Coping with coronavirus: Short-Term Revenue Strategies for Retailers and SME

May 5, 2020

Written by

Multiply Team

The coronavirus outbreak is going to get worse before it gets better. Needless to say, COVID-19  is on everyone’s minds. As retailers are forced to close their stores, you should have a contingency plan in place. While you can take external financial support such as unsecured loans, short term working capital as a short term revenue-boosting strategy, why don't you use some of the creative methods which are free-of-cost?

Strategies to inject cash into your business

Apply for Government Relief

The government has provided more financial support for businesses to tide through this circuit breaker period. Enterprises will receive help with labour and rental costs, as well as cash flow support.

Businesses can continue to have access to credit, thanks to the further enhanced support measures. The government’s risk share of loans will be increased from 80% to 90% for loans initiated from 8 Apr 2020 till 31 Mar 2021, under the Temporary Bridging Loan Programme, Enterprise Financing Scheme (EFS), Working Capital Loan and EFS-Trade Loan.

A package of measures initiated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore is available for SMEs to help them tide through temporary cash flow issues. More details here.

Have Pre-Order Options

Customers can opt to pre-order popular, commonly out of stock items, which allows businesses to save cost and reduce risk. While it already is a popular option amongst online retailers, there is no better time to implement it than now.

Discount Selected Stock

Businesses in non-essential retail are likely to see a decline in demand, resulting in oversupply and tight in cashflow.  One of the goals for retailers during this circuit breaker period is to ensure that they are not sitting on deadstock. To further facilitate sales, businesses can consider having discount sales, particularly on low-value products which do not bring in much individually but contributes to sales as a collective. Retailers can consider bundling these items and selling them off in a bunch, which can improve cash flow. This also can clear more space in inventory for the more popular products.

Liaise With Suppliers

One way to reduce expenses and hold on to working capital is to request for delayed payment to suppliers. To maintain the integrity and relationship with your supplier, consider discussing an arrangement that will be agreeable on both ends in the short term.

Boost Your Online Sales

Modify Marketing Strategy

To stay relevant in the coming weeks, or even months, brands need to be sensitive and consider consumers’ needs in their marketing strategies. Consumers’ spending patterns are going to change, inevitably, with the presence of this pandemic.

Such changes might call for a pause on specific campaigns for certain products, and an adjustment on the copy and creative direction of the advertisements. The advertisements should be relatable and speak to the harsh reality of the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, a poorly timed ad for travel should be postponed until the epidemic clears.

While trying to stay relevant, brands should be wary of steering too far away from their core message and branding. The worst-case scenario would be if an advert came off as opportunistic. Brands should tread the line between staying relevant and staying true to themselves.

Create Better Posts

Due to everyone cooped up at home, the need for human connection is at an all-time high. This is where clever content creation can help to boost sales. By providing a more “human” experience through social media content, customers may be more inclined to make purchases to fuel that connection.

An immersive experience can also be provided to help consumers feel more connected; for instance, gyms are holding virtual classes, and online fashion retailers are going live with try-on shows.

Reach Out to Loyal Customers

Reaching out to loyal customers is one way to guarantee sales. By sending them a personalised message or through other means of making them feel prioritised and not forgotten amidst this COVID-19 mess, they may feel a strong loyalty to the brand and continue supporting the business.

Offer Free Shipping for Local Delivery

Whenever possible, offer free shipping to your customers. Shipping cost is a barrier for online shoppers, with many abandoning their cart simply because they refuse to pay for shipping. By offering free shipping, customers have one less reason to not shop from your online store.

Revisit your paid marketing strategy

Retarget Ads to Reach Customers

Utilising Facebook advertising can help you expand your customer base through the custom audiences that you can create. Custom audiences consist of your past customers and social media following, fans of your brand.

By uploading a customer list to Facebook’s Ads Manager, you can use the platform to connect and establish a good rapport with your loyal customers, by sending them updates.

Build Social Media Presence

Sales numbers can be brought up by building your social media presence and engaging in paid advertisements to reach target customers through the use of various social platforms.

The approach also differs based on which platform you use. For Instagram, an eye-catching, sleek feed is necessary to draw potential customers. Create gorgeous posts that feature your products, embodying your brand and message. Making use of Instagram Story with the swipe up feature to showcase your products in a more authentic light is also one way to drive interest and sales.

How Multiply can help

Inject cash by using Invoice financing

Invoice financing can help SMEs to manage cash flow and focus on growth. It is not a debt, and you will not be burdened with extra debt. Invoice financing helps to unlock payment for work already done, providing SMEs with steady cash flow. Find out more about it here.

Don't hesitate to reach out to our Sales team

Multiply offers simple and flexible financing for SMEs, from as low as $500 to $500,000.

Reach out to us at +65 8775 0069, or head over to our website to find out more here.

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Multiply Team

Multiply brings a fresh perspective to financial services. We offer simple and flexible financing for smaller businesses.

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