Coronavirus has changed drastically the way small businesses are operating in 2020. Lot of small businesses are not able to survive in this pandemic and some have shut down. Small businesses in developed countries like the USA are also facing a very bad time due to this pandemic. A survey from a reputed institute i.e. USA’s National Institute of Science has found out that 40% of the small businesses are shutting down temporarily because of the reduction in the demand and also due to the health concerns of the employee. Due to this companies are forced to shift to online marketing and they are firstly adapting the way online works.
This is amongst the prime reasons due to which we are seeing a noticeable increase in online marketing from the date pandemic started.
Changes in Customer Behaviour Post Covid-19
Akamai, which is a cybersecurity, cloud, and the company delivering content has seen an increase of 50% in the online traffic on websites as compared to pre-COVID. Now, consumers and businesses are adopting the digital marketplace due to the Covid-19. Although the digital market is always changing, consumers will always get a fresh shopping experience. In this vital time, it has become mandatory for businesses of small and medium range also to build their presence in the online marketplace. Small businesses need to keep connecting with their clients for running their business. The best way to do this is to build such a website and design it in such a way that you will reach your customers and it will also represent your business to customers.
Effective website creation for SME businesses
There are several purposes which have been served by a good website design for SME businesses for surviving in this pandemic situation. First, the website would be the sole form of representation of your small business and its brand. Due to the restrictions that came in the covid-19, you have to take care properly of website design. Before a pandemic, your small business website is considered complimentary for the representation of your brand. But now as the front stores have been shut down so the website will serve as the primary tool for your small business. Now in this pandemic, the customers will reach you with this website only. Keeping this thing into consideration you have to design the website as effectively as possible taking into account latest web development trends 2024. This will facilitate the user experience, reach of the customers and will also be used for conveying to them about the identity of your brand.
Customer expectations and habits have changed completely in covid-19. Their online activity have increased due to the outbreak of covid-19 and they are expecting the businesses to accommodate this online shopping changing habits of consumers.
Website design that is user-friendly
For combating this changing need of the consumers, companies are required to build a strong website with user-friendly designs. It is possible to make use of the web design programs regarding this. It is very important to keep track and stay updated with the current trends of website design. For remaining ahead in the curve certain important things should be kept in mind. Few of these will include visual design, intuitive navigation, information accessibility, content, and branding.
The best way for ensuring that the design of your website is meeting this criterion is to stand out against the competitor and seek guidance from some good website design & development agency. The agencies have extensive web design knowledge and their experts have the best techniques for designing the websites. You will get an amazing user experience and your website will stand out from your competitors. You can select the right type of font and customize the designs. For these, the experts are working in partnership with you and will give reality to your vision.
Web tools for reopening your business safely
All the businesses have been impacted with covid-19. Many physical location shops need to close down due to staying home orders. Others have found the ways and have promoted the practices for doing safe business when they are open. The situation for all the businesses is drastically unique and different. The website will be used as a tool for adapting to the change brought by the coronavirus. Your business would be operational and also your customers would be protected. For this, you will find some of the favorite website tools, WordPress plug-ins, and features that will help you in this digital journey. Moreover, you should learn how to keep your website relevant taking into account latest trends.
Selling Products Online
With the help of eCommerce, you can quickly expand your online services for your business. There is also the availability of payment processors and fulfillment options. You need to load your warehouse stock and sell all your products online. This is operating in a similar way as you are selling them in your physical stores.
WordPress Tools for online selling
WooCommerce – This is the standard for developing eCommerce solutions. With the quick support of developers, the eCommerce solutions for WordPress is very fast. There is the constant launch of the new features and various integrations options are possible. If you are looking for eCommerce solutions in WordPress, then WooCommerce is one of the best choices.
ShipStation – The largest challenge and biggest fear in the eCommerce website business Fulfillment. It is very difficult to manage all the shipping providers simultaneously when you are offering free shipping. ShipStation has made this task easy. When this is integrated with WooCommerce then you will get the excellent rate comparison from the different carriers like FedEx, USPS, and UPS.
Square or Stripe – Various payment options are available in the market today. But if you want the easiest and quickest option then Square and Stripe are for you. In this, you just need to create your account and then it will quickly sync with the finance and then it can be integrated quickly with your site.
Online Booking Appointments
When appointments are booked online in advance then it would be easy for your staff to plan safely and maintain social distance. Most of the businesses have fully converted to the by-appointment-only model. They don’t want to overcrowd their spaces. If you also want to book the meetings at these locations, then also you need to make the appointment before. There are various time slots mentioned for it and you can easily manage it from WordPress.
Favorite Scheduling tools for you
BirchPress – This is a great service for calendars and it will easily be integrated with all your current calendars like iCal, Google, etc. All the double-bookings would be prevented. This service will also be supporting the online payments and the reminder notifications via integrating with WooCommerce or PayPal.
StartBooking – The key features of this are to accept the 24/7 appointments, accepting the online payment from Stripe, shortcode for the pages, and reminder notifications.
Easy Appointments – This is the system that is designed for working with businesses in multiple locations for managing, offering flexible timings, and providing email notification.
Need help in navigating covid-19
Excellent way for pivoting the marketing and sales in covid-19 is very stressful and challenging. There are teams of experts who are helping multiple clients with their planning in this covid-19. They will design the online strategy for you which will help in generating goodwill, engaging clients, and helping businesses in this coronavirus storm.
Real time chatting with customers
Before coronavirus has made businesses pause in March 2020, the technology is also reaching a point in which visitors would be able to finish most of the transactions online. It was predicted by IBM that most of the customer’s common questions are answered by a chatbot. Due to this, the expenses related to customer service would be reduced by 30%. This chatbot will function with the help of Artificial Intelligence and it will be programmed as the chat function on the website.
There are customer trends that are pointing towards the desire for increasing the transactions on the website. But this does not mean that customers want to be disconnected from the brands. But with this, it is also important to maintain good personalized relations with the customers with the help of online interactions. Due to covid-19, it has been seen how much important the individual, and authentic brand engagements are with consumers.
There are website features on chat which are combining automated features like chatbots and webchats to improve efficiency and thus maintaining the human interaction with the customers. This is important when we are not physically also together.
Favorite chat tools for websites
Messenger – Facebook messenger has become very important in marketing. This plan is in between most of the communication strategies in business. This service can be integrated very easily with WordPress. A major plus is that it is usable easily. There is no presence of Artificial Intelligence in the messenger besides the chat services.
LivePerson – This is considered as the top service provider for the chat service with the website. It has been said that the industry was invented by LivePerson. The industry is continuously kept on innovating and revolutionizing by LivePerson. They are first in this way for website messaging and conversational Artificial Intelligence and continuously investing in numerous other platforms. They are also in the plan of integrating this with various other services.
Botsify – Botsify is fits in the category of upstart service. They are offering various human and AI chat features on websites at a much more low price than LivePerson. This could not be feature-rich, but it is great for the small and startups who are looking for investing in the chatbot which is run by Artificial Intelligence.
Stay Open Online
It is covid-19 times and the business who are adapting the change only going to survive. When you are developing the strategy for reopening the business then you have to find the ways by which you can reopen your store and reposition it. This can be done by bringing your business online. In these covid-19 times where there is a restriction on physical stores, you can serve your consumers in a better way by building your business online. You can give tools to your staff that will allow them to continue the business and be agile online when there are restrictions to meet the customers physically. With online tools, you can operate your business in a much more organized way. In this way business can be done with all the customers who are not willing to visit your store for placing the business. With website functionality, your staff will also be able to serve the customers in a very good manner from the comfort of their home.
When you are planning carefully then your business will be much more operated efficiently. This will also help in navigating the effects of the pandemic on your business and you will once again reopen your business safely.
Though Covid-19 has brought an unprecedented challenge to the business worldwide various solutions have come out for combating the business challenge in this pandemic. Small business owners are much more heavily affected by this pandemic. One of the best ways for mitigating the risk of this pandemic is effectively and quickly bringing your business online. You just need to contact your customers again through online contacts. You need to ensure that when customers visit your website then they are easily able to find the required details which they want.
The website design should be as strong as possible. The contacts page would be very handy on the website. All the customers’ queries which are coming from any medium either via email, call or chat messages should be answered quickly. You should also provide various payment options which can help the customers to do the payments easily. When you are ensuring all these small things on your online websites then your small business will surely survive in this difficult covid-19 times.
Manoj Shukla serves Mandy Web Design as the Designing head and guides his team in designing eye-catching websites. Apart from the valuable updates he shares through his blog, he is passionate about teaching. Being an exemplary learner, he inspires his team with perspectives like these.