If you have a wellness or beauty business, you are well positioned to capitalise on current concerns around health and wellbeing. More and more people are shopping online for beauty and wellness products—often simply to relieve boredom and treat themselves by receiving a parcel while in lockdown—but generally because they want to make themselves look and feel better.

But with COVID-19 at play restricting bricks-and-mortar trading, many businesses are now ready to look at their digital transformation as we change our shopping habits.





According to Google, “over the last six months, businesses have embraced digital transformation and thrived. It’s not just or even primarily about building a better e-commerce site (as important as that is). It’s about using data and technology to inform your new product strategy, to alleviate uncertainty in your channel capabilities, to satisfy dynamic customer demand, and to meet customer needs with meaningful action.”

Australia Post says, “2020 has been a year like no other for eCommerce. The latest statistics show that growth was up over 80% year on year (YOY) in the 8 weeks since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared by the WHO, making it clear that the industry has not only kicked up a gear, it has gone into overdrive.”

How do you prepare your franchise business for this “new normal”?

Here are 8 strategies to help grow your business faster:

1. Let data inform your new product strategy. You don’t need to guess. Using crowd sourcing tools like social media, you can ask your ideal audience what they want using surveys, polls and competitions and let these inform your product strategy going forward. Google Analytics can provide some great insights if you have it set up correctly too!

2. Change up your channel strategy. When hairdressers, airlines and restaurants were faced with uncertainty with their channel to market they had to innovate new channels or face no business. Those that innovated kept cash flow positive. Film studios used streaming instead of theatre releases for new films, restaurants used take-out and packaged meals and airlines changed routes and partnered up with other competitors to offer more domestic flights. Offering virtual consults and demonstrations, bundling offers and sending samples can all keep your customers engaged.

3. Satisfy consumer demand. Millions of consumers have moved from offline to online purchases. Social distancing, self-isolation and the closure of bricks-and-mortar stores have meant online has become not just the preferred way to shop, but arguably the only way to shop, prompting unprecedented online growth as retailers and shoppers alike adapt to a new normal. So far in 2020, we have seen more people shopping online than ever before, up 31 per cent in April to 5.2 million. (Australia Post Report, April 2020). You need to go where your customers are. Using tools like Instagram and Facebook and setting up a shopfront can help get your products in front of your buyers.

4. Buy Local.  There has been a significant voice around supporting local businesses with several projects aimed at supporting local manufacturers and small businesses, including:

If you have a local angle to your brand, emphasise it. People love to support small business, home grown products and local jobs.

5. Move offline spend to online. Move your traditional offline spend for trade shows and business development reps to online spend such as Facebook ads, social media posts, search, email and SMS campaigns. It makes more sense to spend your budget where your audience spends the most time.

6. Keep it inspiring and meaningful. Ads that are both inspiring and highly targeted drove up to 30 per cent higher click-through and more than 15 per cent higher purchase intent. These ads worked not because they were personalised, but because they were meaningful. Know your audience and if you are not sure, use social media or a survey to ask questions to build a persona of your customer.

7. Decode the customer journey. As consumers, we make thousands of decisions around purchasing around offline and online touch points. How do you ensure shoppers can discover your brand when there are no physical stores? This is the question that many small businesses have had to answer over 2020. What if your supply chains are disrupted? There will always be another pandemic, recession or bush fire. It is how we build into our business models the flexibility to adapt to the environment and our customers that really matters. Those that are reviewing the customer journey quickly will always be on the front foot in business.

8. Deliver meaning. More than ever before it will be those businesses that can deliver meaning to the customer experience that will stand the test of time with consumer loyalty. Delivering real value to customers requires a customer centric mindset. There is more involved than just that marketer strategy of high keywords and other lead generation tactics. What a consumer last did on your website is a transactional view. To understand a customer’s viewpoint, you need to look along the entire customer journey at what their needs and aspirations are. These deep-seated needs are driving buyer’s intent, but more than that, by being helpful, inspiring and engaging businesses can gain real customer trust over time.





Danielle MacInnis is a customer-centric marketer with over 20 years of experience in marketing specialising in the health and wellness sector.