A fast-spreading, contagious virus has quickly shown us just how much we can do from the safety of our homes. For businesses, this means taking a good hard look at our business model to make sure it’s sustainable in a safer-at-home world. Here are three online business models for COVID-19 success. These are worth considering if your in-person business is hurting during the pandemic.
1. Online Sales with Home Delivery
The most convenient for your customers, but probably the hardest to pull off if you don’t already have a delivery component to your business, selling online and delivering to your customers’ doors can help you capture customers that just don’t feel safe venturing out. If you already have a delivery component to your business but you’ve been taking payments at the door, you’ll need to update your website game to support a fully contactless system for customers. If you don’t have online ordering on your site, that’s another component to consider, but you could also function with phone orders and just online payments. It really depends on your business and your product or service. If you’re providing landscaping, clear direction to your customers on how to reach you and an online payment portal will probably suffice. If you’re selling craft beer, you probably want an online store where customers can view your inventory, add it to their virtual cart and check out.
2. Online Sales/Curbside Pick-up
Delivery may not be realistic for your business. Staffing and vehicles are costly investments, but there’s no reason not to offer curbside pick-up. Of course, you’ll need to have your curbside offerings clearly on your website so your customers can browse before they show up, but other than that, you probably already have everything you need to make curbside pick-up work for your business. To make things easier, you may want to add a dedicated phone line for customers arriving for pick-up and make sure that you have a member of your staff dedicated to responding to customers. While curbside pick-up provides added convenience and safety for your customers, won’t be surprised to learn that a 45-minute wait in your parking lot can cause frustration.
3. Virtual Experience/Limited Time In-Store
If you’re one of those business owners reading this post saying “that’s just not going to work for my business,” keep reading. Every business can find a way to help their customers limit time in public. Grocery stores are posting aisle guides online to help customers find what they need quicker. Doctor’s offices are letting patients check-in from their cars to eliminate waiting room time. We know you don’t WANT to change. Changing is hard and if we could snap our fingers and go back to 2019, we would. But, this is the world we live in now so take a good hard look, open your mind and think about ways you can move at least some of your customer experience online. Can you chat with customers via Zoom, Facebook, or Facetime to get some information and have an initial discussion? Can you email them photos of products? Heck, can you meet them in the parking lot instead of in your office? Customers want to see you making an effort to keep them safe. Well, you made it to the end of the post so you’ve probably decided that you need to change something to keep your business successful. That’s a great first step. Now, write down what you want to change and get to work making it happen. When it comes to your online presence, we’re here to help. Whether you need to get ready for online ordering or just need help to communicate your new (safer) business model to your customers, Roots Digital has you covered.