How To Sell Online When Nobody Wants to Buy

It’s impossible to ignore everything going on in the world around us, and it would be unwise to think that individuals and businesses will always behave the same. However, this does not mean that everything must come to a grinding halt when things do occur. Even when there is a global event that makes the economic future uncertain, businesses still need to be able to keep themselves going. So with that in mind, we are going to share some of our tips and tricks to keep your business not only running, but thriving. 

1) Find your ‘in demand’ product

In times of pandemics, quarantines and extreme weather, people are going to buy more of certain products. For instance, the dry goods businesses are likely reaping in the profits from people panic buying when they feel the need to stock up.

Take a look at what you offer to your customers. Think about what you would want to buy in this scenario. Maybe you have your own brand of household goods, cleaning products or even ways for people to enjoy spending their time while they are at home for long periods of time. 

2) Take advantage of competitors reducing their marketing

We know what you’re thinking- now is not the right time to be putting money into marketing what you’re selling. That is likely to be what your competitors are thinking as well. While some changes may need to be made for the types of products you are advertising, as well as budget changes in line with this, it is not a good move to stop marketing completely. You may find that some of your competitors do just that, and leave an empty space in the market. That is a space you can fill and gain from. 

People are still looking to buy (we will explain why in the next point), so if you are able to get yourself in front of them while your competitors are not, then you stand more chance of completing your conversion goals and making sales

3) Focus on why people want to buy, and the emotions connected to it

Even in times of global crisis, people still want to spend their money. It may be that people are more reluctant to part with their money, so you will need to tap into what will make them want to buy. There are many different reasons why people may want to buy certain products at this time, such as:

  • Survival and enjoyment of life
  • Enjoyment of food and beverages
  • Freedom of fear and pain
  • Being comfortable 
  • Care and protection of loved once

People may buy soap and hand sanitiser (among other cleaning products) en masse during outbreaks of diseases. This is because they believe that buying these items will decrease the chances of contracting diseases through good hygiene practices. If panic buying ensues due to a snowstorm and supermarkets struggle to stock food, people may look more towards takeaway food to fulfill their needs. Gift and card retailers may see an increase in their conversions as people want to reach out to loved ones. 

By focusing on the emotions that your customers might be feeling, and their reasoning behind why they want to buy, you can adopt the right marketing strategies to put yourselves in front of them when they need you. 

4) Know who you are selling to

This goes hand-in-hand with knowing why people are wanting to buy. If you are able to examine who your target customers are, then you are more able to understand their motives as well as what they are wanting to see from brands. 

One way to do this would be to create a few buyer personas for your business through researching the demographics you are targeting. Through this research, you should aim to find out the typical personal lives, issues they face (related to needing your product) and their decision making. Target personas also require some imagination, so you can make it fun as long as it’s still accurate. For more information on knowing your target audience, we have another blog post relating to why you need to know your target audience that you can check out. 

5) Get in front of people where they are

If more people work from home due to a global crisis or lose their jobs in an economic downturn, they will be going out less. With this in mind, it might not be the right time to put loads of money into your storefront or posters out in the community. The best place that you can find your customers is online, whether that be social media or search engines. By focusing your efforts and budget on digital marketing campaigns, you are likely to reach even more people with your advertising than you would by continuing with traditional methods. 

6) Keep in touch with your current clients

It might be easy to get caught up in finding new leads and customers during this period as you want to be able to grow your business in these troubling times. However, one thing to keep in mind is keeping in touch with the customers you already have. Showing that you are thinking of them and care about their wellbeing will create a sense of positive rapport with them, as well as keeping your brand in the forefront of their mind for when they next want to buy. 

Now, this doesn’t have to mean that you personally call every customer to chat with them about their experiences. What it could mean is sending personal emails or promotions/sales to your previous customers, letting them know that you are still up and running at the same time. 

7) Offer discounts

While economic situations can be bleak and unpredictable during challenging times, offering discounts for previous, current and new customers can be a good way to increase sales. People still need and want to buy, but with many potentially uncertain about their job prospects and monetary issues, it can be more difficult for them to make that purchase.

Creating discounts and offers on items that people are likely to need or can’t get elsewhere is a great way to keep sales up. As long as you consider your profit margins and stock, this could be a real boast for your company. Especially as your customers are going to remember your company as being helpful and considerate, and if they enjoy your products then it is to be expected that they will then buy them full price from you in the future. 

 8) Make the most out of your current traffic

If you are still uncertain about putting more money into paid advertising at this time, then there are some other options for you as well. Increasing the time and focus you spend on optimising your website and branding will have a positive impact on your conversions. 

Take the time to really think about your company’s unique selling points (USPs) which is what you can offer to your customers that your other competitors don’t or can’t. Consider the value of your company to customers at this time and how can that be utilised in whatever situation may arise. Create blog posts or change the content on your web pages to include more keywords- this will help more customers find you, and therefore gives more chances for sales. 

9) Utilise Google Shopping and retargeting campaigns

In times of crisis, buying items in person can become not only stressful but potentially dangerous for some members of our communities. If you can take the challenge out of buying online and make it simpler for your customers to get what they need, while providing a positive customer experience, then you can expect your conversions to increase. 

Google Shopping shows your items related to their search, meaning they don’t have to scour the internet for their ideal product. By optimising your Shopping ads, you are more likely to be shown to future customers when they come looking.

That doesn’t mean they are going to buy straight away however. Creating a remarketing campaign so your adverts show up to people who have already viewed your product means that you will stay at the forefront of their mind when they are ready to buy. Where people are more likely to be on the internet and social media in the coming weeks, if not months, you have the chance to pop up to them multiple times to recapture their interest.

 10) Invest in paid social advertising 

As mentioned in the last two points, people could be spending more time on social media for an indefinite amount of time in response to global events. They will be looking to entertain themselves on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok to fill their time and distract from the world outside. 

Advertising on social media at this time can increase traffic to your landing pages as people scroll and click through on the products they like. To make this effective, you need to utilise the target audiences you created from tip four, and make sure that the settings on your advert reflects this. If your target audience is people living in London over 35 year old, you wouldn’t necessarily want to be advertising to teenagers in Manchester. Make the most out of your budget and ensure the right people are seeing what you have to offer. 

These tips are not only going to help your business stay active throughout a global crisis, but keeping up these practices in the periods after will see a boost in your conversions and sales. 

If you have any queries about how you can advertise and utilise digital marketing for your business during a global crisis, then please contact us to arrange a video meeting.