For some businesses, the pandemic has resulted in heightened demand and skyrocketing sales. Think: delivery services, prepared meals and fast food; PPE and cleaning/sanitation; home décor, improvement and renovation and more.
But will it last? The answer…not likely. Eventually, as Canadians are vaccinated and infection rates plummet, we will get back to some type of “normal.” And although we may not be avoiding handshakes forever the shift in some of our buying habits likely will stick around. Online shopping for groceries and other everyday items is here to stay, but the outlook for other businesses seeing a pandemic uptick is a tad more complicated.
For instance, if your business has seen a boost as a result of the pandemic, it might continue to thrive in 2021, but you’ll be faced with increased competition as others enter your sector. Alternatively, if you’re in a “big ticket” category (say, home improvement or boating), pandemic demand will likely reach an apex and then rapidly decline as things stabilize.
Either way, if your business saw growth during the pandemic, you’ll need to think ahead to the very near future. How? By remaining top of mind for your existing and prospective customers and influencing decisions.
Size Up the Competition
Keep a close eye on similar businesses in order to create a strategy that will put you ahead. You can either react to the offers they’re putting in front of their customers, or act proactively with offers of your own. Both are valid; but one will work best for your business.
- Monitor their social media — what are customers praising, what are their complaints?
- What type of their content are their customers sharing? Set up a Google Alert (it’s free) to get notifications on your competitor’s latest activities online
- Keep an eye on their pricing and stock, and order inventory and adjust pricing accordingly
Track and Follow-up
Now that making the sale is easier, you’ll need to shift your attention to after-sales products and services; there is big opportunity for monetizing this part of your business. Loyalty is more important than ever.
- Create a referral-rewards program. This win-win strategy not only generates easy leads, it also encourages future purchase by existing customers. This works well for big-ticket goods, like cars and home renovations.
- Shift your unique selling proposition to support and after-market services/add-ons. Customers who bought boats or big-ticket tech items will be looking for ways to use them in smarter ways or outfit them with additional devices. Be the company that excels in this area.
- Ensure you’ve set up ways to track site visitors who have not yet made a purchase, or who may soon require a restock/refill so you can reach out to them at set intervals.
Invest in the Future
If you’re not advertising right now — why bother when business is up, right? — make sure to set aside some of those gains for future marketing and advertising endeavours once your sector stabilizes. There will come a time when you’ll once again need to be a little louder and brighter to attract customer attention.
- Boost your local presence by featuring your business in flyers, inserts, and print ads in local papers
- Embrace the power of brand storytelling by partnering with established publications in your niche
- Keep things fresh to avoid content fatigue in your audience by refreshing creative used across your platforms
Keep the Momentum
If you are advertising now, consider increasing your budget to lock in your brand position and gain market share. For instance, if you’re running ads with a Star Metroland Media property already, here’s what an increased buy could mean:
- Boost your reach with additional media channels (newspaper plus digital and flyers)
- Expand geo-targeting to reach adjacent markets and reach more of your audience
- Increase the frequency of your media messages to increase the chances of getting your audience’s attention
We can help you tailor a plan to get the most out of your current lift and keep your future rosy. Contact us today.
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