With the COVID-19 pandemic hitting large and small businesses alike, many online businesses are feeling vulnerable right now. It’s hard to know where to turn and how to proceed. However, a trend seen during this period is that shopping preferences are changing as consumers switch to online shopping. There would likely be an increase in social interaction and engagement among online shoppers. To limit physical contact as much as possible and ensure business continuity, now is a good time for online businesses to encourage people to shop online and explore new ways to reach consumers.
In this blog post, we will walk you through the next step for your online businesses.
The COVID-19 outbreak is shaking up the global community and economy on a massive scale. We are thrilled to be open again and together we can do our part to get the economy up and running again. We aim to help reduce the spread while and maintaining our high standard of service.
Our warehouse is still operational, and every precaution in our warehouse and office is being taken to ensure our staff are staying safe. On the whole, we’re averaging 2-4 business days fir fulfillment, but some products take longer than others which can account for discrepancies in fulfillment time for specific orders. Products like face masks are experiencing extremely high demand right now which can cause delays as well. Compared to other POD providers, our fulfillment is consistently fast, but we are constantly working to improve turnaround time across the board.
We have taken numerous steps to ensure production times are as fast as possible, including adding additional workers & shifts to meet the unprecedented demand.
COVID-19 is causing significant strains on the shipping industry which can cause inconsistent delivery performance. We are monitoring this closely, but unfortunately there’s not much we can do on our end at this time.
Tips for Communicating with Your Customers during COVID-19
We suggest keeping the conversation going with your customers and regularly checking updates from your suppliers. It’s a good idea to keep folks in the loop about any changes to your processing time and product availability.
From a marketing and business perspective, you can make a change. With the right strategies, marketing messaging, and products, your store can keep running and continue bringing revenue.
So let’s get through ways to help you navigate your marketing strategy during this time.
1. Stay updated
No matter what type of business you’ve got, there are many people out there who want to hear from you. Let your customers know about updates in fulfillment and shipping delays as soon as you can and update your website to reflect this information. Many brands and businesses are using a popup, header banner or other callouts on their homepage to communicate any shipping delays, updates, or backups.
For example, Victoria Secret has a header banner that informs shoppers that they’re experiencing delivery delays during this time. By doing so, shoppers are aware of possible delivery delays before they place their orders.
By addressing any fulfillment and shipping concerns upfront, you let your customers understand that it will take longer than usual to get their orders and ensure they aren’t in for any surprises during this period.
2. How to communicate delays caused by COVID-19
It is a confusing and anxious time in our personal and business lives due to the COVID-19, that doesn’t mean your customers should be confused about when they’re going to receive their packages then shopping online. It’s very important to stay connected to your customers and ensure you’re providing complete transparency. Here are a few ways you can do it.
- Communicate potential deliveries delayed as early as possible
Delays happen all the time. Customers are usually pretty understanding to shipping delays only if you have to update them right away! Try to deliver explanations in real-world terms to help them relate to what went wrong and why.
Chewy.com sent an additional email to inform subscription customers of the potential for late shipments
- Explain how COVID-19 has affected your business
Beyond health and safety, the outbreak has also significantly impacted businesses worldwide. But not everyone is aware that it has a significant impact on daily operations in factories and logistics sectors.
- Announce the new timeline
The new timeline is the most important part of your update. Make sure that the new timeline you share is realistic.
- Update your product descriptions, shipping and FAQ section
Update any new information to reflect changes in fulfillment and shipping time related to COVID-19.
Lush gives a brief update on the delivery options during this period. Source: Lush
- Be empathetic and compassionate
Customers will likely be disapointed to know that they won’t be getting their packages when they expected. Be empathetic with your customer and show them that you care about their feelings.
3. Leverage social media
Social distancing is one of the most limitations the Coronavirus has put on individuals and businesses, it seems that a new era in social media marketing has arrived.
With many people staying at home, they’re paying more attention to your social media presence now more than ever. Let your customers know they can continue to support your business during this difficult time. Use your social platform to acknowledge what your customers are going through and strengthen bonds with your community.
4. Adapt your marketing messaging
As the crisis continues, all businesses need to be sensitive to consumers’ needs and re-shape their marketing messaging. That means they might pause certain campaigns for certain products, and reconsidering their audience and products they are targeting to the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, now is time to encourage consumers to work out at home. Online businesses can adjust their advertising to focus on activewear to help people stay fit and active at home.
Lifestyle content is also a key ingredient to become social media legends. It’s about pushing content to make the target audience feel like they’re understood by someone. The right way to incorporate lifestyle content is to pinpoint the personality of your target audience and then build a lifestyle content strategy related to issues and interests around them. The tone of lifestyle content is always informal where the business to approach its audience as a friend having conversations and holding the same interests.
We’re here to help
With so many people staying at home right now, they are spending more time online. Focus on creating meaningful content that resonates more strongly with your audience. Think about creative ways you can bring your business to people. Be sure to communicate clearly to customers and prospects across all your marketing channels.
We know that this is a difficult time for everyone, and this is the time to show your customers that you won’t let them down. Hopefully we’re going to get into a more stable situation. We’re in this together, and we’re here to help.