Since the pandemic began, your business has probably been forced to adjust to the “new normal.” Many business owners are taking their first steps into the world of digital marketing, but they aren’t completely informed about the industry. As business practices evolve, we detail how COVID-19 has changed the digital marketing space and what you can do to stay on top of these updates.
Shifting to Digital Marketing Services
The COVID-19 pandemic has eliminated the personal business connections that you’ve spent so much time building. There have been fewer opportunities to meet new people and strengthen current customer relationships. So, how can businesses re-establish their presence? Digital marketing, of course!
Creating a brand new digital marketing campaign can be difficult, especially since the industry has changed so much since 2020. Old practices may not be as effective as the market becomes more saturated. So, what do you need to know about consumers and digital marketing to get ahead of your competitors? Let’s begin.
1. Offer Home Delivery
Groceries. Lunch. Toilet paper. Since the start of the pandemic, we have seen a significant increase in shipping and delivery of goods that had very rarely been sent via delivery service prior. In 2020, online sales totaled almost $800 billion in the United States, a 32% increase from 2019.
People have experienced the luxury that is online shopping. It’s more convenient and saves time and money. Therefore, it’s very unlikely we will revert to in-person shopping to the extent it was pre-pandemic. Online shopping and delivery are here to stay.
For example, since 2015, the number of food delivery app users, such as Grubhub, has nearly doubled. Amazon’s Prime service, which offers free two-day shipping, has seen its number of American users nearly quadruple since 2016. If you sell physical goods and don’t make them available for shipping/delivery, you could get left behind.
2. Offer Online Services
Similar to eCommerce, people migrated to online services because of the pandemic, but it looks like these practices aren’t going anywhere. Shopping for physical goods isn’t the only thing that has become more popular online. Some services that previously were exclusively available in person are now available online. For example, 2020 saw the significant emergence of Telemedicine or doctors’ appointments turned virtual.
A number of industries have taken advantage of online practices, such as Telemedicine (as mentioned above), workout classes, and therapy. All of these services operate exactly how they would in person, but now, they are just through a screen. There are a number of advantages for the consumer when it comes to conducting business online. The consumer is able to go at their own convenience, save time, and easily make comparisons.
Even services such as car buying and selling, which have always required such a personal interaction, have made the adjustment to online sales. Nowadays, consumers are less inclined than ever to interact with salespeople. This very well may be the case for more than just the car industry. If your business has the ability to operate online, it should be a priority to make it an option for your customers.
3. Establish Consumer Confidence
The companies that have recovered the fastest are those who have tailored their business practices to keep their customers comfortable. Understanding and adapting are key for long-term success. Research and listen to what your customers want and expect from you, and make adjustments as necessary.
For example, Didi, a vehicle for hire company based in China, has had one of the best recoveries. Initially, Didi was hit hard, as people were forced to isolate themselves and stay away from others. Since the restrictions have eased, Didi took all necessary steps to give their customers confidence and feel safe when using their services, such as offering temperature checks, masks, and free cancelations for health concerns. Because of this, Didi has been able to bounce back from the pandemic.
There are many ways to find out what will give your consumers confidence when purchasing from you. That’s where market research comes into play – this is key. It’s also important to be direct. For example, you can add a section to your website for customers to include their input or send a survey to your email list. If you prefer to be indirect, stay informed with the latest news, trends, and information surrounding your target audience.
Digital marketing is not a one-size-fits-all industry. What works for one company does not always perform the same for another. The best way to be successful in the industry is to stay informed and be ready to pivot your strategy at any moment.
You can also team up with a digital marketing agency that can recommend best practices and handle the marketing, while you focus on your business. Need help getting started? Contact our digital marketing team today!