Adapt your marketing strategy to survive COVID-19 (and beyond)

Why You Need to Adapt Your Marketing Strategy to Survive COVID-19 (and Beyond)

The sweeping global changes caused by the Coronavirus are transforming nearly every aspect of our lives. From the way we greet friends and business associates, to how we travel and entertain ourselves, we are looking at a new world.

As a businessperson, you plan for changes and are always ready to adapt to changing circumstances. However, when so many facets of business change at once, keeping your business going can be anything from a challenge to a struggle for the life of your company.


Ways to Improve the Online Presence of Your Business

If your company does not have a digital presence, that needs to change, and fast. If you do, and it’s outdated, slow, and difficult to use, modifying it to be relevant and user-friendly is crucial to becoming competitive in the digital space.

If you are not sure what to do or where to start, check out these helpful Digital Hitmen video tutorials. Our videos are a great way to build or tweak your website. You will get step by step instructions from the industry’s leading experts in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and best practices for digital marketing.


Digital Marketing 101 FAQs

1. Will E-commerce Be the Trend for Most Retail Purchases?

If there is one truth many retailers are discovering during the pandemic and quarantining, it is the vast importance of the e-commerce division of their business.

While the trend towards online marketing has experienced growth for several years, COVID-19 damage is necessitating online shopping. This is true for non-grocery-based items and increasingly for food and other essential products.


Is this the end for bricks and mortar?

The growth of the ecommerce sector does not spell the end for bricks and mortar retail. However, the role of a physical location may shift to a place where consumers test and try on products rather than the default point of purchase.


2. Should I Shift My Focus to the Digital Market Place?

The answer depends on what you sell and if your company has an online marketing presence. If you specialise in items easy to purchase online and already have a niche in the virtual marketplace, by all means, build and enhance your website.

Here are some tips to help your online marketing grow during these difficult times:

  • Emphasise factors that are important to consumers right now. Terms pertaining to health, well-being, learning, self-improvement, and quality family time are at the forefront of public consciousness and likely will be for some time.
  • Be sure of your ability to respond quickly to any questions, comments, or concerns you receive from your clients. While more people are turning to online sources to shop, more businesses are vying for their dollars.
  • Prepare for the changing of consumers’ priorities. For many consumers, the pandemic is reigniting the notion of value and simplicity. The gorgeous and pricey bed linens that were a must-have item in December are now a luxury purchase. Focus on value, eco-friendliness, and sustainability when advertising your products. The same linens once prized for their beauty will move faster if you highlight their eco-friendly material and their long-lasting quality.
  • Look towards essential items and the role they can play in your company. Australians once used online shopping for more discretionary or indulgent purchases. However, picking up gran’s favourite tea, mum’s vitamins and even toilet paper are now an important part of online shopping.
  • Resist a knee-jerk reaction to the changes you are seeing. Consumers are spending carefully, but they are spending none the less. Craft a short-term plan for your business during this crisis. As you are testing the waters, begin to shape your long-term plans for a post-Coronavirus economy based on your experience and leading economic indicators.

If you do not have a website or an optimised website, this is your first order of business. Digital Hitmen has an excellent tutorial to show you what you need to do to create a great website.

Once your website is in place, there are several factors that you need to monitor for the best Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) results possible. By doing the following, you’ll help maximise your organic traffic:

  • Review your website content
  • Test site functionality
  • Work on maintenance
  • Engage your customers on social media

Once your business has a solid foundational website, focus on your ecommerce SEO and building your profits.


3. How Can I Keep My Business Running Well During the Pandemic?

One of the best ways to keep your business afloat while navigating the uncharted new normal is to remember to stay flexible. While wishing to return to how things ‘used to be’ is a natural reaction to the unprecedented upheaval brought by the pandemic, resist the temptation to try and live in the past.

Your business can prosper even if it is not functioning the same as it was before the COVID-19 outbreak. Here are a few ways to help steer your business into a successful future:

  • Consider implementing an extended period of working from home until you are sure of your safety, your workers and customers.
  • If necessary, downsize your business. Downsizing is not a pleasant topic. However, a step back at this time can set up a scenario where you can make great advancements down the road.
  • Optimise your website and maintain high standards for customer care and ease of use online. While this is a daunting task, remember that you can bring on a professional to create and implement a plan for your digital presence. Skilled pros in this field can get your company unimaginable results. At the same time, an expert in online business can significantly reduce the amount of time you spend and the degree of stress you feel when trying to do the work on your own.
  • Strategise ways to improve brand awareness. Forms of traditional branding, such as corporate calendars and diaries from Cody Group, will keep your business front and centre (when lockdowns aren’t in place).


Case Studies in Online Success

1. Accent Group

If you are not convinced that a strong foothold in the virtual marketplace can help your business survive and also thrive, consider this case study featuring the parent company of retail stores Hype DC, The Athlete’s Foot, and Platypus, Accent Group.


Growth during this period is possible

Accent Group is proving that even under the worst possible circumstances, growth and success are possible.


The company closed the doors of its 500 plus retail locations on March 27 as a response to the COVID-19 quarantine. While the storefronts were closed, Accent Group turned its attention to the 18 e-commerce sites.

During the initial four-week closure, a number of the brick and mortar shops became what the retail industry calls dark stores. The physical store location serves as a fulfilment centre of sorts for online purchases.

Accent Group’s numbers point to great success:

  • Online sales prior to the store closings were approximately $250,000 per day.
  • After shuttering storefronts, online sales surged to between $800,000-1.1 Million a day in sales.
  • Based on the success, Accent Group transformed all of its Australian storefronts and several New Zealand locations into dark stores.


2. Bella Lavender Estate

Shoes are not the only product experiencing skyrocketing online sales. According to David Centofanti, the manager of Bella Lavender Estate in South Australia’s Riverland, the online sale of lavender products has nearly tripled since customers did not have the option to make purchases at the farm’s storefront.


3. Myer

Online success is not just for niche markets. Myer has experienced an 800% jump in online purchases since its annual Easter sale. Myer is also joining other retailers in opening’ click and collect’ centres which will facilitate social distancing as stores gradually reopen.


Myer sales have skyrocketed during this coronavirus period

Myer has experienced an 800% jump in online purchases since its annual Easter sale.


Thrive in the Near Future

As restrictions slowly begin to ease and life returns to a new version of normal, businesses will be looking for new ways to respond to the vast number of changes that will happen as a result of new rules and social distancing measures.

While it is difficult to maintain a clear focus in such changeable times, pay attention to the most essential details of your company during this pandemic. Your business can not only survive, but eventually thrive.