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COVID-19 Update

Supporting Your Customers During COVID-19

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With much of the country still under shelter-in-place orders and brick and mortar businesses shuttered, it can be challenging for business owners to figure out how to support customers during this unprecedented time. Many in-person aspects of business have changed, and we’ve had to quickly shift to the virtual world. For businesses still operating, value-added services are keeping their doors open while providing homebound customers with the stuff they need (or just want!).

If you’re trying to find new or creative ways to stay connected to your customers during COVID-19, here are some smart strategies we’ve seen businesses using.



In the retail industry, essential businesses, like grocery stores, are still open. Retailers deemed non-essential, like beauty and clothing, have had to move entirely online. For big-name stores that already had an e-commerce platform in place, many are using the opportunity to improve their site’s performance and boost online sales. Increased email and social media marketing, online offers, and valuable extras like free shipping and double rewards are encouraging customers to continue shopping.

For local and small business retail stores, things have been more challenging because they may not have sold products online before. We’ve seen small businesses do a number of creative things to continue connecting with customers and making sales, including adding a simple e-commerce solution to their existing website, or opening a storefront on a marketplace like Etsy. Local business owners are also encouraging customers to buy gift cards now, often discounted, for use when the store reopens.



Lawyers, accountants, and real estate agents have all had to change the way they do things. Virtual meetings via Zoom and secure document signing and sharing apps have become the new normal. For real estate agents who can’t show homes in-person, in-depth virtual tours are the next best thing.

While low interest rates and low competition in the market make this a good time to buy or sell a house, buying a home sight unseen makes some people nervous. We’re seeing agents overcome this by stating in the contract that the sale is subject to a physical showing once SIP orders are lifted, and some lenders are even waiving in-person appraisals.



Nurseries, landscaping companies, and hardware stores are all deemed essential because they sell food supplies, like seeds and dirt. Unfortunately a lot of homeowners have kept these stores busy, ignoring shelter-in-place orders, buying tulips instead of tomatoes.

In an effort to accommodate customers with things they need and want, many of these businesses have started offering curbside pickup and delivery. We’ve even seen some local landscaping companies selling and delivering gardening supplies directly to homeowners, in an effort to keep them home while replacing lost revenue.



All restaurants have been forced to close their inside dining rooms and switch to curbside pick up, delivery, or drive through. Many restaurants are keeping sales up by offering valuable extras, like free delivery, BOGO offers, and best-selling beverages by the pitcher (in states where to-go alcohol is allowed). For restaurants that also have a food truck or do catering, we’ve seen them contact neighborhood HOAs and set up in pool parking lots, much to the joy of the local residents.

We’ve also seen some local restaurants go a step further and offer meal kit options and virtual cooking classes hosted by the chef. These make for a fun date-night-in, and help chefs stay connected to the community so that diners will be ready to go back when restaurants re-open. It’s also a great option for people who are uncomfortable with take-out, and who would prefer to get raw ingredients and cook at home.



Virtual fitness classes are the new norm. Gyms, yoga studios, and even dance and gymnastics for kids are all offering online classes to keep people motivated and moving during quarantine. While some businesses are offering these virtual classes as part of their customers’ normal membership fee or tuition, many are opening up to new customers with discounted online-only memberships.


Get The Word Out

All of these are fantastic ideas for staying connected with customers and maintaining revenue, but it’s only effective if people know about it.

Use email, social media, and your website to post new hours, special offers, and anything else about your business that has changed during this time. Make sure the information is prominent–on your website consider a static (but unobtrusive) banner that travels with the visitors, or pin a post to your social pages. For landscaping companies or gyms that may not have a website, get permission from neighborhood HOAs to share your information with residents.

Everything feels different right now, but we’ve seen some pretty incredible things happening, too. Businesses and customers coming together, supporting each other, and possibly even making some positive, permanent changes to the way things are done. From the PixelPeople family to yours, be safe and well. We’ll get through this together, and we’ll be here when you need us.

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