How Restaurants and Retailers Can Generate Leads and Sales Online

As a restaurant owner or a retailer, are you going to panic or prosper or panic? There are two choices when it comes to how to react to the current state of affairs. (If you are currently panicking, you can make the switch. I was a combination of meltdown/nervous breakdown before the calm took over.)

The good news is, while customers aren’t coming in and to go orders are down, you can still generate sales to provide cash flow right now. Here are some strategies you can implement immediately.

Pre-sell gift items

Give folks at home motivation to buy from you now. This not only generates more cash flow, which is super important, but ensures the customers come back in when your location reopens. Big, glaring asterisk on this one though. Don’t just ask your customers to buy. That only benefits you. At a time when many are worried about money and safety, you’ve got to make it worth their time and truly benefit them.

Offer free items like alcohol based hand sanitizer or face mask. You can also offer some discount of about ₦1,000 for every item purchased or for specific items like a ₦1,500 discount for items above ₦10,000 plus the free gifts of either an alcohol based hand sanitizer or face mask. Whichever one that won’t shake your profit much, but the offer has to be very attractive.

To get people to buy now, the incentive has to be so good they’d be hard-pressed to say no. Get this right and they will not only buy now, but will share it with others.

Contactless and transparent delivery

If you are a restaurant, instead of just offering takeout, opt for transparent and contactless delivery. First, set up a webcam in the kitchen where the food is prepped so your customers can see the safety and cleanliness measures you have taken. You can use Facebook Live to broadcast. Then for delivery, let the customers know when you are approaching via text, and instead of knocking on the door. No person-to-person contact needed.

For added buzz, offer a special incentive for delivery at this time. Like with your dinner order, get a second order you can give the kids for lunch the next day. (Let the mammas rejoice!) Retailers can offer delivery of the “item of the week” to your best local customers with an added gift certificate to use in-store once you reopen.

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Start a Facebook Live program

People are yearning for connection and community right now. Reach out to your tribe with a free video series via Facebook Live. Connect with them daily or weekly, offering updates, insights, your knowledge, trivia, etc. You do you. And don’t worry about being perfect. Everyone knows you are at home without fancy equipment or sets, so just be authentically you. It’s the perfect time to have imperfect progress on something new. 

Paid program via video

While people are stuck at home, there are ways to make money with your expertise. Offer a paid and interactive cooking class where you walk them through the steps of making a dish normally found only in your restaurant.

Retailers can offer a weekly shopping show where you display some of your customer favorites and viewers can make purchases that you’ll deliver to their door, or a private styling service done virtually, using the person’s closet at home to map out outfits. Get creative.

The most successful brands in history came out of times of turbulence because they didn’t copy what everyone else was doing. They got resourceful.

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