How Retailers and D-to-C Brands Can Survive the COVID-19 Crisis

Companies that make smart investments in marketing during slowdowns emerge stronger than companies that cut back, says Polly Wong, a managing partner at a direct marketing firm.

In an article published on Total Retail, Wong insists that there's no other way for retail brands to successfully absorb the shock of COVID-19 on their businesses except to create new proactive strategies for survival, recovery, and future growth.

The sudden health crisis has revealed the best and the worst from leaders as everyone scrambled to make sure their businesses survive these troubling times. Some business owners have quickly switched to doing business on digital platforms, using services like; while others prefer to wait a while to see how soon the world handles looming threat.

Wong offers a couple of actionable recommendations on how retail brands and Direct-to-Customer businesses can drive demand and remain viable during this period. These recommendations, drawn from experience gotten while working with over 300 D-to-C and retail brands in the past are listed below:

Optimize for Performance and Lay the Groundwork for Recovery

Don’t cut your entire marketing budget. Only eliminate those that are not working. Focus your resources on areas where you can measure performance so that you can keep spending money on channels that perform above breakeven and hit return on ad spend (ROAS) targets.

Be quick to monitor CPMs, cost per clicks (CPCs) and engagement metrics closely, and invest more in areas performing strongly.

Adapt to Shifts in Digital Consumption

Since the COVID-19 crisis, the way people use the internet has changed. The New York Times, reports a significant shift in behaviour among consumers as they have moved from mobile to desktop in recent times. This means that you must ensure all marketing messages are optimized for both mobile and desktop.

Since customers are spending more time on their desktops, it means there's a likelihood that they are opening emails more. So craft and send messages that are considerate and provide real value for dealing with the current situation. There is no need to focus on nonessential items.

Put your customers first, craft messages that show care and respect for the customer’s constantly changing situation. Avoid troubling headlines, especially when they are targeted at drumming up a false sense of urgency in customers so that they purchase your products or services. Such actions are in bad taste. Review every piece of info to ensure that it aims to address customers’ needs and anxious state of mind.

Find creative ways to shift face-to-face customer interactions and services to online interactions while focusing on providing the best value to customers. For instance, many gyms are now offering online workout sessions as a way to stay connected to customers. Long story short, findcreative ways to bring your customer service experience to digital platforms.

Take the Reigns

Before you do any cutbacks, accompany it with the appropriate research. This is not the time to be arbitrary. Maintain constant communication with customers and best prospects. Brands that make smart decisions today can unearth unique opportunities and keep breaking even in the midst of all the rapid changes going on.


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