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Update Your Online Presence for the New Normal

By Heshy Friedman

Before the outbreak of the Coronavirus, you could probably get away with a less-than-perfect online presence.

If you operated primarily face-to-face with your customers, your website likely acted as a supplement to your storefront or office, mainly functioning to provide information about your services, hours, and a folksy “about us” section. It may have even had a shopping function. But was never meant to replace one-on-on interaction.

Then, everything changed.

Right now, your online presence might be your only presence.

Cautious consumers may be wary of venturing into any physical spaces. Many are concerned about keeping up their social distancing, and—depending on your market—you may in fact be barred from opening your doors at all.

Not to mention that with 42% of the labor force now working from home, commuter-focused forms of outreach like radio or billboards have lost their audience.

Once bustling-cities and centers of commerce are now deserted, with glitzy storefronts and high-end office space of little value. This eerie photo of a deserted Times Square in the center of Manhattan that I recently took is an testament to the impact of COVID on our retail and office space.

Reconsider your outreach strategies
In this brave but not-so-new world, your website needs to pack all the punch and presence you would communicate in person. It has to be as clean, intuitive, and as attractive as a well-designed showroom.

Take the long-term care business, for example. Your care facility’s physical location may be as gorgeous and ornate and well-equipped as any—but if your website looks like it was designed and updated for Netscape circa 2002, that’s the impression potential clients and their families will be left with.

Care facilities are required by law to make their COVID statistics available to residents and the CDC, which has the final say on your facility’s accessibility. With visitation restricted, your website may be the full extent to which family members can interact with the facility. It has to make them feel as comfortable and safe as they would feel if they were walking in the front door.

Unprecedented times create unprecedented opportunities.
It’s never too late to make sure your business thrives. Consumers are spending up to 30% more online as a result of the coronavirus, and digital media offers new and exciting avenues to explore.

Because COVID cases are still fluctuating and the possibility of a second lockdown looms, a polished online presence allows you to transition seamlessly, at a moment’s notice, from physical to online presence, and back again.

More than just life support
Making the transition to a digital storefront represents a perfect opportunity for optimizing your business. Ecommerce is one of the few sectors still seeing growth amid the pandemic. Online shopping has already proved a hit with consumers for convenience, and becomes more attractive as shopping tools become more accurate and specific.

Ordering a product, waiting for its arrival, and preparing for what could be an arduous return process used to outweigh the perceived ease of use. Now with online tracking, free returns from most major retailers, and increasingly specific categorization of products, the process could hardly be easier. You can order an item of clothing, follow it every step of the way, receive an alert it’s been delivered, and should you reconsider your purchase, sending it back is just a 5-minute trek into the post office.

Amazing tools
Online advertising brings to the table superior analytics that were once only available to ad agencies with full-time statisticians. And major online platforms offer tools to help zero in on prospective customers, all while reaching farther than a newspaper ad or radio buy could ever hope to.

A polished online storefront means no matter what hurdles try to break your stride, you’ll hit the ground running. But don’t shortchange yourself with do-it-yourself solutions, and don’t accept a vendor who will just throw up a website and hope for the best. Come to us for comprehensive solutions that work.

Bottom line: There’s no better time to set yourself up for success than right now. Contact us today.

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