6 Ways to Increase Retail Sales During COVID-19

Lindsay Atkinson

Content Marketing,
Digital Marketing,
Small Business

As a retail shop owner, you wear a lot of hats. From customer service to interior decorator to inventory management - you do it all and if we know you love what you do. Transitioning even a portion of your brick-and-mortar business to a digital setting is a big decision and task, but the opportunity to increase retail sales and expand your audience beyond your neighborhood is massive.

Here are six ways to embrace all-things digital to reach your sales goals:

  1. Connect with the Needs/Wants of Your Audience
    Start with your audience and serve your audience. Who are your favorite customers? What do they have in common? You can create a mini-audience profile (typical age, family size, likes/dislikes, etc.). These details can help you connect to like-minded audiences throughout your digital marketing and advertising efforts. Let's start small with typical purchases - if customers typically lived nearby and purchased gifts from you every other month, create social media and email newsletter offers that make it easy for customers to order multiple items and ship to multiple locations at once. Making gift-giving (and receiving) easy.
  2. Utilize Video to Show (not Tell)
    Take a quick video of yourself using or wearing your favorite new product, share why it's the best and fill in the sensory gaps. Let's say you discovered the best spring jacket. Explain how the weight, fabric, and details elevate this garment to make it a must-have. Don't worry too much about video quality or messing up your words - honesty and authenticity makes your content personal and reminds us all why we fell in love with your shop in the first place! If you decide to post to YouTube, here are a few tips on how to optimize video!
  3. Expand Your Offerings through Partnerships
    Team up with your business neighbors or besties to create offers and expand your audience. Coffee shops and bakeries are a winning combination but don't be afraid to mix things up. Women are the primary buyers for many households, so while men's grooming solutions and nail polish might not make much sense at first glance, glance again. By combining items into Self-Care Sunday packages, ta-dah - now they make sense. Many retailers are donating portions of their profits to groups in need so combining forces not only expands your audience and boosts your bottom line but, it fuels charitable giving too (that's a win/win/win).
  4. Invest in an Ecommerce Website
    If you haven't already launched an e-commerce store, there's no time like the present. As we are seeing extended "stay-at-home" measures being taken, this is an investment that not only has the potential to help you in the short-term, but will be the best long-term investment you can make for your business. Just make sure you have beautiful photos to properly position your products. Make sure to optimize your images too.
  5. Plan for Long Term Content
    As your building out your website, think about how you're going to intentionally create long-term success from the various channels you're active on. What is your strategy? You know you'll have a website up shortly (if you don't already), but what is your game plan for rolling out relevant content to continue engaging your audience. You don't have a game plan? Now's the time to make one. Because things will get back to "normal" and you want to make sure you're ready to roll and capitalize on the opportunities that will await. And there will be opportunities, you just have to find them.
  6. Build Your Email List
    There's no better time to start building your email list than now. Start with your personal and professional network (or just your friends and family) and create incentives (free products or discounts), or cool gated content on your website (where they can download your info by giving you their email address) to build your audience. Post or send content on a regular cadence so followers and subscribers know what to expect. Build this owned audience now so you ALWAYS have this audience available regardless of whether or not we live through another pandemic crisis. This is best practice 365 days of the year!

Making the leap to digital can be daunting but it also be the platform for new business connections and be the launchpad for new audiences and opportunities.

We hope these suggestions help you spark new thinking. If you need help creating digital destinations or crafting the perfect story and outreach plan to reach customers, we're here to help!

Lindsay Account and Business Development Director

Lindsay is the Account and Business Development Director for Brainchild Studios, a boutique digital content marketing and website creation agency. Brainchild Studios primarily serving brands targeting millennial moms and nonprofits supporting women and children. Lindsay has been a champion for brands and businesses for over 14 years with experience in marketing, brand strategy and account management. She is a member of TEMPO Emerging Women Leaders, a group of community-minded, change-makers in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She's also a mom of two and yoga teacher. With her experience in marketing, motherhood and yoga, Lindsay brings a balanced approach to support clients and projects.

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