The impact of COVID-19 has undoubtedly changed the way resellers do business. To contain the virus, governments of several countries have taken unprecedented measures such as limiting travels and in severe cases, implementing strict lockdowns, causing many businesses to close their doors to the public.
Flea markets and swap meets all over the country have closed until further notice, and vendors are left with piles of merchandise and nowhere to go or sell it. Luckily, ecommerce is thriving due to the coronavirus and shoppers wanting to buy online in the safety of their homes, and there are still plenty of options for vendors to be able to sell online without spending an arm and a leg on an ecommerce platform.
Keep Yourself Safe & Informed
We know there’s a lot going on and every day things are changing, but one of the only ways to get through this pandemic is by keeping yourself safe and informed on what’s going on in the world. There are many different credible, official sources like the National Retail Federation, who post updates every day on their website on what businesses need to know about COVID-19.
There’s also the Small Business Administration which offers multiple resources for business loans, guidance, assistance, and other helpful posts for those who are negatively affected by the pandemic. The SBA also just released their Payment Protection Program in early April, which forgives small business loans up to $10k so they can continue paying rent, their employees, and other necessities.
Staying Connected on Social Media
If you’ve been selling at a certain flea market or swap meet for a while and have built a loyal customer base, you can still stay connected with them through social media, first and foremost. If you are already on an ecommerce platform such as BigCommerce or Shopify, you can connect those stores to Facebook and create your own Facebook store for your loyal customers to shop from.
Payments and shipping go through the ecommerce platform you’re on, but customers can easily browse your products right from your Facebook business account. It’s a simple process to connect your ecommerce platform to your Facebook account and it gives you extra exposure. Read more on how to fully set up a Facebook store in our article “How to Start Selling on Facebook.”
Prepare A Customer Service Plan
Staying connected with your customers goes beyond just continuing to sell your products online. Regularly keep in touch through social media and post daily updates on what you’re doing or planning, or just to say hi to your followers. Encourage your followers to reach out if they have any questions and respond to them promptly.
According to a Facebook Business Resource Hub, consider drafting templated responses for your emails or set up instant-reply messages with information you expect your customers will be looking for. Connect with your customers for free in real time using Instagram Direct Messages, Facebook Messenger, or setting up a WhatsApp Business profile.