With the current climate around the COVID-19 situation you may have had to temporarily close your business, reduce your hours, or maybe you are just experiencing less customer traffic. As we mentioned in our first post in this series, we want to help you think of some ways you can take advantage of the extra time you might have right now to prepare your business to make a strong return once we get through all of this. Besides preparing and waiting for the eventual comeback, there may be some things you can do to continue driving some revenue during this downtime.

Adapt to the Current Climate

So, before we get started we should mention that you’ll need to check with your local laws and regulations to see what is permitted in your area as some of these ideas may be restricted.

With that out of the way… things have obviously cooled off for business, and it’s really uncertain when things will heat up again. Instead of waiting for things to turn around, here are some things that you might be able to do to increase your revenue in the meantime.

Offer Delivery or No Contact Pickup

You might depend on customers coming to you to shop for goods or services. With COVID-19 many business have had to shut their doors or find ways to eliminate contact with people. If this sounds like your business there might be a couple of solutions.

With “no contact pickup” your customers can order goods from your business, and when they arrive you can simply place the goods in their trunk, or have a receptacle they can use to retrieve their goods without coming into contact with anyone.

Another alternative many business are using to adapt is to offer delivery or onsite services. If it is possible you might consider offing to provide services at the customers home or office instead of them coming to you. Or, if it is goods that you sell, you can deliver to their home or office what they have ordered from you. If you don’t have the staff to support deliver of goods there may be other you can partner with for delivery such as Roadie, Deliv, Dropoff, Postmates, or Doordash, just to name a few.

Convert to eCommerce

Again, if you depend on customers coming to your to buy goods or services you may need to adapt your process to deal with the lack to foot traffic coming to your business. Whether you are doing deliveries yourself, or if you being shipping your goods to customers you will need an efficient way to allow your customers to shop, select delivery options, and pay. If you don’t already offer an online shopping experience, this may be the perfect time to implement eCommerce on your website. Not only can this help your business bring in revenue during this restrictive time, but you can turn this into an ongoing shopping option that may help your business grow in the long term.

There are several website providers that can give you the opportunity to build an online store for your business all by your self. They all offer different options and different price points, but here are a few to check into… Shopify, Squarespace, Bigcommerce, and Wix.

We, at SpinnerMedia, prefer WooCommerce. WooCommerce is developed by the same company that owns WordPress, which powers 35% of all websites on the internet. It is highly flexible to support all types of businesses whether you sell products or services. If you would like a partner to build and manage your new eCommerce solution, contact us for a free consultation.

Considerations

Setting up an eCommerce store may seem simple, but there are many considerations to take into account.

 

  • Sales Tax: You will likely be required to collect sales tax depending on state and local laws. You will want an easy way to calculate the correct tax amount when customers are buying from your website. We highly recommend taxjar.com, which can integrate with your WooCommerce website to calculate the proper taxes regardless of how many states and localities for which you may be required to collect sales tax. It will even keep track of the taxes you have collected and remind you when it is time to report and submit those taxes.
  • Shipping Options: You will need to determine what shipping options to offer your customers, and how shipping costs are calculated. This will require research to determine how much it will cost you to ship to different areas of the country (or world) for each shipping provider which may vary by weight and/or package size. You may even want to offer free shipping if the customers spends a certain amount.
  • Returns/Exchanges: You will need to clearly state your policy around returns and exchanges. Customers will often make their online buying decisions based on this policy, especially if they are paying a higher price tag. If you offer returns and/or exchanges you will also want to be clear about the logistics (i.e. how they initiate a request, who pays for shipping, etc).
  • Website Policies: Customer data privacy is becoming more and more important each day. States continue to enact new and update existing privacy laws which typically require that you have a clearly outlined privacy policy that you follow on your website. Luckily, no matter where you go to build your website, SpinnerMedia can help you by installing website policies (Terms and Conditions, Privacy Policies, and Disclaimers) that automatically update as laws change. If you have SpinnerMedia build and host your website these auto-updating policies are included in the cost of your managed hosting plan.

Let's Build your eCommerce Website

 

Website Pro Hosting by SpinnerMediaSpinnerMedia can build for you a custom eCommerce website to fit your business. Whether you sell products, services, or both you’ll get a beautiful website that provides a great customer experience and helps you run your business efficiently online.

Let's Build your eCommerce Website

 

Website Pro Hosting by SpinnerMedia

SpinnerMedia can build for you a custom eCommerce website to fit your business. Whether you sell products, services, or both you’ll get a beautiful website that provides a great customer experience and helps you run your business efficiently online.

Use Virtual Meeting Tools

There are many service based businesses that are adapting by meeting with their clients online. For example, you might be a personal trainer, run a karate studio, or provide coaching or consulting services, but because of the new restrictions in place you can no longer meet with your clients. There are several online meeting tools that have been in use by more dispursed businesses for years, but with the recent turn in events there has been a major increase in demand for the use of these tools. Instead of completely closing down due to the inability to meet in person you can now schedule times to meet with your clients, and meet online using one of these tools with a webcam.

Below are links to some of the most popular meeting tools:

Many of these tools enable you to schedule meetings with your clients by sending them a meeting invite via email which will include a calendar invite with meeting reminders.  Most of these tools provide conferencing phone numbers for attendees to dial into for audio or the use of the computer microphone and speakers. With the flexibility of these tools you can meet with anyone at anytime to run your karate session, provide your personal training sessions, consulting sessions, or just about any other type of service that would normally require you to meet in person.

Maybe your services typically require a more “hands-on” approach such as home or vehicle repairs. Perhaps you could consider offering to the “do it yourselfers” the option to walk them through basic repair and maintenance tasks using one of these meeting tools. But, of course, before scheduling your meeting be sure to collect payment through your new eCommerce store that we mentioned earlier.

Wrapping Up

If you need help implementing any of these ideas, please feel free to contact us… we’d love to help!

We understand that these solutions may not fit every business. However, we hope that this has given you some options to help your business adapt to the coronavirus situation or a least given you some other “outside of the box” ideas that you can use. If you have some other ideas that we didn’t mention that have worked for your business, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.