Safety

The Cautious Covid Consumer. How to reach customers right now and drive them to spend.

You’ve reopened your doors or are finalizing plans to reopen. People are beginning to emerge from their homes and venture out. But just because customers can shop in-store again doesn’t mean the pandemic’s impact on your business is over.

Because of the economic uncertainty and quarantine conditions over the past few months, consumers are more cautious with their money than ever before. Job stability remains doubtful, and every dollar is carefully considered before being spent. Money is put toward groceries, or items that are concentrated on the home: movies, books and puzzles for kids who have been housebound and are now on summer break; office supplies for those who are still tele-commuting; and even extra heat and air conditioning expenses. What you’re selling might not be a priority purchase. But there are means to reassure and reach your customers and drive them to make a purchase.

reward, don’t discount

You might be tempted to offer a big discount to tempt your customers back in the door. But according to an independent study by the Aberdeen Group, reward-based promotions actually generate a 6% greater average profit margin per customer than discount offers. Consumers are also likely to spend more when they receive rewards from retailers. Approximately 63% of respondents to a consumer research survey said they’d spend more when a retailer gives rewards, while 65% said they’d purchase more often from that retailer.

That brings us to loyalty, which is more important than ever to grow business post-pandemic. Shoppers often associate being rewarded with a positive brand experience, which can lead to prolonged engagement with your store over time. Discounts are often quickly forgotten. But if you’ve been pondering enacting a rewards program, now is the time to take action.

accumulate A+ reviews

Part of spending cautiously is reading online reviews and receiving recommendations from friends before making a purchase. Reviews make you visible and trustworthy, and software company ReviewTracker recently discovered that two-thirds of consumers find them essential to their purchase decision-making process. That means consumers are heading to sites like Google, Yelp, and Facebook before even looking at your products, just to make sure they actually want to spend money at your store. Positive reviews and testimonials are worth their weight in gold.

So how can you ensure customers take the time to leave reviews? Make it as easy as possible for them. Send a follow-up email after their visit, with a link that takes them straight to the review process. Make sure you engage with reviews you do receive—positive or negative—which will encourage other people to review. And share those positive reviews on social media and your website.

target your traffic

Hopefully you have a social media presence on at least Facebook and Instagram, and you’ve been communicating with your followers over the last few months. But understand that Facebook is a pay to play platform. If you only have a few thousand followers, and you don’t put any money into advertising your content, not many of them are going to even see your posts. While your page looks active, it’s not going to convert into sales, which is the ultimate goal. So how are you going to convince those cautious people to spend money with you if you can’t even reach them?

Take the plunge, and invest money into social media. Did you know that by advertising you can drive traffic to your website or even your store? Did you know that you can target consumers by their geographical location, their interests, and even their relationship status? But fair warning—don’t just throw up images on your page and go to town. Everything from your content, copy, target, and even scheduling must be detailed and exact.

How is your business responding and working to reach customers? We’d love to make this a conversation.

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