As we speak right now, the deadly corona virus pandemic has infected over a whopping 600,000 of American citizens; with nearly 26000+ succumbing to the virus. The entire world has literally come to a standstill due to the most dangerous emergency crisis ever.
Businesses across sectors are incurring huge financial losses due to limited or no operations at all. Some of the business sectors which are facing the strongest wrath of global lockdown due to covid-19 corona virus pandemic include;
-Hospitality (Travel and Hotels)
-Restaurants (cafes, pubs, bars, etc.)
-Manufacturing (Automotive, industrial parts, garments, etc.)
-Sports (leagues, events, etc.)
And the list can just be dragged on and on.
The point is, there is a complete havoc wreaked upon the world by this deadly virus and there is no clarity on when all this will be over. Even optimistic health officials believe current lockdown conditions are likely to remain with us for two months. President Trump has mentioned restrictions lasting until July or August.
So, what should the business owners can do in such condition to ensure their brand’s survival during this time, and be ready to bounce back strong once all this is over?
There are a few steps that can be taken. Let’s look at them.
With the massive lockdown applied throughout several states, the brick ‘n’ mortar selling point is now out of the equation; at least, for a few months. In such condition, going online with your products and services is the best recommended option.
Even the industry watchers suggest that if a brand hadn’t devoted major resources to ecommerce in the past, now is the time to do it.
Of course, ecommerce cannot replace all lost foot traffic. However, it can certainly help brands survive this downtime.
For the matter of fact, in the wake of the coronavirus, over 46% of consumers are more likely to buy clothing online, and nearly 65% are more likely to head to the internet to buy personal care products; according to recent data from Red Points.
According to a statement given by the CBX chief engagement officer Satoru Wakeshima,
“There’s going to be a continued surge in online shopping. For years, several brands may have only had 20% of their business online but, that’s going to increase now. And, if that increases, you need to think about your online marketing strategy.”
It’s also a good idea because, if history is any indicator, consumers might well emerge from this health crisis not only more accustomed to shopping online, but more likely to stay there.
Depending on what industry you’re in, your customers might be having some specific new pain points related to coronavirus. Think strategically about how the pandemic is affecting your customers. What is keeping them up at night and how you can help?
Then you can adjust your sales pitch and design your marketing around how to address these specific challenges and worries.
For example, are your customers:
-Worried about supply-chain disruptions?
-Worried about how to manage employees in an environment where everyone might need to work from home?
-Worried about travel restrictions?
-Struggling with general market uncertainty and slowdown in demand?
-Wondering how to manage their cash flow?
-Facing a shortage of key inventory or supplies driven by consumers panic-buying and stocking up?
All of these business challenges can escalate by a crisis like coronavirus.
Your job as a business owner is to figure out how to reposition your products and services to be helpful and address the specific pain points that your customers are confronting now.
For example, if you sell video-conferencing solutions, this is an ideal opportunity for you to offer additional support and consulting to help your customers figure out how to adapt their remote workflows. If you are in the logistics business, now is a good time to reach out to your customers with possible solutions to navigate the latest issues affecting the global supply chain.
One way out which several business owners have adapted in order to keep their operations functional is asking their teams to work from home.
While, this is certainly an effective way to keep your business afloat and your brand alive, equipping all the employees with appropriate resources is definitely a challenge that organizations are facing.
Not every staff member has a laptop to carry home or a PC at home to use for official work. And, they certainly can’t simply carry the entire workstation home.
So, what are these team members going to do?
Renting out and buying new laptops for such team members is definitely a solution; and something that various firms are already doing. In fact, big IT firms are even setting out separate budgets for their staff to purchase equipment for a comfortable work setup at home; such as computer table, chair, drawer table, mouse, keypad, etc.
But supplying hardware is only going to help to an extent.
Douglas Laney, data and analytics principal at Caserta and the author of Infonomics, says that,
“Brands need to think about anything technological that inhibits their company from doing business. You can’t sign documents or you can’t get someone on a meeting because your conference facility is crashing or you can’t reach each other because you don’t have the bandwidth. How do you get all systems prepared with proper security—VPN and antiviral? That takes time. It’s going to be an eye-opener for a lot of companies.”
In a global crisis situation like this of the covid-19 pandemic, the one thing which all the companies can do is to keep an eye on the latest developments and reframe the business strategies accordingly.
Looking at what’s happening right now in China, there’s evidence that the recovery, when it comes, might well be a strong one. Certainly, there are traces of the resurgence of the corona virus in China, however, with factories and shops reopening, China seems to be over the initial supply side shock caused by the lockdown.
Amie Song, who is an advisory specialist at Gartner, pays close attention to consumer trends in China. According to Song,
“People are very confident [now] and they feel like the virus is contained in China. And now, they’re having renewed shopping behavior. Shoppers who didn’t spend much money in January and February are determined to make up for it now. Restaurants and places that have started to reopen are booked immediately. So I think it’s sort of like a more optimistic situation.”
It is certainly too early to predict when this deadly covid-19 corona virus pandemic is going to end. But as business owners and entrepreneurs, there are several critical steps and measure that can be taken in order to sustain the brand and live through this crisis.
Note: GraphicsZoo understands the seriousness of covid-19 pandemic and has taken all precautionary measures to ensure safety of its employees without compromising on the services provided to our clients.