The global battle against COVID-19 during the past few years has led to a paradigm shift that has focused on empowering local businesses and shopping locally. It arose as a solution to the starkly felt threat imposed on economies around the world by COVID-19. Many Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME's) have benefitted from this permanent change in shopping habits. The pandemic drew a large portion of consumers to shop more locally on a global scale.
If you are a local business owner and wondering how to generate sales and revenue from the local community, check out this article we've set up with all the information you need to know to stay afloat during these challenging times. Here we're focusing on two mandatory components, local delivery and local customer engagement, that will help you get started.
If there’s one important lesson that the whole world has learnt from the current pandemic situation, it is the vital necessity of a local delivery system in driving sales and engagement. As someone running a small or medium-sized business, local delivery is an effective method that will allow local customers to purchase your products online and have them delivered directly to their doorstep. Since pandemic imposed social limitations are still in place, many businesses have included local delivery into their business model because it is the ideal alternative to in-store shopping and shipping. Moreover, it aids business owners to adapt to sudden changes in the marketplace while maintaining a steady stream of revenue amidst the current disruptive economic environment.
By offering a local delivery service, you have the unique opportunity to build a connection with the local community and carve a place for your business in their community. Furthermore, it's an easier and powerful way to attract new customers and drive more sales. Since we're experiencing continuous lockdowns one after the other, people seek community now more than ever. Therefore, it's the best time to connect with your local clientele, create a personalized brand experience and foster sustained growth that will benefit your business in the long run. For instance, you include personalized thank you messages in their delivery packages to create a good bond with your local customers (everyone loves kind gestures!). This would cause customers to feel and act positively towards your business. Right now, several mobile apps help local business owners to deliver their products. Uber and Pickme are two of the most popular delivery apps in Sri Lanka due to their easy accessibility, reliability and ultra-fast delivery service. You can try adopting the suggested apps to your business as well.
Local Customer Engagement
Customer engagement is a crucial component that determines the growth of any business out there. Businesses that focus on fostering customer engagement experience stronger customer loyalty, uncovers up-sell opportunities faster, increase brand value and generate better sales growth (go for it!). Furthermore, you get to gather useful customer insights which would help you in making important marketing decisions and developing content. Here are a few customer engagement strategies we've compiled to help you level up your local customer engagement:
Using various social media platforms is a good way to build engagement with local customers. There are so many things you can do from creating lit (and exceptional) Instagram feeds to asking questions in captions and using Instagram and Facebook ads targeting local areas. That way, your old local buyers can stay updated about your business while you get to capture the attention of new local customers.
- Give your customers a reward
Providing rewards is another great way to build customer engagement. You can use deals, offers and discounts as rewards. You can even offer points for every purchase which could later be redeemed as discounts for the next purchase. Since this pandemic is a difficult time for everyone, such a system would be highly beneficial for your frequent buyers since frequent buyers certainly deserve some reward! Moreover, it would spread word of mouth and attract new buyers as well. At the end of the day, more rewards will keep your customers interested in your products.
- Engage with your customers
Engaging with customers and responding to their needs, doubts and concerns is an excellent way to build customer loyalty. It will delight your customers because engaging would mean that you care about them. Always ensure you like and reply to comments (both good and bad). This will make your customers feel that like they are being heard because it shows that you are present on social media and actively monitoring what people are saying. Plus, respond to and manage DM's promptly (very important!). The longer you make your customers wait, the more likely they are to lose interest in purchasing your products. Responding to customers who show interest in your business on social media and commenting on posts you are tagged in (consistently) are both great client engagement strategies.
Notifying your customers of new offers and deals with SMS and emails is also a great way to engage with local loyal customers
We hope our tips will be helpful to your business. Remember, if done correctly, these short guidelines can generate good revenue while helping you to share consistent, positive end-to-end customer experiences that will reward you throughout the entire journey!