The world this week is a much different one than what we are used to, but that doesn’t mean that everything has to come to a grinding halt. Creative solutions are everywhere, and we know it takes a village to keep our nation’s small business alive and thriving.
Our team has put together a list of solutions for you to effectively manage your business – even with a little social distance between you and your customers.
Add Live Chat to Your Website
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, your website is an extension of your showroom. It’s not just a cost of doing business. Your customers show up online expecting the same experience as if they’ve just walked in your front doors, and a part of that is a real person there to help.
In just the past two weeks, consumers across the world are being forced to shop online versus indoor in favor of new social distancing practices. On just our member websites, chat engagement is up 60x where it was a few weeks ago.
Right now, customers don’t know if you are in your store to answer your phone, and they don’t have time to email you, but if there is a chat window on your website, they know you’re available for their needs.
Chat is easy to set up on your website, all it takes is pasting a snippet of code. Once you’re up and running, you can see insights in an easy to navigate dashboard letting you know how often customers are chatting, and what time of day they are most likely to be online, so you can be too.
Set Up A Payment Gateway
If you aren’t already taking payment information online, what are you waiting for? That ship sailed a long time ago, and your customers are shopping somewhere else where they can actually pay.
The ability to pay for a product is a necessary part of the customer journey, especially now. We’ve seen a 300% increase in online order counts across our network over the last few weeks. Customers don’t want to feel like they have to take care of the payment later, that’s just a clunky purchase experience. Make it seamless, and let the consumer finish the process in one fell swoop.
- Stay On Top of Online Trends
Sure, we know that consumers have been pushed exclusively online right now, but do you know what they are focused on searching for and purchasing? The biggest mistake you can make is to cast too wide of a net with the product you’re putting in front of your customer at a time like this.
Our team has done the research, and we know that not only has traffic increased by 30% in just 3 days, but those consumers are looking for the same things: Refrigeration and Laundry items. As more and more people are being ordered to stay home, they need reliable appliances. We see this trend shifting to Cooking appliances in the coming week as folks settle in and rely more on at-home meals.
In addition to just knowing what the trends are, you need to act on them. Set up a sort weight in your product catalog to display in-stock and best selling items first. Flag your products to let your customer know what’s in-stock and what’s sold out in the moment to make their shopping experience faster and easier. Enable product add-ons to ensure your customer has the necessary items for their purchase the first time.
We know times are changing fast, but we also know that you have the know-how to evolve and adapt to the online world faster than you think. Think of it less as a time of uncertainty, and more of the universe giving you a little nudge in the direction you were headed anyway: to the internet. Your store is so much more than four walls, product, and some amazing salespeople; it’s an experience for the consumer, and that is equal parts website and brick-and-mortar.