A crisis reveals much about human nature as it changes aspects of how we live and conduct our daily routines.

Your business, and your customers’ businesses have been shut down for nearly four months now. Some, most or many of your customers are social distancing and don’t want to go into malls or stores. Some, probably many, of those retail stores won’t survive and many small retailers will not be able to reopen. 

But while retailers including J. Crew, JCPenney, and even Neiman Marcus have all filed for Chapter 11j, and while many more companies contemplate it, it’s important to remember that some businesses are thriving. 

Take Target for example. According to MIT’s Sloan School of Business,Target reported a 141% first-quarter increase in digital comparable sales while Walmart saw a comparable sales increase of 74% in online sales.

According to RetailWire for the month of April, For Amazon.com, page views were up 50 percent, with unique site visitors up just one percent. Walmart page views were up 91 percent with unique site visitors up nine percent; Target was up 68 percent and 25 percent; Best Buy up 114 percent and 34 percent; and Costco up 221 percent and 50 percent.” 

Amazon recently announced that they have hired an additional 175,000 workers. That’s 350,000 hands handling lots of packages!

These are significant increases to already big numbers and there is nothing to indicate that the shift online is going to slow anytime soon. And while your business may not be as large as Target or Amazon, this crisis, I believe, presents enormous opportunities for small businesses and entrepreneurs to find new markets, new outlets, new customers and new ways of doing business.

We all know that we are not going back to what was “normal”. Our lives have been changed forever. We human beings will adapt to a new normal way of shopping, consuming, earning, learning, playing - you name it, we are going to do it differently. 

And, every day, much more of our shopping and buying is online. 

And that’s where you and your business need to be and that’s where you can be if you refocus your attention and strategy on the digital marketplace, and do it immediately.

So, if you haven’t yet created, or haven’t fully flushed out a Digital Marketing Strategy for your business, now is the time. Now is the time to act if your Internet presence (including Search and Social Media) is underdeveloped.

I keep hearing an ad on satellite radio from a company called shipstation.com that mentions the “delivery economy”. That’s what I’m talking about. People don’t want to go out to get what they need, they want it brought to them - and they want to order it online. That means that you’ve got to put your business online and use Digital Marketing to promote it.

While the future, from today’s purview, is, shall we say, uncertain, what is certain, I think, is that regardless of your industry, product or service, you’ve got to take your business online. That’s where your customers are.

Start doing some research. There are hundreds if not thousands of resources easily found by searching “digital marketing” or “internet marketing”, or “email marketing (or any other Digital Marketing strategy) into Google or YouTube and start reading and watching. You can start listening by doing the same search on Google Podcast.

Look and see what your competitors are doing and look for inspiration in other market segments as well. Look for the innovators and learn from them. Inspiration can be found all over the place if you’re focused (there’s that word again) on finding a solution to a problem. Think about how you might adapt what you see and learn and how you might apply that solution to your own situation.

Is there a completely new business opportunity for you out there? One based on your unique knowledge, capabilities, and experience?  What do you know that you can apply to a new opportunity? As the title of one of my favorite books says "think on these things".

Do this work as if the life of your business depends on it - because it does. 

It really, really, does.