Welcome back to part two of the lockdown series. The short series where I provide some tips and best practices for evolving your online presence during the lockdown. Today is all about selling online. Why do it, how to do it, and ways to get creative with it.
Let’s jump right into it.
Why should you start selling online?
Even after this whole debacle ends, the way the world operates may look very different than it did before.
It’s a great time to start offering products and services online today, but it could also be a good option to have in the future.
After all, if there’s one thing this virus has shown us, it’s that we need to be able to adapt. So let’s adapt.
How to start selling online
Selling online doesn’t have to be difficult. There are many applications that make it easy for you to do so (easier than it was 15 years ago at least).
If you have a WordPress site, you can integrate with WooCommerce, which allows for a variety of different functions and options for selling products or services, and accepting online payment.
You can also choose to go with Shopify if you want to build it yourself and don’t mind using a third-party service.
Do your research and figure out which platform will work best for your business. Keep in mind that those are not the only options.
Selling gift cards
Maybe the lockdown is preventing your business from opening up entirely and your products/services can’t be easily sold online.
Consider selling gift cards or even meal bonds as we’ve seen some restaurants doing.
Doing this allows your customers to purchase something from you now in exchange for the same value or an increased value in the future when you open back up.
You’d be surprised at how many people want to see you through this crisis, and will support you as much as they can. Even if that means buying a gift card that they can’t use immediately.
You can use WooCommerce if you want to built it right on your site, or consider a quick 3rd-party solution like Square to be selling digital gift cards in minutes.
Let people know where they can buy your product
My beloved clients at Philly Fair Trade Roasters have had their restaurant and cafe clients shut down. But they’re still selling their coffee online and at grocery stores around the region. They’ve been updating their community with where they can continue purchasing their product.
Maintaining strong communication with your community is important, which is why I recommended putting out updates on your social media and email newsletter in Part One of this series.
Sell memberships and subscriptions.
If you’ve been closed down due to coronavirus and you were selling gym memberships or subscriptions to your yoga class, think about how you can continue doing so online.
My friends at the Fitness Ethic would have people come in for personal training sessions, but they’ve now transitioned into a course model, and they are providing their services online.
Philly Fair Trade Roasters might want to consider pushing their monthly coffee club subscriptions to save clients the need to order every month. Then once this is over, those customers might stick around.
Think about how you can keep people coming back month after month with an online course, subscription membership community, or weekly class.
Zoom trainings and online consulting
Think about how you can expand your audience by using video conferencing to deliver your services.
Can you do online trainings, webinars, create support groups, etc.? Can you continue to be a helpful expert in your space whether you are selling your service or keeping your audience happy by answering their questions and providing support for new issues?
Outline what you are doing to help people stay safe
If you are still offering a physical product or if your physical location is still up and running, communication your safety plans. Make sure to let your community know exactly what you are doing to keep your employees and your customers safe.
People want to know what you are doing to make sure that you are delivering products that aren’t contaminated with coronavirus. Are your workers wearing gloves? Are your employees being tested?
Be sure to let people know so they can continue to have peace of mind when ordering from you.
Don’t be afraid to ask
Don’t be afraid to make a call to action. Ask your community to buy! They want you to succeed, and would hate to see you fail. Don’t shy away from running your business.
But DO have empathy! Acknowledge the situation we’re in and don’t come across as overly salesy or trying to profit off people’s hardship.
That’s it for part two of the lockdown series. Be sure to tune in for part three of the series dropping soon. And check out part one if you haven’t yet.
Stay safe out there y’all.