All over the country businesses are starting to come out of varying degrees of hibernation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. From hair salons to boutique retail stores, Main Street USA has felt the economic wrath of this virus and many are left wondering how to pick up the pieces and move forward. And while the Paycheck Protection Program has offered a well-needed lifeline for many, others have to get creative and think outside the box just to stay afloat. Here are some ways our clients have leveraged digital innovation to help position themselves for a speedy recovery;
If you can’t meet them, join them… online
A Connecticut attorney had this one figured out before a coronavirus ripped through our country but leveraged the concept to stay relevant, and keep cash coming in during shelter-in-place orders. The ask was simple; could Bee Local help them build an online booking feature for their website that allowed them to schedule (and bill) for virtual consultations. The answer was yes and the results were certainly worth the effort. Not only did the firm see a 65% uptick in revenue from the e-sessions but the firm plans to make the virtual consultation a mainstay in their service catalog, even after life returns to normal.
Key takeaway: These days, it is critical to let people get in touch with you on their terms. Employ digital solutions to make it easy for your customers to engage with your business or services, even as businesses begin to reopen. Getting it done now may help shape the behavior necessary to keep it going, post-pandemic.
You only have millions of chances to make a first impression
When a major gifting franchise was faced with having to limit staff and expected major declines in store-channel sales, they were left with a decision to make. Scale back digital advertising, preserve spend and weather the storm … or highlight unique value props and grow the ecommerce channel so much that it smothers any losses incurred due to lost foot traffic. They chose the latter; leveraging an 80% explosion in Facebook platform usage and some of the most efficient paid social media rates ever. We ran heavyweight campaigns aimed at getting the word out to as many people as possible that they are open for business and more relevant than ever. The results: delivering millions of efficient impressions and thousands of clicks, Bee Local helped create the largest single month of revenue growth in about a decade, for each of the markets we serve.
Key takeaway: as consumers and businesses are easing back into normalcy, social media usage is likely to remain elevated and platform advertising costs at relative lows for at least another quarter. Take advantage by ramping up your paid social media advertising and reintroducing your business to the world.
Buy now, thank me later
What is a regional chain of health and wellness centers to do during a nationwide lockdown of “non-essential” businesses? Sell spa packages, wellness treats and couples’ massages? Not during COVID-19. What they DID do instead, was engage Bee Local to quickly create a digital gift card solution that would allow customers to purchase e-gift cards on their website today, deliver them as emailed gifts at a selected date, good for service at any time in the future. This helped turn a negative into positives. First, with Mother’s Day coming up, taking Mom out to dinner isn’t an option. Even flower delivery is a risky proposition these days. The e-gift card solution allowed the sale of their services to be delivered (as “touchless” as it gets) as timely gifts to realize revenue now, when it was needed the most.
Key takeaway: whether you’re selling a product or a service, e-gift cards are a great way to keep your customers engaged, instantly turn your business into a giftable solution and supplement lost revenue during a period of low overhead. Now is the time to introduce or promote gift cards, while many are still stuck at home with limited gifting options.
These are just a few examples we’ve seen of incredibly resilient entrepreneurs taking control of their own fate and inspiring us all to be creative and innovative, especially during a time of crisis. And while it’s impossible to spin a worldwide pandemic into a positive… when life gives you lemons … you still have to figure out how to charge your cell phone.
To learn more about how Bee Local can help "Un-Quarantine" your business, please contact Anthony, our small business account executive.
Why work with Bee Local Marketing? We are a small business too, so we understand what you are going though. Let our team help you turn business challenges into opportunities.