Covid-19 has affected our clients in really different ways. Our clients cover a wide range of businesses from small businesses offering services, online Ecommerce stores and quite a few Not for Profits and Arts related websites. The Arts have been hit really hard as have some of the Not for Profits as well as some businesses, while others selling New Zealand made products have boomed. It has been very hard to predict.
We have been working to capacity all the way through the Lockdown juggling project work and our clients needs during this unprecedented time. There have been some great success stories and some very sad stories. It has been a humbling time when we have had to look outside the box for some clients and been overwhelmed by the response of the community towards a ‘buy local’ initiative.
Below are just some of the ways we were able to help clients with coping during the new regulations and health and safety requirements they faced.
Popup banners using Convert Pro
When we first went into lockdown there was a scramble to get banners on websites informing website visitors of what was happening. We made a little video using Loom to send out to our clients so they could make their own banner as well as offering to do the banner for them. A lot of our clients preferred to get us to create the popups for them. I had a lot of fun making these personalised messages.
We use the Convert Pro plugin to create popups and banners. It is simple to use and quick to get an elegant solution.
Arborists in Christchurch
Advanced Tree Services, qualified arborists, were unable to work through Levels 3 and 4. Now we are at Level 2 again they were very happy to let people know they were open for business. They are a family run business. It is important to the owners, Mat and Amy, that the messaging behind everything they do shows their attention to detail and their love of trees.
I loved being able to use the photo of Mat to front the message. Amy and Mat have been sending me updates as New Zealand has progressed through the lockdown phases.
An overwhelming response for Kiwi made
We recently took over the managed website hosting for a client in Marlborough. Laura Jane makes beautiful handcrafted handbags. Over Level 2 someone decided to give New Zealand made crafts a boost by creating a Kiwi-made Facebook page. Laura Jane thought it would be a great idea to give her products a boost.
A couple of days later she was calling us to ask us if we could turn her shop into a catalogue because she works on her own from home and she was now booked up until September with orders. She really wanted to acknowledge the support she had received and to let people know these really are hand made products.
We used the YITH WooCommerce Catalog Mode plugin to easily turn the shop into a product catalogue and put up a little popup to explain the situation in a personal way. We also used the same plugin on an online book store that was unable to send out books while we were in Level 4.
Appointment booking systems
Another call we got was from a client we occasionally support with their Shopify shop. Instep Footwear specialises in children’s shoes. Initially they were unable to operate over Level 4, but were later deemed an essential service for slippers, gumboots and sports footwear with contact-less delivery. We created a covid-19 banner for the online shop and included the details pertinent to the current Lockdown Level.
When we went into Level 3 the shop was able to open, but strict social distancing rules applied. Karen contacted us to see if we could recommend a booking calendar and add it to the shop so they could organise the staggered arrival of people wanting to try on shoes. We suggested Calendly which has a free tier. She was delighted with Calendly and was able to set up appointment times at 15 minute intervals and print out a daily list which provided her with a ready made contact list.
It was easy to incorporate the Calendly iFrame into a Shopify page. We also updated the banner to give a link to the booking page.
“Thank you Jan and brendyn so so much for helping sort the Calendly system. It made our day work a treat! Most people came by appointment and the few who didn’t we were able to serve in a corner of the cafe. It really spread the work out over the day and so it made for a great day. Cheers Karen.”
Donations using GiveWP
So much has changed over the Lockdown. Funding sources have dried up as funds get directed elsewhere. Events have been cancelled causing hardship in the Arts.
Because we have a lot of Not For Profit clients we have started to see the benefits of using the donations solution GiveWP. This has a free version which allows our NFPs to quickly get donations up and running on their website. It connects into Stripe Payment Gateway. It is easy to use pretty much ‘out of the box’.