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Strategies for Staying Connected With Your Customers During COVID-19

a woman sitting at home on mobile phone

At this very moment, the shopper landscape is changing in ways few marketers could have anticipated in the face of COVID-19. As consumers continue to adapt to social distancing, self-isolation, and quarantine procedures, they must adjust their everyday behavior.

And as they learn to navigate this new reality, retailers across all categories will need to do the same and adjust their marketing strategies accordingly. We've compiled a few strategies in collaboration with our certified CMG location data partner to help you navigate during these uncertain times.

Observe the Trends

There's a lot retailers can do both to service their customers in the current retail climate and to prepare for the weeks and months to come. Arming yourself with vital data about consumer behavior, purchasing patterns, and foot traffic trends is at the top of the list. Using Visitation Data from a certified CMG Location Data Partner like GroundTruth, you can stay up-to-date on daily foot traffic changes to key verticals, such as Grocery, Warehouse/Club, Retail and Restaurants, and more.

foot traffic to businesses

Foot traffic shows the week of March 9th was the beginning of the major shift in consumer behavior due to the pandemic. Foot traffic to Warehouse/Club and Grocery stores peaked on March 14th 75% and 46% above average, respectively. By the end of that week, we started to see major declines in foot traffic to Restaurants and Retail locations as many retailers were mandated to shut their doors or switch to delivery/takeout only options.

Keep in Touch With Loyal Customers

GroundTruth's data about consumers' past visitation behaviors can be used to connect customers with the offers that are most relevant to them. For example, brands can reach their most loyal customers with location-based mobile ads that share store hours and product availability, the store location nearest to them, the distance to that store, and any timely information to keep them informed.

Target Customers via Mobile Screens

Another strategy for keeping your brand top of mind is using residential targeting to deliver relevant messaging and offers to mobile devices while consumers are at home. For a successful neighborhood targeting strategy, a mailing list or CRM is needed.

Address Inventory Concerns

One of the worries on consumers' minds these days is whether they can still get the products they need. Many have already discovered first-hand that it can be difficult to find items like cough syrup, toilet paper, canned goods, and meat.

This means brands must find creative ways to maintain an ongoing dialogue with potential customers even when they aren't physically in a retail store. This includes keeping them informed about product availability in-store, ordering online, delivery options, and the ability to pick up curbside or on-site.

Attract First-Time Customers

Because consumers are adjusting their approach to shopping, visiting different retail channels and trying new products when their favorites are unavailable, retailers have the opportunity to target first-time customers. You can use this time to build a positive association with your brand.

One way to do this is by conquesting major competitors' audiences to introduce your brand to shoppers and let them know you're stocking essential and in-demand products. Including a first-time customer offer in your ad can boost consideration. This approach will also help keep your brand top of mind, as many consumers are increasing their daily screen time to stay connected.

Cox Media Group Local Solutions Can Help

Until we can put the COVID-19 pandemic behind us, it's important to get creative and focus on strategies that will help shift your business into the current landscape and out the other side for the benefit of both customers and the community at large.‚Äč Cox Media Group Local Solutions can help you transition your marketing game plan to facilitate growth in this uncertain atmosphere. Contact us.

Want to learn more about strategies for staying connected with your customers during COVID-19? We take a deeper dive with our trusted data partner in this free white paper, "How to Stay Connected to Your Customers During COVID-19." - Download your copy today!

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