Shopping habits changed after the pandemic started. Instead of going to brick-and-mortar stores, people have focused on shopping online. This affected small businesses that found it challenging to compete against large e-commerce sites that have essentially taken over the online market.
Despite this, small businesses can still attract shoppers once the pandemic is over. And this might come sooner than later with the continuing delivery of the coronavirus vaccines. Even with the emergence of new variants of the virus, they still appear to be effective against them.
Thus, small businesses can start working on attracting shoppers to their stores once the pandemic is over. Here are some tips a small business can consider when trying to entice these shoppers.
While small businesses face an uphill challenge in the online marketplace, they should still make their presence felt. Since most shoppers are online, small businesses can promote their brand and try to get as much brand recall they can get into the minds of the shoppers. E-commerce has seen an increase of over 30 percent during the pandemic. Large retailers are eyeing a 100-percent increase in online sales due to their curbside pickup service.
Despite these figures, small businesses can still compete by focusing on their respective niches. They can also focus on their target markets or the communities close to their physical stores. This gives them an edge over large companies that might not have a personal connection with these consumers.
Small businesses should also be proactive when it comes to marketing. During the holiday shopping season, many businesses weren’t expecting to have good sales since people were still wary of what will happen in the future. But with the end of the pandemic just over the horizon, businesses should start being proactive in attracting customers.
Moreover, they can project sales once the all-clear sign is given, and people gradually return to their normal lives. At this point, business is expected to pick up, and consumer spending will increase. Even as online shopping will continue to be prevalent, small businesses can attract people who are raring to go out of their homes to go shopping.
With this in mind, they can create promotions and marketing campaigns targeting these consumers. They can offer specials and discounts to encourage them to visit their store.
Among the biggest concerns of consumers when it comes to in-store shopping is the risk of catching the virus. Even as the risk will be reduced, people will remain wary and will still avoid going out. To ease their concerns, small businesses should show their customers that they prioritize their safety over everything else. They can continue practicing proper health protocols and have sanitizers available if the customers need them.
Additionally, businesses should rethink their store’s design and show customers that it’s safe to shop inside. Businesses can get the services of an interior design company to help develop ideas to change the appearance of the store to make it more eye-catching and safe. Once the design is finalized, they can have a contractor work to show the customers that the business is serious about ensuring their safety.
Discounts can encourage customers to buy from a store. But when the store projects an aura of exclusivity, people might perceive an added value to the business’s products. With this, a small business can offer some exclusivity to some products for its loyal customers.
Aside from encouraging its loyal customers to buy from the store, it also piques the interest of potential customers who might want to become a part of that exclusive club.
Use Contactless Payments
The pandemic highlighted the importance of using contactless payment methods, even for small businesses. Many businesses started using digital technology to accept payments from customers. Some companies who kept Bluetooth-enabled payment systems in their storage area took them out and started using them.
Moreover, businesses also started using other payment methods, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay. Customers who weren’t keen on using these digital payment systems were asked to enter their card details through their phones after receiving an invoice from the store.
The use of these contactless payment systems will continue even after the end of the pandemic. Aside from making payment convenient, it will also give customers the confidence to enter the store since they don’t need to handle paper money when paying for their purchases.
The pandemic hurt the bottom line of a lot of small businesses. But with the end of the pandemic drawing closer, these small businesses should start preparations to get back their customer and encourage them to repurchase their products.