Though many parts of the country are still being subjected to stay at home orders, other areas are seeing these restrictions come to an end. Some states have completely lifted stay at home orders, while others are taking a phased approach allowing for a gradual reopening of non-essential businesses.
During this time when your brick and mortar location has been closed, your website and social media profiles have doubtless proved vital for keeping in touch with customers and (hopefully) maintaining some form of revenue.
While some business owners may soon be welcoming customers to their stores again, this doesn’t minimize the importance of using your website during these times. Here are a few things to consider.
Informing Customers of the Latest Updates
First and foremost, you must continue to use your website and other digital tools to keep your customers informed about what is going on and what your business plans to do next. You might not feel comfortable reopening yet, even if your state allows it. That is your decision to make, but you don’t want customers to show up at your store expecting it to be open when you are still closed.
Many areas that are reopening are requiring that stores limit capacity or take other steps to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Other retailers, like Costco, are implementing store policies requiring that all customers wear masks, regardless of local regulations.
No matter what decisions you make, your website and social media profiles should be proactive in communicating the steps you are currently taking or planning to take. Even if you haven’t reopened, providing an update about when or how you plan to reopen can give your customers peace of mind and help them plan for patronizing you in the future.
Continuing to Offer Digital Services
Even if your store is prepared to reopen, there’s a good chance that many of your customers do not yet feel comfortable returning to their normal routines. This is particularly true of those in high-risk groups, who are being advised to continue practicing social distancing regardless of local openings.
To continue serving these customers, it is best that you continue to offer any services that you introduced to mitigate the impact of store closures. Local delivery, curbside pickup, and robust online shopping options will continue to be the preferred option for many in the months ahead.
Even after things get fully “back to normal,” it is quite likely that many customers will prefer these options to the traditional in-store shopping experience. Make sure that your website and your team are equipped to handle the combination of digital and in-store service.
Adapting and Pivoting With Your Website
COVID-19 and its associated economic impact have been a major challenge for business owners. Hopefully, you’ve been using this time to reevaluate your overall strategy — particularly the way you use your website — so you can better serve your customers in any situation.
Regardless of whether your physical reopening is this week or months away, taking advantage of your website will ensure that you and your customers will be prepared for when things get back to normal.