Mark Ballett is an ecommerce expert with more than 25 years’ experience helping retailers to grow and evolve. He was Supply Director of Cable & Wireless, and CEO of several telecoms companies at the beginning of the internet era, played a leading role in an £80M broadband start up, as well as leading Norweb Telecom's growth from £10M to £100m turnover.
How to react to business growth during the Covid pandemic.
These are not normal times. Since the first lockdown, some businesses have struggled to maintain sales due to a collapse in demand, while many others have benefited from the dramatic growth in online shopping created by Covid.
Depending on your standpoint, this begs two questions:
- If your sales have remained flat or declined, what can you do to increase them?
- Or, if you are one of the lucky ones, how can you hold onto your new clients?
Brand awareness drives success and failure
The first thing to understand about the current business situation is the importance of your Brand. By that I mean how your business or products are known in your market. What often happens when a market sees a surge in demand is that suppliers experience an uptick in sales that is at least in proportion to their market share.
The businesses who were best positioned to attract and absorb the extra demand caused by changing shopping habits have either been lucky, or invested in a few things that made them visible, credible and capable of fulfilling the excess demand when it came.
If you have not done so well, compared to your direct competitors, you need to invest some time and effort in putting that right. If you have done well, you have an easier but just as important task of hanging onto your new recruits. In either case, you need to do much the same things.
The most successful online stores have the following:
- Proposition: valued by the target market, nicely encapsulated in a Brand.
- Currency: a good up-to-date store, that looks and functions well and builds confidence with buyers.
- Welcome: great landing pages, that completely match the search criteria.
- Activity: investment in promotional activity targeting the right audience.
- Clarity: very clear customer segmentation and understanding.
- Relationships: they have been keeping in touch with their clients on a regular basis.
Proposition + Currency + Welcome + Activity + Clarity + Relationships = Success
Assessing your own performance
Let me ask you a few questions to see where you stand:
- Do you have a brand that allows you to charge more than your competitors?
- Have you updated your website this week, with topical content, or in the last month with product information?
- Do you have less than 60% bounce rates on your key landing pages?
- Do you invest in online promotional activity on a regular basis?
- Have you segmented you customer base and differentiate how you communicate to them?
- Do you keep in touch with past customers on a regular basis.
If your answer is 'yes' to less than three, you are going to find it hard to compete and we may be able to help.
Recovering business growth
We help our clients to tick all six boxes above: starting with clarity of marketing, through best practice site build and migration, and support, to helping with all aspect of day-to-day marketing. But they all rest on a strong foundation - the brand.
If you need any help developing your brand, please get in touch. We will help you be prepared to take advantage of the unexpected and to hang onto any windfall customers that come your way.