How Businesses Survived COVID-19 By Utilising The Internet, E-Commerce & Online Marketing
THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON BUSINESSES
With higher screen time during the lockdown of Covid-19, does this lead to a golden opportunity for embracing technology and online marketing amongst businesses?
Almost no business that is unaffected by the pandemic, those that suffer most are SMEs that may not have the capital to stay afloat and companies that relied heavily on physical stores and face-to-face interactions such as beauty salons, clothing stores, pubs and bars and yoga studios.
The instruction for non-essential services to close down amid the pandemic, producing high revenue losses and economic downfall. Fortunately, it is 2020 and technology advancement is here to help. All businesses from neighbourhood yoga studios to multinational luxury companies get to support its business through digital marketing.
While lockdowns have not reduced the needs and wants of consumers, what businesses have to do is to change their way of reaching their audiences in order to continue running their businesses. Embracing e-commerce and digital marketing has been achieved by many companies during the pandemic and many of them thrived better than their physical stores.
HOW TO EMBRACE TECHNOLOGY AND GO ON-LINE
Covid-19 has changed the way consumers shop. Before the pandemic, everyone knew exactly which local business sold the best artisan patisserie or handcrafted organic beauty products in town. Now that these businesses have to close their doors due to their industry being deemed non-essential, no one really knows who is still in business and where they should spend their money to get them.
It’s time for these affected businesses to make the change in evolving to;
Signing up for e-commerce platforms such as Lazada and Shopee is also a smart decision to keep the business running. Convenient, available 24/7, home delivery and easy payment has made e-commerce platforms a shopping heaven for almost everyone.
Websites and social media platforms shall be turbo charged with important information whether the business is still in operation, operation hours, contact methods, as well as changes in products and services provided during the lockdown.
Now when your website and social media platforms are running again, the next step is to start a dialogue with your customers and keep it rolling. For businesses that never collected customer email addresses or contact information, it’s time to build connections through CheckNow that are very important and critical to business continuity and keeping a healthy customer relationship.
CheckNow is not only an online authentication platform but also your best business buddy
While consumers are avoiding purchasing things from malls and shopping centers, many businesses have seen a strong uptick in their brand’s SEO with significant increase in their organic search visibility from January to March 2020.
The message is clear: it’s time to invest in, not cut back on SEO. Not only is it one of the most cost-effective digital marketing strategies, but it’s also delivering proven results amid the pandemic.
Recommended steps for building a high-impact SEO strategy during COVID-19 include:
- Publishing content designed to build trust and loyalty.
- Proactively managing the corporate web presence.
Running an online advertising campaign can be overwhelming for many companies that have always thrived from word-of-mouth. While they can ask customers to tell friends and family that they’re still in business, an online campaign can spread the news much faster, and with lesser effort with these tips:
- Smart bidding in search engine
PPC is an advertising model that lets businesses insert ads in search engine results for their chosen keywords, which they have to bid on in order to win placement. The most common options are Google Ads and social media ads. Many advertisers are benefiting from Google’s smart bidding strategies, which use machine learning to optimize their bids for conversion.
- Content marketing
Content marketing is an indirect form of advertising, but a highly effective way to connect with a target audience. When businesses create and share interesting and insightful infographics, videos, blogs and other content, people will be more likely to engage with the brand, provided that the content is regularly updated so that it remains relevant.
Most customers find coupons irresistible, whether they’re in print or digital form, which is why they’re an essential marketing tool until today.
Thanks to many online tools like Zoom and Google Classroom, there are very few businesses that cannot shift their daily operations online. With advanced technology, employees, teachers and everyone can communicate and hold meetings online from anywhere. Moreover, businesses can make use of these free-to-use tools to:
- Take orders/ support customer service via email, live chat or video calls.
- Webinars can be held to educate students or clients anytime and it could be recorded for replays and sharing on social media platforms for bigger coverage and exposure.
- Online and cashless payments can be made anytime, anywhere to complete a deal.
THE WORLD IS CHANGING FASTER THAN EVER
On the other hand, bringing your business from offline to online is also a vital move for every business in the coming years. Promoting your products and services online allows potential customers to get to know you anytime, anywhere as long as there is internet connection. It is also a competitive advantage to provide online and delivery services for customers such as busy mothers who have a child to look after as well as the elderly and disabled people who are not convenient to grab it from your physical store.
However, it is likely for many to use the internet for shopping, gaming, keeping in touch and other activities will have become a habit especially on the younger working generations. It could well be that consumers emerge from the crisis with some very different priorities, values and attitudes – all of which could impact how they want to spend their time and money.
For these reasons, it is important for marketers to research how consumer habits are changing. The growth of eCommerce and the use of the internet has already been a major feature of life and economics, but this crisis may serve to accelerate that growth.
As the world goes increasingly digital, so will marketing. What marketers need to do is respond with updated strategies and buyer personas for a different, post-pandemic world.