4 Digital Best Practices for Small Businesses Post Lockdown
After a long and difficult winter, small businesses are emerging from lockdown and opening their doors to customers once more. It’s a really exciting time and hopefully, one that signals the start of a brighter future for the whole of the UK! However, being able to open cafes, restaurants and shops again doesn’t mean abandoning all the digital development and innovation small businesses have worked so hard on during lockdown. To help out, we’ve put together a quick list of 5 digital best practices it’s definitely worth continuing with, even as you begin to reopen all aspects of your business.
1. Don't neglect online ordering and delivering
For cafes, restaurants and independent shops, online orders and deliveries were a vital part of keeping the business running during lockdown. Whilst many customers will be desperate to begin high street shopping and eating out once more, there will still be those who don’t yet feel comfortable jumping back into ‘normality’. In fact, a 2020 study showed that 74% of people planned to keep prioritising online shopping, even as lockdown began to ease. If you’ve got the capacity, online orders and deliveries should still be an integral part of your post lockdown growth strategy in 2021.
2. Use digital channels to communicate with your customers
Whilst lockdown might be officially over, there’s still plenty of rules and precautions businesses need to follow to keep everyone safe. A great way to ensure this happens smoothly is to clearly communicate with your customers via digital and social channels ahead of time. From regular posts on social media outlining your Covid secure policies, to reassuring customers who reach out to you directly, digital communication is a hugely powerful tool in these uncertain & exciting times. Don’t forget, Google My Business also allows you to update your listing with your latest Covid policies, opening hours and available services, reminding those searching for your business online.
3. Keep your business contactless
Even when it comes to welcoming customers back into your physical premises, digital tools can help keep everyone safe. Every small business that handles transactions should be working with contactless payments as much as possible, minimising the need to handle cash, or even passing a card machine backwards and forwards. Contactless card readers can be paired to mobile devices as well, giving businesses even more flexibility when it comes to taking payments in outdoor spaces, or away from their usual premises. It’s a simple, cost effective and a great way to keep you and your customers as safe as possible.
4. Stay flexible with digital tools & tech
Small businesses have had to become experts in flexible working over the past year, adapting to rapidly changing situations at the drop of a hat. As a result, many small businesses have taken this opportunity to invest in tools and technology that have allowed them to work remotely, or from home. Now, as lockdown eases, one of the biggest questions these businesses face is what kind of ‘normal’ they want to return to. For many, going back to the 9-5 simply doesn’t work as an option any longer, particularly now more flexible alternatives have been tried and tested. If you’ve found a way of working that suits you better than how you operated before the pandemic - why rush back? Take advantage of technology and stay flexible!
We hope you enjoyed this latest article on digital best practices for small businesses post lockdown. For more insights and articles designed to help small businesses unlock their digital potential, you can visit our Insights hub.
 ‘New lockdownhabits here to stay as ‘most plan to keep spending more frequently online’ saysVisa.’ Internet Retailing, 03.06.2020. https://internetretailing.net/payment/new-lockdown-habits-here-to-stay-as-most-plan-to-keep-spending-more-frequently-online-says-visa--21498