By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
While many companies have shut down during the pandemic and may struggle to reopen, others have experienced an uptick in business. While it’s not a happy reason to do more business, these business owners have enjoyed more sales in the past few months.
“We’re seeing more people come in during this time than ever,” said Tricia Woodward, store manager at Save A Lot in Fulton.
Stockpiling caused some stores’ sales to jump initially.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index Summary released May 12, “food indexes rose in April, with the index for food at home posting its largest monthly increase since February 1974.”
Though that kind of panic-induced buying has since waned, sales are still up since before the pandemic. Part of the increase involves restaurants remaining closed except for takeout. Wary consumers have been dining — and cooking — more at home to seek the familiar comfort of favorite foods. Those still not back to work have extra time to try new recipes.
Though that’s great for grocery stores, management has implemented numerous changes and many of those increase their overhead.
Woodward said that Save A Lot employees began to wear masks and do business at registers with Plexiglas shields between themselves and customers. Signs posted at the entrance request customers to wear masks and the store has ramped up its normal cleaning protocol to sanitize with bleach the carts, shelves and tags twice a day.
As stores and other companies have to adjust how they do business, they may need to change how they use technology. That benefits companies like Good Monster, a digital marketing firm in Clay.
“There’s tech changing every day in response to this,” said John Timmerman, CEO of Good Monster. “E-commerce is exploding. People are ordering food online. Delivery services are seeing a huge spike. They’re making services better and more seamless. The work we do at Good Monster, we’re handling increased sales and traffic and trying to make the customer experience better.”
By improving the customer experience, businesses can help smooth over snags such as when they run low on items buyers want or cannot provide services they expect. A big aspect of helping consumers adjust is sharing the right message in the right way. That stems from creating an effective strategy. That’s a big part of what Deb Coman does. She owns Deb Coman Copywriting in Syracuse.
“Strategy is needed now more than ever,” she said.
Once business owners realized how the pandemic would affect businesses, they were more capable of working on how they would relate to the buying public. After that initial pause, Coman saw her business become busier.
“I have had more work during this time, both writing and the strategy behind content, because it’s more important now than ever to have an online presence that is clear, aligned, and consistent,” Coman said. “I’ve gotten some new clients as a result.”
Some of her new clients have never built an online presence and are now starting from scratch. Coman believes that the need for companies to keep current with their customers has helped her business not only survive but to thrive during the crisis. She added that many companies are pivoting to different revenue streams since quarantine has limited their regular means of doing business.