Communication and Covid-19
There can be no doubt that the post Coronavirus world is going to be a different place.
The impact of COVID-19 on the way that consumers interact with brands and suppliers of both products and services is going to be profound. Already businesses have had to turn to an increasingly online model in order to survive. Forced closures and self-isolation / ‘shelter in place’ regulations have forced businesses to go online in order to survive.
In New York liquor stores have started to turn to deliveries in order to weather the storm – and business has been brisk.
Alcohol delivery has shown spectacular growth in this time of COVID-19 and self-isolation.
Within three days of NYC bars being forced to close their doors bar owners had pivotedto online ordering and delivery and the results were staggering. Orders through Drizzly (a liquor delivery app) grew 450%. Minibar (a similar operation saw orders spike by 131%.
Many have theorised that the days of the of the Automotive Showroom may very well be over – and that those selling motor vehicles are going to have to be increasingly aware of the online experience that they will be forced to offer potential customers if they are to survive.
This is not only an American trend. In South Africa, Quench, a well-known company using an app to enable consumers to order and enjoy delivery of alcohol has now signed an agreement with a major grocery chain to deliver other consumables – and they are not stopping at groceries and alcohol.
“We’ve been trying to get a pharmaceutical leg off the ground and, given that we just delivered liquor originally, it’staken quite a bit of development work in terms of restructuring the UX (user experience) of the app… to send orders to various different stores as opposed to just liquor stores,” said Quench founder and co-owner, Liam McCreedy.
“So obviously the lockdown… started to give us a bit more of a push to get this live, to be able to assist specifically our retail partners.”
A Mindset Change.
Given human nature, it should come as no shock that people will simply not be as comfortable with large crowds and potentially contaminated surfaces as they were prior to the devastation that the Coronavirus has wrought acrossthe globe. Add to this the fact that ordering goods and services over the Internet is simply more convenient than visiting a bricks and mortar store. Even before the Coronavirus began its deadly March across the planet eCommerce was steadily growing as consumers turned to the ‘net.
Global ecommerce is growing at an astonishing rate. In 2017 it reached around $2.3 trillion and is expected to hit $4.5 trillion in 2021 (according to a Statista report). In the US alone, ecommerce represents almost 10 percent of retail sales — a figure that is growing by nearly 15 percent each year.
What does this mean for Business Communication?
Many companies have sensed that a sea change is coming to the way in which consumers interact with business in the third decade of the 21st century. New channels are opening – and (for organisations that survive the lock down) that could mean new opportunity.
However, the online marketplace is set to become even more crowded and those companies need to focus on just how they are going to take advantage of the opportunity – and companies that ignore the issue of trust are going to find that they are at a severe competitive disadvantage.
One of the ways that business can foster trust among its target audiences is to make effective use of various communication channels. Effective communication builds brands – and allows for rapid communication with a consumer base. It not only encourages brand loyalty and feeds the sales funnel – but also attracts new customers.
Here are some ideas for businesses that want to supercharge their communications in the age of the Coronavirus and beyond.
Social media. Consumers are using social media to obtain information on businesses that offer an online option for sourcing various products and services. The reach and engagement of Social Media is growing and companies that focus on this channel and provide quality content and valuable information, as well as maintaining constant contact with customers and potential customers will be positioning their brands for success (and learning more about current and potential customer wants and needs).
SEO. More and more consumers are turning to search engine giants such as Google to get information on companies offering products and services during the lockdown. Search Engine Optimisation ensures that business websites shine. SEO takes time to get right – and those who start on the SEO journey up the search engine rankings right now will have a distinct competitive advantage when the virus fades into a distant memory.
Email. It may be seen by some as ‘old school’ or a relic of the past that has outlived its usefulness– but email is still one of the most powerful tools in the communication arsenal of any business. B2B or B2C email is a fantastic way to build relationships with customers. Email newsletters allow you to communicate USP’s, entrench the business brand and provide customers with information that positions your company as expert – and a reputation as a trusted source.
Blogs. A company blog is a great way for a company to improve its profile. A blog can complement Social Media efforts by providing content that can be linked to via Social Media sites. The content must be relevant and add value to the lives of the readers. Of course, SEO content is extremely important – and that content must be carefully curated – SEO best practice changes constantly and a company needs to focus on what works best.
A company blog is a great way for a company to improve its profile. A blog can complement Social Media efforts by providing content that can be linked to via Social Media sites. The content must be relevant and add value to the lives of the readers. Of course, SEO content is extremely important – and that content must be carefully curated – SEO best practice changes constantly and a company needs to focus on what works best.
The motto of the U.S. Marines is ‘Improvise, adapt and overcome’.
Business needs to take a leaf from the playbook of these elite fighters because make no mistake, in a world that is increasingly online organisations are going to be fighting for their lives.
One proviso. There should be no improvisation. A sound strategy depends on planning a laser like focus on a strategic goal.
Companies also need to find the correct partners to assist them in overcoming challenges on their journey to success.
Small and medium sized companies are under enormous pressures to survive the global pandemic. However, finding the right partner to supply quality content that reaches the intended audience and grows market share is pivotal to survival.
Overcoming content challenges need not place undue strain on the company’s bottom line – but is should be a priority. Above the line and even online advertising can be expensive – quality content can be more effective in achieving strategic goals and more cost effective.
Contact 5 Spice Communications to get the best advice – and content that will position your organisation for success.