Whether you reckon that the coronavirus-induced panic gripping the world is fully warranted or that there’s some scaremongering going on, you can’t opt simply to ignore the concern. Even fearful perceptions of the virus, before you stop to consider the virus itself, could majorly hit your business.
So, how can you rearrange your business practices to account for changes in your customers’ spending and consumption habits?
Promote experiences closer to home
Given how hard Italy has been hit by the coronavirus, your target customers should avoid non-essential travel to the country, as per the UK Government’s guidelines. However, as the virus continues to spread, your audience could be reticent about travelling too far even nationally.
Hence, if you do advertise in-person events, you should probably stick to local events where any crowds would likely be relatively small. Basically, if a particular event is within your audience’s easy driving distance, it’s probably within their current comfort zone, too.
Stock “coronavirus-proof” products
Okay, so “coronavirus-proof” might be slightly overstating the case for a disease where a specific cure doesn’t yet exist. Nonetheless, you can obviously benefit from shifting your attention – and, thus, your marketing as well – to especially timely products, and not necessarily just toilet rolls.
Where the public’s fear of embattled health grows, so do businesses offering practical solutions, like firms in healthcare, or welcome distractions – think streaming, rather than live, entertainment.
Invest in your ecommerce channels
Justly or not so, panic buying has been rife – but, as the pandemic grows, more and more people could think again about purchasing their essentials in person at brick-and-mortar outlets. Increasingly, these people could opt to online-order those indispensable items instead.
Therefore, make sure your firm’s ecommerce arm is built to take the strain of many more visits. If you don’t currently sell online, our ecommerce web design package can help you to get started.
Look into new ways of assisting remotely
If your business often relies on customers or clients turning up in person at its store or office in search of information or advice, you might want to encourage fewer of these meetings.
The “live chat” amenity is already a common feature of corporate websites, but what else could you add? Perhaps your company could establish a presence on popular messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, Skype and WhatsApp to go with the usual phone and email channels.
Consider how you could buttress your business against similar threats in the future
The world could face a long road to recovery from the coronavirus scare. Besides, you just never know when the issue, or a similar one, could flare up in the future. That’s why, once you’ve rejigged your business in the here and now, you should consider how you could go even further.
There could be particular promise in emerging technologies like augmented reality, which could enable you to recreate much of the in-store experience on people’s smartphones and tablets. There are lots of exciting possibilities just waiting to be explored.