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How to keep small businesses going during lockdown

The Covid-19 pandemic has thrown up a wide range of challenges, many of which are unprecedented in nature. The government’s number one priority, of course, is restricting the spread of the virus, while those in the healthcare system are focused on treating those who have become infected.

Meanwhile, the general public are being asked to do their part by staying at home as much as possible, only venturing out for essential items and keeping social contact to an absolute minimum. And then there are businesses, many of whom have been heavily impacted by the crisis.

A survey of companies conducted by the Office for National Statistics revealed that of the 6,171 respondents, 24% reported they had temporarily closed or paused trading for the period between March 23rd (when the lockdown was officially announced) and April 5th.

Furthermore, 80% expressed an interest in the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which allows companies to place their staff on temporary leave while the government cover 80% of their wages, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. These statistics offer clear evidence that businesses are being badly affected, but what can they do to continue trading during the lockdown?

Maintain a strong online presence

A pre-Coronavirus study revealed that 51% of UK consumers prefer to shop online rather than on the high street. With lockdown and social distancing measures in place, the vast majority of businesses have been forced to temporarily shut down their physical stores, so your online presence is arguably more important now than ever. Effective, targeted marketing is crucial – consumers are spending more time at home on their phones, and you need to make sure your brand is visible.

Use a reliable delivery service

With little to no over-the-counter shopping possible in the current circumstances, online orders and delivery requests are the only option for consumers across the country. With demand so high, it’s crucial that you select dependable couriers, via the likes of Parcel2Go to aim to keep your customers as happy as possible. The majority of people are content to make allowances for longer delivery times during such a challenging period, but they also want to be able to track their package and be confident of its safe arrival.

Offer discounts on popular items

If your product range includes items that are likely to be highly sought after during extended periods of isolation, you may want to consider advertising special offers. You’ll encourage consumers to come to you over your competitors, which will help to enhance your reputation and encourage customer loyalty well beyond the lockdown.



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