When California’s stay at home order was announced, I clearly remember a small local business on Instagram responding to a comment about how they would not be selling online during this time. The fan had asked how they could purchase products while this brick and mortar local business was going to be shut down. The answer astounded me; how could you not immediately go online during this time? Granted not every business can easily create an e-commerce site, but this business was less than 6 months old and sold home goods products. How could they afford to just shut their doors?
A few weeks ago I received a referral to help an event and wedding florist out of upstate New York. Due to COVID-19 cancellations all upcoming events and weddings had been either postponed or flat out cancelled causing sales to plummet to $0. So they decided to pivot. Not having done floral retail in about 10 years, the event and wedding florist decided to take this opportunity to offer bouquets and other gifts for Mother’s Day. I was contacted to connect Instagram Shopping to her website so customers could shop for Mother’s Day. Since a basic website had already been created, it was easy to add a variety of products to the SquareSpace commerce page. We were able to get products up on her site within 48 hours and connect Instagram shopping within 5 days (That Facebook approval process though!). She was able to not only offer her own designs and bouquets, but also partner with local businesses in her area to offer additional gifts for Mother’s Day like cupcakes and macaroons.
They sold more than $1,200 within the first 72 hours. A total of $6,500 within two weeks. All it took was a few beautiful pictures, the right customer need (hello Mother’s Day), and sharing it with followers. This pivot worked so well it was amazing to see the orders come in. The content descriptions under each product were not perfect and there were roadblocks in the beginning like checkout problems, setting up a Stripe account and making sure customers could specify what day they wanted porch pick-up or delivery. Yet it worked!
Small businesses are suffering the most during this COVID-19 pandemic and this is perfect example of how sometimes taking what you know and pivoting your business model slightly can make a huge difference in sales. In order for it to work, the customers must already be in your sales funnel and the need for your product has to be there, but being able to throw products up on an e-commerce site for sales can truly work! And if you don’t know how to do it yourself – hire us or Google it.