Well...I didn’t see this one coming! How many of you can relate? 

Six months ago, we never could have imagined that our worlds would be turned upside down. Schools, restaurants, and sporting events shut down in the middle of the most major health and economic crisis in our lifetime. And we all had to get creative and be open to new ways of working in a pandemic. 

There has never been a more important time for all organizations to reevaluate and bolster their digital presence. Visits to websites and apps have increased by 61 percent in 2020 compared to this time last year. With a new set of health standards that require we all stay at least six feet apart, having a digital presence is no longer just a bonus. It’s a necessity. 

Ample has been very lucky to be positioned to help companies navigate this mess. Our business is all about creating digital experiences. Our mission is to help clients maintain great relationships with their customers through their website, social media and content creation. It’s our job. 

If your business is struggling with adapting to a digital world, here are some key things to think through:

  1. What is stopping my business from moving forward with safety precautions?
  2. What can I build, or invest in, to remedy #1?
  3. How fast can I get that remedied?
  4. What does a minimally viable product (MVP) look like? You probably have negative time so be prepared to phase something in.
  5. Whose support do I need to succeed? (customer service, development operations, security, etc.)?

We’ve been amazed at how our clients have been able to think on their feet and adapt to new safety protocols. I hope they inspire you to revamp your business’ digital presence, too. 

1. Buffalo Wings & Rings

Buffalo Wings & Rings (BWR), known for being a safe haven with plenty of places to view your favorite games, had a major challenge ahead of them with both the restaurant and sports industries being hit. But they rapidly shifted their focus to being top of mind for carry out and catering opportunities. In the previous year, they had revamped their ecommerce experience via their online ordering app and their Sauciety loyalty program. Their investment in building these components allow them to serve their loyal customers safely. 

BWR also made a concerted effort to create content to stay top of mind, including Thursday night themed trivia on Facebook live. They’ve supported the local marketing efforts of their franchisees with helpful content to ensure they are in the consideration set in likely purchase scenarios. Oh, and they also make some pretty awesome wings (which I can attest to are just as good eaten at home as dining in.)

2. Crossroads

Crossroads had a head start on the digital push when they launched their “Anywhere” strategy, which reimagined their church to exist without walls. They’ve been streaming their services already, which has allowed their reach to grow as they meet people where they are. They’ve invested in the tools to manage over 10,000 small groups, handle their huge amount of blog and video content, and opened the ability to give through multiple digital channels. They’ve even made staff members available via online chat because that’s what Crossroads would do in person.

Shifting their efforts to 100% digital is still no easy task, but they luckily have the tools in place to do so. They’ve made efforts to create content that tackles timely issues in the form of videos, podcasts, articles, series and music. And thanks to recent efforts to adopt a scalable, static-first web application architecture, they were ready to weather the huge increase in online traffic, without a noticeable impact for users.

3. Thunderdome Restaurant Group

Thunderdome Restaurant Group was forced to slam the brakes on their operations suddenly, but they did it with more class than you could imagine. Their road to reopen required them to readapt their dine in concepts to better account for online ordering. 

They made a concentrated push to offer comfort food for curbside pickup and delivery through their email content, COVID-19 protocol callouts on their website, and online ordering systems. Thunderdome adapted in record time, and their quick thinking allowed them to get back up and running. Please support these awesome, and delicious, restaurants if you can. 

4. Mike Albert Fleet Solutions

Delivering products — from takeout to medicine to PPE — has never been so important. And we’ve never seen such unprecedented trends in the fleet industry. Mike Albert Fleet Solutions helps power the fleets for these essential services. Their clients have to stay open to help their customers, no matter what. 

The Mike Albert team has been providing constant COVID-19 guidance for their customers, being the calming voice to answer questions about emergency maintenance, business survival and how government restrictions may affect their operations. 

Today, it’s the companies who are refusing to give up that will come out of this stronger. Those that take this time to put all hands on deck toward enhancing their company’s digital presence are the ones that may have a chance at surviving in the mess that is 2020. The question is who will you call to help you do it? Let’s talk

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