The "new normal" for your website

There’s a lot of talk right now about the “new normal.” What will forever change because of the COVID-19 pandemic? Just as the world won’t ever go back to functioning exactly as it did before the virus outbreak, your website could permanently change as well. Here are some ideas for how your website should be different than it was a few months ago thanks to the coronavirus.

Embrace e-commerce

Brick-and-mortar stores were caught off guard more than most when stay-at-home orders were issued. Restaurants and retail stores scrambled to convert from a physical to a digital presence, offering pickup or delivery services for physical goods instead of entertaining shoppers or customers in-store. But just because we will soon have the ability to dine in at a restaurant again or peruse the aisles of a store doesn’t mean these digital options should go away. Keep your digital storefront going and you’re able to offer customers another option of how to patronize your business — and you’ll be ready should disaster ever strike again.

Safety first

Perhaps one of the biggest changes we’ll notice in society at large is an increased focus on cleanliness, health, and sanitation. “Social distancing” has taught us to maintain 6 feet from other people to prevent the spread of germs, to focus on handwashing, and to avoid large crowds if someone might be sick. These trends are likely to continue even once the pandemic has passed, so communicate to your customers what you’re doing to help. If you offer retail space, include something on your website to inform customers how you’re keeping them safe. If you ship or deliver goods, tell customers on your website what safeguards you take to ensure quality control. Just like the world at large focused more on security after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, online retailers should expect a focus on safety and be ready to answer questions potential customers might have.

Connect people to jobs

Once the economy reopens, lots of people will be looking for work. Are you one of them? Use your website to stand out from the competition. On the other hand, if you’re looking for help, add job postings to your website or even create forms for people to apply online. The easier you make it for people to apply, the better chance you have of getting more qualified candidates. Of course, you’ll also want to advertise any job postings on Facebook, LinkedIn, and employment websites like CareerBuilder, Indeed, or Monster.

Knowledge is power

As we learned firsthand at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, internet traffic increases when people have less other things to do. Don’t overpay for more bandwidth than you need, but make sure you can scale up your site’s resources if you do need to do so.