Do you have an e-commerce store in Ottawa, Ontario or Canada? These tips a can you with your digital marketing in Ottawa.

In addition to having an unprecedented impact on people and our economy internationally, the coronavirus, or COVID-19, caused a global pandemic. Times are uncertain, and while we don’t have all the answers here at Shopify, we ‘re doing everything we can to provide advice to our customers and small businesses around the world.

As merchants are forced to close their doors to combat the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, one of the biggest economic concerns (especially among “non-essential” traders) is how to offset costs. Loss of sales revenue.

We share a list of resources below, as well as advice from our experts and internal partners that details immediate steps traders can take to ease cash flow constraints, respond to declining revenues, and redeploy marketing campaigns. Digital Marketing, man. We also share examples of actions taken by other companies in response to COVID-19.

Article Summary

1. Promote gift cards

Gift Cards provide merchants in Ottawa with an immediate injection of cash and, in most cases, guarantee that the customer will be active again in the future. For traders who sell with particularly low margins, gift cards can help keep the cash flow afloat until the crisis is over.

To convince customers, you can combine discounts with gift cards, or even collaborate with additional local businesses to create co-marketing opportunities that would help you acquire new customers. Finally, in order to reduce the risk of person-to-person contact, you should consider creating a digital gift card programme as part of your social marketing and email marketing campaigns.

Shop Update

Digital and physical gift cards are now available free of charge to all Shopify merchants, regardless of their plan.

2. Create a strategy for pre-order

Customers in Ottawa understand that this time is particularly difficult for local traders. Community initiatives have thus emerged to support and help small local businesses to generate cash. One of the most popular approaches, for example, is to ask customers to pre-order popular products, either by paying a deposit or by paying the full amount.

3. Apply discounts on slow-moving products

Since the sale of non-essential products is likely to experience a significant slowdown or even a temporary halt, companies selling this category of products may find themselves in excess of inventory. Consequently, their main short-term objective is to avoid putting an end to the stock of products that accumulate or become obsolete. Even companies with exemplary management may have between 20% and 30% of obsolete product inventories; it is, therefore, essential to resolve this issue.

Use your inventory management or inventory reporting application to perform an ABC analysis of your product inventory. The aim of this analysis is to prioritize products based on the value they create for your business. Category A items are the items with the highest value, while Category B items add a moderate value. Category C items are those that do not add a lot of value individually but collectively generate hundreds of small transactions.

Reduce transport costs by selling Category C products on a mass basis. Consider applying a large discount, creating packs, or even selling those products to companies specializing in the collection of clearing stocks. While these initiatives may seem counter-intuitive in running your business, they will provide you with much-needed cash at this time and leave room for fast-moving inventory.

NOTE: Knowing that the pandemic situation of COVID-19 is changing rapidly, do not systematically rely on sales data from previous seasons to prepare your next orders.

4. Postpone payment of receivables to suppliers

Expenditure also needs to be reduced in order to reduce cash flow shortfalls. One way of doing this is to postpone payment deadlines for supplier debts. With this in mind, we recommend that traders consult with their suppliers as soon as possible to conclude an agreement that benefits all parties in the short term in order to preserve the integrity and longevity of the business relationship.

5. Interrupt planned payment orders for the benefit of suppliers

Depending on the current trends in demand and the type of activity, some traders will want to slow down production so as not to end up with an inventory that is not being sold. If this applies to you, review the planned raw material orders from suppliers and pause all automatic refilling systems until the situation becomes clearer. You will be able to postpone future payment deadlines in this way. The sooner you cancel or postpone orders, the better your relationship with your suppliers.

6. Reducing shipping costs 

Shipping costs can be eaten in your margins. Here are the tips for reducing them:

Set up the delivery option for the end of the containment. You can offer an end-of-containment delivery option and offer a coupon as an additional incentive.

Manually process orders wherever possible.

Evite expensive packaging. Prefer free (or almost) packaging by courier or transport services (UPS, DHL Express, etc.).

Below, for the first time in its history, the French watch brand Charlie Paris is offering a 15 % discount on the entire shop with the code “STAY HOME,” with delivery scheduled for the end of the containment period.

7. Apply to your government for assistance

Although the option of taking out a new loan at risk of further debt is usually a last resort, be aware that governments around the world are implementing financial support measures for small and medium-sized enterprises affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We have compiled a list of financial support programmes available to small and medium-sized enterprises in countries around the world. We update this list as new programmes are rolled out, and encourage you to review your government’s actions and eligibility criteria.

Find out more: Government assistance programmes for small and medium-sized enterprises affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

Strategies for the revitalisation of online sales

As consumers shy away from social contact and embrace telecommunications, they spend even more time online than they have ever been before. Our recommendation is to use your online store and digital marketing wisely to compensate for the reduction or complete cessation of customer visits at the point of sale.

Now is the time to review your marketing budget and improve the efficiency of your digital communication. Think of the home page of your online store as the entrance to your physical store and transfer some of your physical shopping experience to your online product pages and social profiles. And don’t forget about pay-per-click advertising channels like Search Networks and Display Networks.

Tip: If you have closed your physical store, edit the information associated with your directory listings, such as Google Places and Yelp, to redirect your customers to your online store.

1. Communicate to your high-value customers

Given that 20 percent of your customers are likely to generate 80 percent of your revenue, consider prioritizing these high-value customers to further build loyalty.

You can find applications like Endear in our App Store that combine the functions of a customer relationship management system with a messaging platform. You can use them to increase your productivity and that of your team while working remotely, as they will allow you to effectively keep in touch with your customers via SMS and email, and provide high-quality online customer service.

Stay close to Endear ‘s customers.

Finally, consider adding live chat to your online store to replicate the personalized service that customers receive in-store.

2. Adapting your marketing communications

In the coming weeks, businesses need to be particularly sensitive to the needs of consumers and to rethink their marketing and advertising initiatives. This could be translated into practice by stopping promotion campaigns for certain products and by adjusting the messages and creative content of advertisements to better respond to the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, it is not time to promote travel suitcases as flights are suspended all over the world.

However, brands should be careful not to stray too far from their core marketing message and, most importantly, avoid appearing to be opportunistic. In the rest of the article, we present brands that have made very simple modifications to their marketing messages while demonstrating authenticity. For instance:

This brand of accessories offers a package of products that could prove useful during this mandatory period of containment and teleworking.

3. Create “social experience” on social networks

In the absence of day-to-day reality experiences, customers who are locked down are increasingly searching for social media for interesting content and interactions. Brands now need to be creative in order to make the most of their social media presence.

From virtual showrooms to online yoga classes, some brands are becoming creative when they use their social channels and are already gaining momentum in their already won audiences.

Below, the clothing brand Ateliers Unes has created fashion challenges to perform at home during the lockdown period.

4. Offer shipping free of charge

Shipping costs are a barrier to online shoppers. Consider offering free shipping if possible. Another option, if your store is allowed to remain open in your country, is to offer on-line purchase and collection of packages near your point of sale without any physical contact, for example by placing each order on a small table next to your sidewalk or on the front door of the store.

5. Extend your policy on return and exchange

On the note of sensitivity, compassion for your clients will be very well received in these uncertain times. As stores close, returns and exchanges become more difficult, and online shopping may be affected. In other words, people don’t want to be left with a product they ‘re not happy with.

Extending your return and exchange policy, taking into account the current situation, could ease consumer doubts and encourage online shopping.

Rethink your payment marketing strategy

Digital marketing creates a lot of opportunities when it comes to reaching customers where they spend time online. But given the cash flow constraints, you ‘re likely to have to rethink your pay-as-you-go marketing strategy, invest in tactics that generate the best ROI, and take advantage of the daily budget and total budget control options available on the platforms. Paid advertising, in order to better control your expenditure.

1. Use retargeting ads to reach potential customers

Facebook advertising can help you reach new customers through the Custom Audiences you create, which are either your past customers or your social media fans-people who already know and love your business.

You can also import a customer list to the Facebook Ads Manager and use the platform to engage with your most loyal customers, highlight gift cards, pre-orders, or other offers we’ve covered in this article.

2. Use Instagram as a selling machine

Over the last two years, obviously (an influencer agency) has seen a 76% increase in daily cumulative ads served on Instagram and a 22% increase in campaign impressions compared to the previous quarter. With such a dedicated audience, Instagram can increase the visibility of your brand to existing and future customers.

Create an Instagram feed that includes shopping functionality. The integration of Shopify ‘s Instagram Shopping feature, Instagram Shopping, allows traders to identify their products on their posts so that users can purchase them directly from the Instagram app. Other Shopping apps like Shoppable Instagram Galleries also make it easier than ever to sell products directly from the Instagram app.
Show your ads to the Instagram Stories. Story videos have become a great way for businesses to build more authentic connexions and enhance their brand personality. Make sure you include links to your products so that users of Instagram can make a purchase right from their app.
3. Targeting qualified prospects through smart shopping campaigns
While some forms of advertising may seem out of context during this time, advertising on Google’s search network allows you to reach out exclusively to prospects who are actively searching for your products. The Google Shopping app makes it easier for you to reach online prospects through YouTube, Google’s search network, and Gmail.

Google Shopping is quite easy to set up. You can synchronize products with Google Merchant Center, set a budget, and then let Google optimize your campaign so that your product ads will show up when people perform relevant searches on Google ‘s network.