(Continue to) fight the virus without lowering sales!
The tourism sector was not the only one to suffer from a lack of customers due to the pandemic. It is true that the Algarve region depends on domestic and foreign tourism, and that an online application that would allow a local visit to our wonderful attractions would not increase the number of visitors. However precisely because of this, we need to rethink our strategies and at the same time, turn our attention to other types of businesses that are equally in competition.
Until we regain our health, spirits and tourists, we must have the resilience and intelligence to adopt all possible measures to overcome Covid-19 without lowering sales. In this sense, a differentiated local economy that favors quality is needed to leverage sales in different sectors in the Algarve, and to do so, adopt some of the best practices to maintain (eventually, even increase?) productivity. Education, health, agriculture, livestock, fishing, industry, wholesale and retail, transport, financial, administrative and real estate activities, information and communication…
Below is about the best practices to develop business in 2022 – suitable for virtually all sectors of activity in the Algarve.
1. (continue to) Betting on local work
Being viable in its area of activity, local work is the ideal solution to ensure the health and morale productivity of employees. And there’s no reason to be counting down the days until you get back to the office, when there are so many free online tools to communicate with your team on a daily basis and remotely analyze and control business communication! You don’t even need to have a company with a large technological structure to provide the necessary means for teleworking because, from the start, with Internet access from home, your team only needs laptops with necessary software. However, keep in mind that the fact that they are presented on the other side of the screen; every morning at the usual meeting, does not mean that your employees are highly motivated.
2. Adapt products and services to post-Covid consumer concerns
A virus that cannot be seen with the naked eye has completely changed consumer habits and for this reason you must adapt your offer to the concerns, desires and needs of your customers, advertising the benefits of your products or services, according to latest criteria of demand that relate to convenience, safety, hygiene, productivity and sustainability. Indeed, the pandemic has made consumers more technological (as you know, searches and purchases of products and services over the Internet have increased considerably in the Algarve and the rest of the world), but it has also made them more selective: if before they use to be undecided, now they are looking for more information and more points of comparison before making a purchasing decision. And because they are better informed, consumers are more thoughtful and more demanding. The result? Impulse buying is gone! Today any kind of investment is rationalized, so you can’t neglect the quality of your product or service, nor stop trumpeting the advantages of your offer. It’s important that you position your company as a reference in your market to attract these new post-Covid consumers who have been for months in a fragile, confined home. And that, as a result, have acquired a new social conscience, showing themselves to be more concerned with their health and well-being, but also with the common good and the national economy, in particular with the productivity and sustainability of companies in the Algarve.
3. Invest in digital
If the company is able to maintain more than it can and like to increase company’s sales for this year 2022, you need to improve your online visibility and brand reputation to gain new customers. And the best way to do this (if not the only way) is through digital marketing strategies. For starters, you should reconsider the design of your website. Sure, you already have a 24-hour operational platform, but to be able to transcend across geographical boundaries and reach more potential customers it is important display the right presentation… but it does also offer a good user experience! – When in doubt, make sure your site has relevant and well-organized content, so that users can quickly find the information they are looking for. Also check if the navigation structure is transparent, if the layout is modern and functional, and if there are accurate descriptions and image galleries about your products or services. Then, include attractive CTAs/Call to action to inform visitors the next step, as well as including a share button linked to social networks and objective contact forms; ask only for the information needed to be explained by the customer. Finally, invest in responsive design, which automatically adapts content to all screen sizes, and in speed: with all pages of the site optimized to open almost instantly, so you don’t run the risk of losing a single customer to your competitors!
Still on the digital investment!? I have to say that online selling is another issue of utmost importance! If you can sell your products or services at a distance, don’t hesitate to invest in an online store. It is the best appropriate way to thoroughly present your offer, to highlight the benefits of your products, and as well sell through the 24 hours/a day to any location. Reaching more people without major costs, both in opening and maintenance and at least compared with the expenses spent on a physical store. And besides providing a more comfortable buying process for your customers, with an online store you can start to offer efficient communication channel between your company and the users and as well monitor which allows you to later create accurate content marketing with leads and optimize content for new conversions.
Finally, I would advise you to create an “About us” with relevant content about your company, about your area of expertise and even about the Algarve, answering the main questions of your target audience is the most important stage of increasing the sales funnels. And please, don’t forget to optimize these contents with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategies to appear in the top ranks of Google search results!
Regardless of the tips, it is always important in advance to prepare an annual action-plan for financial recovery. This is where you should be able to identify the “less functional area” based on the currently experience across the Algarve region, and including your business in particular. And, lastly also schedule to convey the best strategies to increase turnover in your company, by hiring a business consultant.
Article published in the Região Sul Journal
About Luís Horta
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