Thinking outside the box is crucial to staying agile in COVID-19 economy, and online e-commerce sales of goods and virtual services can help offset loss of in-person sales. If your traditional business isn’t bouncing back from the shutdown, try some other tactics to bring it back up. Online spending has accounted for close to 45 percent of consumer spending during the pandemic, according to data from Earnest Research, which tracks credit and debit card purchases in the U.S. Things like at-home kits, virtual services and online meet-ups can be the key to keeping some cash flow and client connections.
With everything going on in the world, people are looking to de-stress now more than ever.
In a May 2020 report, consulting firm McKinsey & Company found that beauty products have been very popular in quarantine. “Skin-care, hair-care, and bath-and-body products appear to be benefiting from self-care and pampering trends, and a notable trend is the rise of do-it-yourself beauty care,” the report says.
That makes this time a prime opportunity to create or bolster your online retail store with products you already have in inventory. Catalog and list all your products online, on your website or a shoppable social media platform/marketplace and create some fun and useful bundles for your customers to enjoy at home. Hair and skincare boxes, facial kits, mani/pedi packages with accessories, special collections for holidays or even a wellness-themed bundle are all possibilities. To make these kits even more appealing consider offering free curbside pickup or home delivery.
If clients cannot come to you, make it possible to go to them -- virtually, of course!
Consider building out your online menu of services with consultations, classes and workshops. Self-care has become a $450 billion market, according to market research firm IRI, with nine out of 10 U.S. consumers reportedly practicing some form of it, so put your expertise to work! Some topics to consider: personalized skin care consultations, a webinar on the benefits of aromatherapy, a make-up masterclass or even a workshop on self-massage.
Another way to keep in touch with clients and keep your business top of mind is to offer some virtual social events. Online self-care spa parties, and virtual happy hours to discuss, for example, the benefits of Botox or how best to use certain skincare products are a way to show your clients you are still there for them, and build loyalty as well as a sense of community. Times are tough, but it’s possible for small businesses to come out even stronger with diverse offerings, steadfast customers and resilience to future crises.