How to Reach Consumers During COVID
Whether it be news articles, Facebook posts, or family group chats, you’re likely inundated with information about COVID on the daily.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, chances are, your customers are too. As consumers are staying home more, they’re also being cautious with their spending as they face uncertainties related to their health and finances. Whether they’re able to buy from your wireless retail store at this time or they’re waiting for COVID to take a hike, it’s important to stay in touch and remain as their first choice.
The physical and psychological hunkering down is hitting retailers hard. So, how can you stay connected to your shoppers when they’re being selective with the media they consume and the purchases they make?
Try out the below tactics, and be sure to join us for part one of our upcoming 3-part webinar on the State of the Industry: How Wireless Retailers Can Quickly Adapt to COVID-19.
Harness your social network
Many companies think that they’ll appear opportunistic if they engage with customers during these uncertain times. But according to HBR, that’s a mistake. Your customers want to hear from you!
LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter — the possibilities for staying social (and distant) are endless! And your social media pages can be used in a variety of ways, not just sales-focused content. Consider posting about:
- What your at-home workspaces look like
- What’s keeping you busy during your time socially distant
- New products your associates are excited about
- Tips and tricks for maximizing mobile devices
…and anything else that would bring some refreshing content to your customer’s feeds.
Social platforms have also evolved to have sophisticated selling functionalities. This enables customers to purchase items straight from a business’s social feeds without disrupting their browsing process. It’s another omnichannel tactic that makes buying online frictionless!
Host virtual product training sessions
Your customers depend on you for more than their wireless products. From the moment they get a shiny new phone in their hands, you’ve been there for them with all the answers. So, why stop now?
Apple stores are running in-store training sessions on ways to maximize their devices, and you can do the same, just virtually! Consider hosting bi-weekly or monthly webinars through an online video conference call platform (Zoom, anyone?). This not only keeps you top of mind with customers when business returns to normal, but it also reminds them of why you’re their first choice in the first place.
Keeping connected is more important to shoppers than ever before and with your help, they’ll be making the most of the wireless phones.
Pick up the phone
Within reason, checking in on your most loyal customers adds a bit of interaction to their day and ensures their wireless needs are being taken care of.
Perhaps you have a customer that has had a few troubleshooting issues in the past? Or maybe there’s a handful of shoppers who purchased a new device they may be unfamiliar with right before social distancing went into effect? Either way, a non-sales related check-in could be just the thing to brighten your customer’s day, especially given how overwhelming quarantining has been.
Tip: Focus on making sure they’re enjoying their wireless product and service so they can easily text, call, and video-chat with those they love most.
Reconsider online offerings
It’s no surprise that with all the extra time on everyone’s hands, the internet is a go-to. But consumers buying habits and browsing patterns are changing and perhaps not in the way you’d expect.
“With a bit of thought, you can develop a plan that optimizes your online offerings without seeming insensitive.”
In March of this year, the retail industry dipped 8.9% and is expected to decline 11.1% further before self-isolating practices are over. Consumers are also unhappy with businesses who simply try to push their sales narrative without considering the situational influences consumers are dealing with — influences that wireless retail staff could be feeling the pressure of as well.
So, what is the perfect balance of product promotion and customer connection? The answer may not be clear cut, but with a bit of thought, you can develop a plan that optimizes your online offerings without seeming insensitive.
The first step is to evaluate data and reporting. Look at the information you have on hand and ask yourself questions of your data:
- Can insights be earned that show what your customers have purchased most?
- Think about the wireless industry; what are the top products on the market?
- What’s the next big thing to come to wireless retail stores?
- What do competitors offer that you don’t?
- What could you offer that no one else does?
By evaluating current industry and customer trends, you’ll be able to stock the items that drive sales because it’s what your customers — current and prospective — are looking for.
That’s what we call data-driven revenue!
Put it all together
Thinking of e-commerce in a different light will not only effectively help you communicate with your customers as they stay home, but it will also allow you to provide the products and services they may be looking for without your business coming on too strongly:
- Leverage social to connect. A social media strategy that is injected with a human element shows that you care about your customers — think at-home workspaces, videos of staff and what’s keeping them busy, or managers in their empty store showing how excited they are to see smiling customer faces again. Social feeds also act as a nice alternative to traditional marketing practices as you can post about new products you’re excited to share without being too sales-y.
- A phone or video call to take the human-connection to the next level. Loyal customers know, having been with you for years, that you’re about more than the bottom line. Your business cares, and checking in is your way of saying “we’re there for you when you need us.”
- Use your data to guide your decisions. Drawing from your retail management software, you’ll know what the right moves are when it comes to promotional content that pushes products. Find the balance of what’s appropriate in this uncertain time and fill that need, rather than try to convince shoppers of what they should buy. Tact is key when it comes to keeping sales flowing! And if supported by data, now could be a good time to add new products through vendor managed inventory and drop ship. It lessens the stale inventory risk for your business and also ensures your shoppers can buy safely.
Partnered with the right communication tactics, e-commerce can keep your wireless retail store in the game when your customers stay in their homes. See how iQmetrix eCommerce solutions provide online retailing solutions that keep wireless retailers selling and connected.
Want more industry insights? Watch part one of our three-part webinar series to explore the state of the industry and what’s next for wireless in this time of change.