Who isn’t worried about the impact of the coronavirus outbreak? The virus has spread across the globe and everyone is dealing with the physical, mental, and financial impact of it. As an independent business, it’s a scary time. But, with a few smart strategies, you can engage shoppers, allow them to buy from you, tweak your store, and manage your business during this crisis.
Here are a few tips we suggest to help you manage your Shopify store through this coronavirus outbreak.
10 Tips for Keep Your Shopify Store Running During Coronavirus Outbreak
1. Don’t let your shoppers fret about stockouts
If you’re selling essentials or products that your shoppers require during this tough time, you might find that the product runs out of stock quite quickly. Stockouts will make your shoppers panic further. This is where a well-placed back-in-stock subscription can help.
With Back in Stock – Restock Alerts, you can allow your shoppers to subscribe to products they require and send instant alerts when the product is back in stock. Such a feature is especially helpful for merchants selling food items, skincare products, cleaning supplies, etc.
Pro-tip: When setting up your in-stock subscription, add come copy informing the shopper when the product will be back in stock. Giving them a timeframe for when they can expect the item back will help them stay calm and not rush to your competitor.
2. Allow bulk buying with volume discounts
Bulk buying has become the norm. For an eCommerce business with a large inventory, this buying habit can help your store. Set up Volume Discounts that allow shoppers to buy your products in bulk while grabbing a discount on their order. With the Volume & Discounted Pricing app, you can set up and implement discounts on bulk orders automatically.
Pro-tip: Select which products would be best fitted for volume discounts. Items like food and cleaning supplies would be in higher demand. Don’t forget to put a cap on the number of sanitizers and soaps that one person can order. This can help you ensure a better distribution of these essential items.
3. Send out personalized messages via your marketing channels
Sure, everyone is doing it. But, as a business, you have a relationship to maintain with your shoppers. So, it’s important to send a message to your subscribers— on email, web push, Facebook Messenger, and SMS. Give them well wishes and let them know how your business is adapting to this. This can either be by giving your profits to charity, setting up a virtual product, maintaining hygiene in your factories, etc.
You can even add some humor by letting your subscribers know that they can use this opportunity to unsubscribe from your emails. This humor could either make inactive subscribers opt-out completely or you’ll; win their hearts and turn them into loyalists of your brand. Either way, you clean up your inactive subscribe list!
Pro-tip: Avoid any product pushing in this message. Instead, you can share helpful resources for your shoppers to access easily.
4. Put a pause on sale-related promotions
Your sales will surely see a decline. With panic and fear about the outbreak, people have tighter budgets and aren’t spending as much. So, we suggest testing out whether your sales and product promotions are garnering clicks and revenue. If they are, go ahead and send more promotions. Since people are staying in, they may be using this time to scroll through stores they like and purchased items they want.
However, if you aren’t seeing the results you hoped for, put a pause on your sale promotions. Instead, send promotions that increase engagement with your brand.
Pro-tip: Send social media posts through other channels and build a following on your social profiles. During this time, your focus should be engagement since sales are a very unpredictable factor.
5. Send out emails to customers about product use
A great way to engage your existing customers is by providing valuable information about the products they bought. Send product hacks, information, and ideas on how customers can maximize the use of your product. By providing value, you show them that you care and make them want to use your products more.
You don’t just have to stick to your products. If you’re a skincare brand, give tips on how your shoppers
Pro-tip: Create a fun newsletter that shows product hacks. For instance, highlight multiple uses of your product or fun ways your customers can use the item.
6. Keep them engaged with gamified content
Haven’t set up a loyalty program? Now’s your chance to! Set up a loyalty program with apps like LoyaltyLion and provide engagement-based rewards so that shoppers come back to your store and perform an activity to earn points. These activities can be leaving a review, creating a customer account, etc.
With a loyalty program, you can engage your shoppers and make them familiar with your brand, building a community. This way, they will be more likely to come back to you when this blows over, with loyalty points to redeem as discounts.
Pro-tip: SheIn has a daily check-in program where shoppers get points for checking into their store app every day. Great way to keep your shopper coming back to the store!
7. Set up a page about product manufacturing to assure them of your hygiene
The one thing that shoppers are highly concerned when buying from an online store is whether the items they buy online are infected.
Set up a landing page to illustrate your manufacturing process and assure them of your hygiene standards so that shoppers are less hesitant to shop.
Pro-tip: Create a landing page with PageFly to show your process— from manufacturing to packaging to delivery. Make it fun and engaging with gifs and short videos.
8. Reorganize your storefront
Use this time to reorganize and change things up with your store. Pick up store design optimization tips to make your store more pleasing and smoothen the customer journey on your Shopify store.
Picking up such tasks during this low period can help you tick off much needed revamps from your plate.
Pro-tip: Understand what didn’t work with your store, where shoppers were dropping off, etc. You can grab this data from apps like RevTap to help you get a detailed understanding of where you lose shoppers.
9. Host a virtual event
Your shoppers are sitting at home and most of them are bored. You can tap into their need for activity with a virtual event! Pick a topic related to the industry you are in and use it as a way for shoppers to build a community during this tough time.
For instance, if you sell clothes, use this event to talk about how to dress for work from home. Or, if you sell fitness items, talk about workouts at home and provide free resources.
10. Provide and highlight a gifting feature for this tough period
A lot of folks are in need of items like food, blankets, cleaning items, etc due to the coronavirus outbreak. Use this time to do good for your community. Set up a donation feature on your Shopify store to allow shoppers to buy and donate products. You can provide these donations for senior citizens who are vulnerable to the disease or children who are vulnerable of going hungry since schools are shut.
This donation feature can help you keep your business running while doing good for the community.
Pro-tip: Set up a 1+1 donation feature if you can afford to. For every 1 item that your shoppers donate, you will donate 1 from your side.
We hope you and your business get through the outbreak!
These 10 tips can help you understand ways to improve your store design and navigation, manage your business, ensure sales come through, and maintain shopper engagement on your Shopify store despite the coronavirus outbreak.
Good luck to you through this tough time!