How Is COVID Changing The Shopping Experience In Your Store?
This year has been a year of firsts for just about everybody. From the way you interact with employees to dealing with suppliers, and perhaps most notably, how you serve your customers, it’s a whole new ballgame.
Online Strategies Saved Many Stores
For many store owners, enhancing their online presence was a priority. In many cases, selling online was the only way to serve customers during the shutdown.
Fortunately, these efforts are not only valuable in the short-term. Improving your online presence opens doors to many opportunities, such as selling to people outside your immediate locale.
You might also have found that your social media channels got a lot busier. Marketing suddenly became a little easier too, as for the first time in history, we’re all going through the same thing.
Making Meaningful Connections
For some, the changes were a chance to make a difference; to offer ways to enhance everyday living through culinary tips, tools, and products, or to promote emotional wellbeing through the joys of doing what we love to do. Almost eight months on, some things have changed, while others have not. Today, we have more freedoms, but caution reigns.
As the holidays approach, many of our stores are worried about what will happen to sales. You can throw historical data out the window because there really is no benchmark for what’s coming next. As we head into fall and winter, the best we can do is embrace the spirit of the season and spread a little happiness!
One positive thing is that people and companies are still out there, doing what they do. Which means, of course, that they’re going to be looking for fun ideas for the holidays. Since foot traffic might be reduced, think about how you can help promote the joy of the season and boost your sales at the same time.
- Encourage Advance Ordering. Since the supply chain is a little slower than usual, encourage pre-orders to ensure items arrive on time. You might reach out to community organizations, corporations, clubs, or charities to find out how you can help them get organized.
- Delicious and Healthy Halloween Treats. Did you know that you can use olive oil to make yummy Halloween treats? Post a few sweet, sinful recipes that use olive oil as an ingredient to stimulate sales. Specialty food stores might also use this idea to bundle a few products together as a complete recipe kit.
- Witches Brew With Balsamic Vinegar. Since no Halloween would be complete without a witches brew, why not promote cocktails and mocktails using balsamic vinegar? Before you pass judgment, vinegar has been used in drinks and cordials for centuries.
Shrubs, for example, are an infused blend of equal parts vinegar, sugar, and fruit. You can play with different kinds of sugar, fruit blends, and vinegars to change the flavor profile. To make your own shrub, put the ingredients together in a jar and steep for a week or so until all the flavors are mixed through. Use as a flavoring in cocktails, or add an ounce to club soda. Just a little bit (half to one ounce) adds acidity and tang, especially in fruity drinks.
For more insights on how to grow your business despite the pandemic, sign up for our newsletter today. To place a wholesale order, give us a call. We’d love to hear how you’re doing and show you how we can help.
- Karen Moore