Before the corona wrecking ball swung across the globe, consumers were used to nearly instant purchasing gratification from two-day Amazon Prime Delivery to shopping online with next-day shipping to walking into any physical location and exiting with a purchase in hand. The whole world looks different today. Goods and services are harder to get, if not impossible in some cases. Travel is at a standstill, vacations have been canceled or rescheduled for months down the road, work and home and school are all the same place. Everything has changed. We can help our consumers by giving them just a moment of normalcy in an otherwise shattered routine.
Your customers want to support local businesses; they just need to know how.
Times of crisis always shine a bright light on the best of humanity. Small businesses have a loyal customer base who want to see businesses not only survive, but thrive. They will purchase from online stores, order take-out or curbside pickup, make donations or engage with you in whatever way you make accessible for them. While they are many people who are out of work or whose incomes have been significantly reduced, there are still many consumers who have disposable income and would prefer to shop local rather than Amazon or, worse, not at all.
Human beings don’t know how to operate in a world with no commerce.
In case you’ve missed it, people are literally spending all day every day in front of devices consuming news, information, and entertainment in unprecedented volumes. Businesses have an opportunity to capture an audience they may NEVER have reached before by virtue of the fact that we are all more likely to take the extra two minutes to learn about a business or product or service that we didn’t previously have a relationship with. I mean, what else do we have to do? Give people the opportunity to engage with your brand in a space whether they have time and an open mind.
Customers are creatures of habit.
One alarming trend with small businesses is their overnight switch from their standard marketing practices to social media or their websites. While social media is always a place to market business, consumers are creatures of habit. If a customer is used to finding Dos Hombres Mexican Food specials on the local newspaper’s website, but the specials are now being posted under @2Hombres on Instagram, you’re asking your customer to work hard and to make a big leap just to support you in the way they have always done. It’s critical to make the consumer journey easy. Everyone is confused about what day it is, let alone how to navigate buying products or services in a completely new way.
It can feel odd, maybe even a bit self-serving to market in a time of crisis. So long as your business is providing a service that people wanted or needed before this pandemic, the chances are very high that consumers still want and need what you do and will feel even better about supporting you today than they ever have before. Looking for more ideas on the importance of marketing during crisis or how to market right now? Check out this blog or this blog from Swift Local Solutions.