Website Tools to Help you Safely Navigate COVID-19 and Reopen Your Business

Craig Kazda  |   June 10, 2020   |  Posted in COVID-19

Almost every business has had to face the impact of COVID-19. For many businesses, stay-at-home orders have forced physical brick-and-mortar locations to close their doors. Others have been required to find ways to promote safe business practices while staying open. Each business situation is drastically different and unique, but your website provides you an incredible tool to adapt to coronavirus, keep your business operational, and protect your and your customers.

To help, we have compiled some of our favorite WordPress website plug-ins, tools, and features to help you stay nimble

Woman buying through a website online and receiving package

Sell Products Online

While your doors may be closed, there is no reason why you must stop your business. With the expansion of online eCommerce services, fulfillment options, and payment processors, you can quickly set up online stores, load your inventory, and sell products through your website the same way you would operate

Our Favorite WordPress eCommerce Tools

  • WooCommerce – (https://woocommerce.com/) – WooCommerce has become the de facto standard for WordPress eCommerce solutions. The reason is that WooCommerce is incredibly flexible with a fast network of developer support, new features constantly, and numerous integrations available. If you want to sell through your WordPress website, WooCommerce is the best way to go.
  • ShipStation (https://www.shipstation.com/) – Fulfillment is the biggest fear and the largest challenge of any eCommerce website. Managing each shipping provider can turn out to be a nightmare, especially if you offer free shipping. With ShipStation, shipping is made easy, integrating with WooCommerce and offering you the best rate between the major carriers (UPS, FedEx, and USPS).
  • Square or Stripe – (https://squareup.com/us/en or https://stripe.com/) – There are thousands of payment options available on the marketplace these days. If you are looking to get up and running quickly and easily, we like Square and Stripe to help you get off the ground quickly. Both services make creating an account, syncing with your financial institution, and integrating with your website a breeze.

Open sign in a small business shop after Covid-19 pandemic

Book Appointments Online

Being able to easily book appointments through your website is a great way to help maintain proper social distancing and plan staff safety appropriately. Many businesses have converted to a “By Appointment Only” business model to be able to personally serve customers without over-crowding physical spaces. Regardless if you need to book meetings at a physical location or virtually through Zoom, these tools use your website to support customers booking appointments online in time slots that you can manage within WordPress.

Our Favorite Online Scheduling Tools

  • BirchPress – (https://www.birchpress.com/) – What is great about BirchPress is that this service works with your existing calendars (Google, iCal, etc.) to prevent embarrassing double-bookings. This service also supports reminder notifications and online payments via PayPal or integrations with WooCommerce
  • StartBooking – (https://www.startbooking.com/) – Key features include the ability to accept appointments 24/7, accept Stripe online payments, reminder notifications, and easy shortcode inclusion on pages.
  • Easy Appointments – (https://wordpress.org/plugins/easy-appointments/) – Easy appointments are, well…EASY! This system is designed to work for businesses with multiple locations to manage, provides email notification, and offers extremely flexible timetables.
Need Help Navigating COVID-19?

Determining the best way to pivot your marketing strategy in the wake of COVID-19 can be challenging and stressful. Our team of experts have helped multiple clients plan and execute an online strategy designed to engage clients, generate goodwill, and help businesses weather the storm. See how Quantum Dynamix can help your business.

Contact QD for a Free Consultation

Chat with Your Customers in Real-Time, Online

Well before COVID-19 brought businesses to a grinding halt in March of 2020, technology was progressing rapidly enough to allow visitors to complete most transactions online. IBM has predicted that 80% of all customer’s routine questions can be answered with a chatbot (website chat functionality either programmed with answers or facilitated through AI/Mechanical Learning). Additionally, IBM estimates that a business can reduce customer service expenses by 30% with the use of a chatbot.

While the consumer trends pointed towards a desire for increased website transactions, it did not mean visitors wanted to disengage from brands. On the contrary, it is vital to maintain a personalized relation with customers through our online interactions. The current pandemic has helped demonstrate that these authentic, individual brand engagements are even more important than ever before.

The best website chat features combine the automated features of chatbots (automated) and webchats (real people), assisting visitors, improve efficiency, and maintain a human connection with customers, even if we can’t be physically together.

Our Favorite Website Chat Tools

  • Messenger – (https://wordpress.org/plugins/facebook-messenger-customer-chat/) – That’s right…THAT MESSENGER. Facebook has become a major portion of our marketing plans and is central to most businesses’ communication strategies. Now, you can integrate this service with your WordPress website. While ease of use is a major plus here, Messenger does not have any the AI/Mechanical Learning features other chat services have.
  • LivePerson – (https://www.liveperson.com/) – The #1 provider of website chat services, LivePerson practically invented the industry. LivePerson has revolutionized the industry and continues to innovate, leading the way Conversational AI and website messaging while continuing to invest in integration with numerous marketing platforms and services.
  • Botsify – (https://botsify.com/pricing) – Botsify fits into the “upstart” service category but offers many of the AI and human website chat features you would want with a lower price tag of LivePerson. While not as feature-rich, this is a great place to start for businesses that are looking to invest in an AI chatbot.

Happy business owner opening the door at a cafe wearing a facemask to avoid the spread of coronavirus – reopening after COVID-19 concepts

Stay Open Online When You Can’t Physically Open

It is important right now to understand that the businesses that are going to thrive are those who are willing and able to adapt. As you develop a strategy to reopen your business, find ways you can reposition your website to better serve your customers and your staff. Add tools to allow you to be nimble, agile, and continue business online, even if you cannot physically meet customers. Online tools will allow you to operate while your competitors cannot. Website features will allow you to do business with customers who do not feel comfortable visiting your office, store, and place of business. Increased website functionality allows your staff to support customers and clients while being able to work at home.

With careful planning, every business can effectively use their website to safely, efficiently, and productively navigate COVID-19 and help your business reopen successfully.

Need Help Navigating COVID-19?

Determining the best way to pivot your marketing strategy in the wake of COVID-19 can be challenging and stressful. Our team of experts have helped multiple clients plan and execute an online strategy designed to engage clients, generate goodwill, and help businesses weather the storm. See how Quantum Dynamix can help your business.

Contact QD for a Free Consultation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Craig

About
Craig Kazda

Craig facilitates the execution of each project from start to finish, helping you convey your vision and bring it to life. Craig’s primary objective is to make certain that all of your needs are addressed throughout the project, from detailed technical specifications to assisting with collecting assets. This allows the staff of Quantum Dynamix to focus on what they do best; creating innovative work that meets your objectives.

Read more by Craig