19 January 2021

Five secrets of sales success during lockdown

It’s well known that many businesses – and, in many cases, entire industries – are struggling to stay afloat during the current climate of coronavirus restrictions and economic uncertainty.

So how are some brands keeping their sales figures high when competitors are struggling? Here are five
methods – some novel, some tried and tested – that seem to be paying off.

Strategies to match current demand

All of our lives have changed considerably since lockdowns and restrictions became part of our everyday, and many brands are doing a good job of matching their strategies to the changing needs of the population.

The huge spike in the need for on-demand streaming services to stay entertained at home has seen O2 start offering six months of Disney+ access with new contracts, while Marks & Spencer are one of several retailers tinkering with their online model to benefit their customers. Their most recent venture is to offer Early Learning Centre toys via their website, so parents can make purchases that will keep their little ones happy while doing their online grocery shopping.

Driving brand loyalty

Even if it doesn’t necessarily translate into direct sales, many brands are using the current downturn in buyer activity to keep their customers engaged while competitors are hibernating.

It is certainly true that sales have declined considerably for many businesses, especially in the travel and hospitality industries, but brands that maintain a presence in consumers’ minds are the ones that will reap the rewards when consumer spending does recover.

This could be hotel chains offering promotions on room rates for next year, airlines selling seats far in advance at heavily discounted rates, or others simply offering online content that works for their audiences – just to keep their brand name front-of-mind for when demand bounces back.

Pairing-up products

Brands with broad appeal have found success in promoting one product line alongside others.

Lego is one such business that has seen sales booming during lockdown – and it seems it’s not just the young ones who need entertaining at home either. The toy firm do a good job matching up their sets across age ranges on their website and in retail stores, generating cross-market interest, and within their significant profit growth this year Lego reported that sales of the larger, more complicated sets aimed at older age ranges have increased by 250% since April.

Amazon are another business that have done well out of the lockdowns through their various home delivery services and they’ve driven brand loyalty through their Prime scheme – which offers free shipping, grocery delivery, and media streaming all within the same membership package.

Seamless – and rewarding – online experiences

In our new locked-down existences, where family reunions and work meetings are all taking place
virtually, your online presence has never been more important.

It may be obvious but it’s worth repeating because it’s just so, so important – today, more than ever, your brand is always on show. Consumer habits have changed considerably in recent years, but Covid restrictions and lockdowns have merely accelerated the move away from in-person purchases and towards online shopping. If your digital presence isn’t seamless and rewarding for your customers, it’s
all too easy for your business to be left behind.

Incentivising your customers

Many of the ever-popular options for businesses looking to boost sales are more relevant in today’s post-Covid world than ever.

Whether it’s short-term discounting; encouraging newsletter sign-ups for money off; or sales promotions like Insyt’s, many companies are finding success in building a customer base, even now. The economic uncertainty also means there’s never been a better time to use your price point – or an intelligent and targeted promotion – to attract new buyers for your products.