Social distancing due to COVID-19 has led to an increase in online shopping, especially for groceries, disinfectants, medical products, pet products and baby products. But, with the uncertainty brought on by the pandemic, ecommerce sales are not increasing for all online businesses.
Nonetheless, there are companies who are well-prepared to ride out these uncertain times. In this article we will go through 5 strategies that your company can implement to not just survive, but to increase your online sales and grow stronger during this challenging period.
Take Care of Both Your Current Customers and New Leads
This multi-pronged approach focuses on improving several areas of your business to 1) take care of your current customers and 2) acquire new customers.
Strategy #1: Better customer service
With many brick-and-mortar businesses going online, you now have more competition. So, how do you stand out from the crowd to increase your ecommerce sales?
Better customer service can set you apart from your competition, even if you offer the same products. On other words, when your team is prepared to handle customer requests more quickly and professionally, customers will be delighted to do business with you.
When your team offers better customers service, your current clients will become repeat customers, and your new leads are more likely to buy.
If your employees have extra time (due to dwindling sales), they can use this downtime to proactively reach out to new leads via email or even giving them a phone call.
Better customer service will make your company stronger in multiple ways. First, your current customers will more likely to buy from you again and refer you to their friends. Second, your new leads may not buy from you right now, but more likely to buy from you later (or refer you to someone they know needs your help).
If your company shows up consistently, that will set aside from others in your customers’ minds as the go-to place in your customers minds.
Strategy #2: Offer Special Deals
A special deal does not necessarily mean a cash discount. Giving cash discounts can get you some sales right now, but will those customers purchase from you for full-price later?
Instead of cash discounts, offer “more value“
If you sell consumer products, can you offer “buy 2 get 1 free?” If you sell subscriptions, can you offer “two months free” on an annual subscriptions? Another way to do special deals is to offer bonuses.
Some restaurants include little candies with the take-out. If you’re a service-based business, can you include free on-boarding calls for new customers, or those who extend their subscriptions?
When you offer “more value”, you still ensure your cash flow while standing apart from your competition.
Strategy #3: Offer Value Through a Letter
As Harvard Business Review reminds us, you must humanize your business if you want it to be successful. It’s not enough to offer great deals. In order to connect with your customers, you have to show your human side.
The best way to do this is through a personal letter that connects with your customers.
Give your customers specific examples of how they can count on your business during this difficult time.
Are you already 100% remote, or have you transitioned successfully? Have you shifted your products and services so that your customers can still access them?
For example, if you offer consumer goods, were you able to find shipping solutions so your customers do not experience any delays? If you have a service business, what are you doing on your end so that your customers do not experience any interruptions to the service?
Most importantly, your customers crave stability. During these uncertain times, your customers will be delighted if they know they can rely on you and your team to have their needs met.
Strategy #4: Proactively Reach Out To Your Leads and Trial Users
We give out our email addresses at more places than we can remember. Even when we get a free report or a coupon from a business where we left our email addresses, we quickly forget about the business.
But, what if you got a personalized email from a company after you signed up for a webinar? Not an automated email campaign, but a personal email that includes your company’s name, and something of value. Wouldn’t you be more likely to engage with a company that reaches out to you to help you, instead of just emailing you coupons?
You are much more likely to engage with a company that reaches out to you personally with the intention to help you.
Depending on the nature of your business, you may want to reach out via phone or a personalized email. For example, if you notice that someone abandoned shopping cart, you can follow up via an email. Or, if someone didn’t finish setting up your software or cancelled their account, a brief phone call might help them become a customer after they see the value in what you offer.
Strategy #5: Automate More
Maybe you already had to let go of employees or contractors. These difficult decisions saved you money, but who will run your business, reach out to customers and do all the manual data entry? (Hint: If you’re an entrepreneur of a small business, then it’s probably you!).
While you could take on all that extra work, there are : a) only 24 hours in a day and b) human errors if you do everything yourself. Now, you are stuck between a rock and a hard place. You don’t have enough time or energy to do all the work that you need to do, but you are also hesitant about hiring someone.
Automation can help you to reduce manual tasks and data entry and focus on increasing your sales revenue
You cannot automate everything, but you can automate “enough” so you have time to do the things that will move the needle for your business.
If you have an online business, chances are you already have automated email campaigns. But, what about data entry for your sales, orders, and inventory?
Manual data entry of ecommerce sales is a pain point for many businesses. You need to enter your data into mulitple places: your selling platform and QuickBooks. How can you run your business efficiently if you spend your time entering data and your books are not up to date? You can’t.
Automating data entry can help you to 1) avoid human errors that lead to mistakes in your accounting and inventory; 2) save time by not entering data manually; 3) reduces stress for both you and your customers.
When you no longer need to worry about manually entering data you can use that time and energy to talk to your customers, design new products, and launch new initiatives. In other words, you can focus on what you do best – growing your business.
Do You Use QuickBooks For Your Ecommerce Sales? We Can Help
We know that choosing the right tools for managing your sales and inventory is essential for the growth of your business.
Most of our customers sell on multiple ecommerce channels, such as Woocommerce, Shopify, Magento, and Amazon, just to name a few.
Why Our Customers Chose Sync with Connex
Automatically sync online sales & inventory to QuickBooks Desktop or Online
You don’t have to spend your resources manually entering sales, inventory, and customers into your website and QuickBooks accounts.
Recommended by Intuit itself, Connex for QuickBooks will give you peace of mind that your inventory will be updated, and you will be free of the frustration of oversells and missed items.
When your inventory is up-to-date, you can achieve higher customer satisfaction, leading to more positive reviews, and increased sales.
Connex also integrates QuickBooks with all major ecommerce platforms such as Woocommerce, Shopify, Magento, Amazon and ecommerce shipping solutions such as Shipworks, Ordoro and Shipping Easy.
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How can you decide whether Connex is right for your business?
-Full functionality for 14 days
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