consistent presence on social media will ensure that customers can reach out to businesses. With already established messenger protocols like Facebook Messenger, Instagram Messenger, WhatsApp, etc. it’ll be easier to communicate with customers. Instead of using their own chat services and phone numbers, it’ll be better for businesses to opt for these apps.
It’s also not viable to rely on call centers or call services to remedy this problem for you. Most call centers will be shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic for health reasons. This is why it’s imperative to shift to social media apps.
Another essential benefit of social media apps is that you can set automated queries to go out to customers. This way, they’ll be able to receive some communication from your end when they send in their questions. A presence on multiple apps will also help you to cover as much ground as possible.
Changes in Products and Services
It’s obvious that company resources will be reduced considerably during the pandemic. Future revenue projections will have to be revised and executive compensations and salaries and perks will be less than projected. In this situation, it makes more sense to divert the remaining resources to develop and market essential services.
Any online resources, including servers, connectivity, workforce, etc. prioritized for non-essential products and services, will have to be rerouted. This is a key component of online business management. Even in the case that a business only markets 2-3 products/services, more frugality will have to be encouraged.
Roles will have to be reassigned for employees that work on non-essential products and services. Positions will either have to be cut for cost savings or changed to serve other purposes.
Products and services will also have to be discounted in some instances. This is more of a customer retention tactic. However, it will help to promote the products and services that are still in demand.
Changes in Payments Channels
Several payment channels online don’t require any complicated setup. While most online businesses do have a payment option set up, the COVID-19 pandemic demands extra options. There are various tech options, online payment apps, and global banks that you can partner with. Of course, the best options will be the ones that your target market already uses.
Online business strategies will have to adapt to these core changes if they are to work. Businesses will see themselves shift to more online operations as a result.
For more information about online business strategies and how they can help you, contact us today.