While most everyone is looking forward to the end of 2020 and the beginning of a brand-new year, many of the challenges faced over the past several months aren’t going to disappear at the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2021. The end to the COVID-19 pandemic is still nowhere in sight and, as a result, business owners should expect to be dealing with limits on operational capacities, enhanced cleaning protocols, and other coronavirus-related challenges well into the foreseeable future.
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If your business is one of the many that has been struggling throughout the past several months, though, there is hope. While the virus isn’t going away anytime soon and there will still likely be restrictions, regulations, and protocols to deal with, there are several things you can do to bring in more customers and ensure your success in 2021 and beyond.
Whether you sell in-person experiences, customize and resell wholesale hats, or run just about any other type of customer-based business, coming up with a strategy to bring in more customers in 2021 doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, there are a lot of small changes that can have a huge impact. Keep reading to learn more!
Review and Revise Your Offerings
Depending on what type of business you run, it may not be possible to meet your revenue goals with your current offerings. If, for example, you run a tour bus company, local and state regulations may make it impossible to load up a large bus and transport several people to a major tourist attraction. By changing your offerings to focus on small group excursions, though, you may be able to bring in more customers and boost your revenue. For businesses in the travel industry, now is also a good time to focus on private tours and outings.
If you sell physical products, like clothing, accessories, home goods, etc., take a look at your current selection and make sure you are offering products that meet your customers’ current needs. With people spending more of their time at home, clothing retailers may have better luck selling athleisure wear than business attire right now. And if you are currently only selling your products at a brick and mortar store, now may be the time to start selling online, which brings us to our next suggestion:
Brick and mortar stores in several industries were struggling long before COVID-19. As the pandemic has raged on, though, even more consumers have been turning to the internet to shop for everything from pajamas to pet food. Today, it is possible to buy nearly everything online, and if you aren’t selling your products on the web, you are missing out.
Learning how to sell t-shirts online is relatively simple, and it isn’t much more difficult for most other products. Thanks to the many different eCommerce platforms out there, it’s possible for just about anyone to launch an online store—even if they don’t have a lot of money to invest. And there are plenty of tools for promoting your online store once it’s launched, too. Growing your eCommerce business with YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms takes minimal knowledge and skill, and doing so is affordable on virtually any budget.
Make Your Physical Location Safe and Visually Appealing
Many customers are choosing to do their shopping online because they do not feel safe shopping in brick-and-mortar establishments. If you would like to bring in more people to your physical location in 2021 and beyond, making the space feel safer is a good way to attract many of these consumers.
Rearrange your store to make it easier for shoppers to maintain safe social distancing. Consider placing markers on the floor to indicate where people should stand in areas that tend to get congested—like check-out counters. Make hand sanitizer available to your customers and let them know you are taking steps to clean and sanitize in between customers.
Making your store visually appealing will help draw people in and encourage them to make purchases, too. Design, effectiveness, and the role of visual merchandising in creating customer appeal should not be overlooked. After all, would you want to shop in a store that is dirty, poorly organized, and lacking in visual appeal? It takes some time and effort but creating retail spaces that are inviting and which have safe, clean appearances can make a huge difference when it comes to increasing foot traffic.
Revisit Your Policies
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Policies that worked well pre-pandemic may not work so well in 2021 and beyond. If you offer a service or work in a travel-based industry, you may want to reconsider your current “no refunds” policy. There is a lot of uncertainty right now, and customers may be more likely to buy if they know they can get their money back if they get sick, are exposed to COVID-19 and need to self-isolate, or if local or state mandates force the cancellation of a service they paid for.
If you sell physical products, consider offering an extended return period. Again, with so much uncertainty in the world at this time, customers aren’t always able to return items promptly. This is an especially smart idea if you sell apparel and your fitting rooms are currently closed. Buyers are more likely to take a chance on a garment if they know they will have plenty of time to return it if it doesn’t fit or look how they’d hoped.
2020 has been a difficult year for business owners. The one positive aspect, though, is that it has provided a lot of learning opportunities. As we approach 2021, now is the time to begin implementing strategies for bringing in new customers. Even if you do not have a lot of money to invest currently, there are a lot of small changes to make that could add up to huge increases in revenue for your business. Start developing your strategies for 2021 today and, hopefully, the new year will be much more prosperous for your company.