Since 20.04.2020 retail stores of a size up to 800sqm are open again nationwide, which makes many entrepreneurs breathe a sigh of relief. For four weeks, the retail sector was almost at a standstill. Now shoe stores, cosmetics stores and Co. may open their doors again - under certain conditions. But will everything now go back to business as usual and the German economy return to normal? Probably not. Due to the ongoing contact restrictions, shopping trips and buying sprees will remain limited. One trend is therefore already clearly discernible: Corona is driving the digital transformation. Many retailers are now also getting creative and shifting their business to the online world. This continues to make sense in light of ongoing isolation and limited contact. That's why in this post we'd like to give you some ideas on how to stabilize your revenue and make online sales your lifeline.
Latori for the retail trade in Wuppertal
Since the beginning of the Corona crisis, we offer small retailers in Wuppertal to set up a free Shopify store with basic settings and a free theme. Especially the local stores here are close to our hearts and that's why we want to do our part so that they don't have to miss out on sales and, in the worst case, perish from the pandemic. So we could already support BEISPIEL1 or BEISPIEL2 in the last weeks.
You come from Wuppertal and have your own small store? Contact us, we will support you to offer your products online as well!
Shopify free trial for 90 days
That it's neither a phrase nor an empty promise to make commerce better for everyone has been proven by Shopify since the start of the pandemic. Anyone who needs their own online store can now try Shopify for free for 90 days and thus sell through an online store - without having to give up any fees to Shopify.
Sell vouchers online
In the wake of the crisis, Shopify has made another helpful move and opened up the sale of coupons for all plans for free. Especially in the restaurant sector, this option can be exciting at the moment. Customers who are currently avoiding any contact and therefore won't visit your store can support you by buying a voucher. Communicate to your target audience and your most loyal customers that you offer vouchers online and that they can be redeemed at your store as soon as it is safe to do so. For you, the revenue from the vouchers will act as a kind of credit, and your clientele can use this cash injection to you to ensure that their favorite café or restaurant is still in place when the crisis is over.
In exceptional situations like this, many people want to help and pull together. If you have a loyal customer base and a community that follows you on social channels, crowdfunding can also be a way to turn the tide and put your business on dry land. Through an online fundraiser, your customers can show their solidarity with you and donate to your business or buy "thank yous" for a monetary amount on Kickstarter, for example, to reach a set total donation amount. The "thank yous" can be vouchers, merchandise, workshops or webinars - there are no limits to your imagination!
Offer contactless pickup
With the help of a Shopify online store, you can also offer contactless pickup of goods. This is a good alternative, especially for at-risk groups, so they can get the products they need without having to deal with you during payment. Your customer orders and pays for the products they need online and provides their license plate number during the checkout process. You tell the customer when their order is ready for pickup. Your customer drives up to you and opens his trunk, where you can finally place the goods securely and contactlessly. You can find more detailed instructions for this on the Shopify blog.
The be-all and end-all: communication
Right now, it's more important than ever that you communicate properly. The work and effort you put into communication can contribute significantly to your liquidity. Use all channels to do this: Your online store/website, newsletters, social media channels and likewise notices on your store. Keep your customers updated at all times and take them behind the scenes, especially via Instagram or Facebook, so that they see that your business is still there for them but needs support. In doing so, be honest, approachable, authentic and grateful. Convey to your regular customers that
You have an online store where you offer coupons, products or contactless orders.
You are grateful for any support with your crowdfunding campaign.
Your store is open, but certain rules must be followed when shopping.
There may be delivery problems and delays and you strive to solve all difficulties as soon as possible.
Of course, you should also ramp up communications with your suppliers and manufacturers and make sure your goods are available for delivery. If necessary, look around for alternative manufacturers or suppliers, so that you have a plan B. It is best to limit yourself to your top sellers and not put unnecessary effort into sourcing less popular products in your range.
Special Covid 19 actions
Many online stores are already taking the step and launching special Covid 19 promotions. Especially popular with customers at the moment is free shipping. But of course discount or gift promotions are also welcome. Would you rather do something good yourself via your customers? Then offer to donate a certain amount per item sold to a charitable organization or the like. Think about how you can thank your customers for their loyalty and leave a lasting positive impression on your target group.
Even though we are still a long way from normality, this crisis can be an opportunity to break new ground and find alternative sales opportunities. We are happy to support you in positioning yourself profitably online for the future. Feel free to contact us!
We wish you all the best and especially health.
Your Latori Team