It's been a crazy few weeks and all types of businesses are figuring out how navigate the ups and downs of the economy right now. (And we want to do everything in our power to help small and growing ecommerce brands survive and thrive in these uncertain times).
But we've also been hearing about brands you might not expect to be having insane sales days breaking their own records to have their best days ever. 😱
That's exactly what's been happening for CROSSNET, a combination of four square and volleyball that's typically played on the beach. (But some people have been known to set it up in their living rooms to stay sane during quarantine…genius).
Chris Meade, a Co-founder and CRO of CROSSNET, was willing to share how they've grown 500% during an incredibly uncertain time.
[Lauren] How is your strategy changing with everything that's going on right now?
[Chris] With the increase of internet usage and the desperate search to occupy our time while we're stuck inside, our site visits have skyrocketed.
We have increased our ad spend almost 2-3x to make sure we are getting our product in people's newsfeeds. Almost 100% of our ads are video-based and involve people playing competitive rallies on our four-way volleyball net.
We have switched our sales approach from “BUY NOW” to a message filled with optimism and that better days are ahead. People are looking forward to the summer, spending time with their friends and the world returning to normal.
[Lauren] Have your sales changed drastically in the last couple of weeks?
[Chris] Our sales have increased by over 500%. We had our best day in company history, five days in a row during the week of March 16th.
We're scrambling to get inventory, while we have plans to expand nationwide in retail stores like Academy Sports (250+ locations), and planning for the summer rush that will inevitability come with a beach and outdoor product like ours.
[Lauren] What kind of impact has the recent COVID-19 pandemic had on your supply chain?
[Chris] Our sales have increased so rapidly it is crazy to believe. This has put much strain on our supply chain to keep up, especially since we manufacture overseas with a 60 day lead time.
Fortunately, we were well-stocked on inventory prior to this event and have our own fulfillment center so we are in full control of our shipments and inventory management.
We have just sent down a rush order to our manufacturer for several thousand units to land ASAP to keep up with our store's momentum.
[Lauren] How are you using email right now?
[Chris] Email has become more important than ever for us. With the increased amount of traffic on the site, we are building our email list faster than ever before and monetizing these leads by having them go through a welcome series filled with video content, promotional offers, and community involvement.
We are also running special promotions just with customers who have purchased before, such as “video of the week,” where we have customers submit content to win prizes like a $50 Amazon Gift Card.
We have a team working tirelessly to create email content filled with insightful and engaging content, rather than just shoving discounts in our customer's faces. Email marketing currently attributes about 15% of our revenue and as these email lists grow, we'll be striving to bring that up to 20%.
[Lauren] Do you have any advice for other ecommerce brands right now?
[Chris] Be as human as possible. Life is unpredictable and nobody has the answers. Don't over-prepare for events or things that may not actually end up happening in the near future.
Take this time to listen to your customers, grow your brand, identify weaknesses that you can hire for or fix. If your sales aren't spiking (we know how lucky we are), use this time as a planning and discovering phase to figure out how to have the best second half of 2020 possible.
Don't just assume you should cut back on ad spend and ditch email
If you're trying to conserve budget, pull back on the ads that aren't converting as well and try to double down on what's working. Don't just cut your ad spend across the board. This isn't the first time we've heard of brands having incredible success with ads right now.
And don't forget about email! Just make sure you're using it in a way that will resonate with your customers and prospects. I love that CROSSNET is focusing on the people who have already purchased right now. It builds trust and fosters a sense of community that's especially important right now.
If you can strike the right balance between these two aspects of your business, who knows – maybe you'll start to have record sales days, too.
Have a story about how you're making changes on the fly to get through these times? I'd love to hear from you. Send your story to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared in the Privy blog and has been published here with permission.