The CoVid pandemic has disrupted the global economy. Big and small businesses all over the world are affected. Many are adapting themselves to the ‘new normal’ by facilitating ‘work from home’ for their employees, delivery only or adapting to eCommerce as a business model.
If you are an eCommerce business, you do not have to go through the added effort of ‘going online’.
But that does not mean it is an easy ride for you. Though it is true that more and more people are now shopping online, it is mostly for essential products like groceries, healthcare, etc.
As the world gets used to this way of living, economies will start opening with safety precautions in place. There will eventually be a rise in demand for non-essentials as well.
Your eCommerce business will need to adapt to this shift in the consumer mindset. In the meantime, we’ve outlined some strategies that will your eCommerce during this time and beyond.
Strategies to help your eCommerce business recover from Coronavirus.
1. How has the virus affected your customers?
The pandemic has affected every business. If you are a B2B eCommerce store, your customers will also be affected. Think about their pain points, their end customers and strategize accordingly.
Adapt your marketing strategy to address the specific challenges your customers are facing during the pandemic.
They could be worried about supply-chain management, logistics, safe-handling of goods, safety protocols carried out by all stakeholders, travel restrictions, etc.
For example, if your customers sell office supplies, how has this pandemic affected their business? The demand for work from home supplies will see a surge, are you as a distributor or as an eCommerce platform equipped to handle the extra demand? Offer additional support to your customers during this time and they will remember you long after this crisis is over.
2. Contact your manufacturers or distributors
Know your supply chain. Talk to your manufacturers or suppliers on how they see the pandemic affecting their production or distribution.
This is especially important if you have a dropship business and do not stock inventory yourself. Are your distributors still operational? What measures are they taking to ensure your customers get their orders on time? Will there be a delay in deliveries?
You cannot be transparent with your customers unless you are informed about all aspects of your business.
3. Search for alternative suppliers
Supply chains globally were affected because of CoVid-19 as most sellers source their products from China. When China went into lockdown businesses all over felt the repercussions.
Though China is limping its way back to normalcy, it will be a while before normalcy is restored everywhere in the world.
Having alternative distributors and effective channel management in your local areas will ensure that you can keep running your eCommerce business without too many hiccups.
4. Can you leverage other sales channels?
Now is a good time for every brick and mortar store to start an eCommerce store. Even if you are in the restaurant business and have partnered with delivery platforms like Uber Eats, having a website with your updated timings, the precautions you are taking, telephone numbers for placing orders, pick-up or delivery protocols, etc will help your business.
More so for businesses selling products. Get online!
If you have an eCommerce store, look for other sales channels like Amazon, eBay, etc. Increase your digital spend if you can and revamp your digital marketing strategy.
5. Update product pages
Your customers need transparency in these times of uncertainty. Are any of your products in short-supply? Update those pages accordingly, let customers know when the product will next be available. Are your deliveries taking longer than usual? Have that on your website.
Have detailed product descriptions with high-quality images so that customers have all the information at hand, this will expedite the buying process.
6. Be data-driven and people-centric
Do any of your products have a higher demand? What are the products or services that customers are searching for online? Use Google Analytics, social media platforms and trends to find what users online are looking for and fill that gap. Look for changes in consumer behavior and focus on giving people what they need.
7. Can you give customers a special offer?
Discounts are a great way to get visitors to buy. This is truer in today’s economic climate with many people losing jobs. If you can, offer bargain deals and special offers to increase your sales on slow-moving items, offer free shipping or package deals.
8. Adapt to an ‘at home’ audience
The pandemic has driven everyone indoors. People are spending most of their time indoors. Can you shift your strategy to serve these customers?
If you cannot expand your product portfolio to accommodate products that are relevant to peoples lives these days, there are various ways in which you can stay connected with your customers through this time so that they return to you after.
If you can expand your product catalog to include products that consumers need, do so and then market aggressively.
9. Share how coronavirus has affected your business
Update customers about any changes to your business because of coronavirus. Has it impacted your supply chain, delivery process, returns logistics, etc. Are you short-staffed or are there any changes in your customer service or after-sales policies? What steps is your business taking to keep employees and customers safe?
Have a CoVid specific FAQs page and a Covid-19 Google post.
10. Evaluate your eCommerce website
Improve your sites SEO, page load speed and optimize your checkout process. Evaluate your eCommerce store, check all your integrations and iron out any technical creases so that you are ready to give users an enjoyable buying experience.
The nature of the coronavirus pandemic is such that long-term planning is not really possible. Every business has to take reactive steps to the changing situations in real-time. No one can predict exactly what will happen in the coming weeks. What you can do is make small changes depending on consumer behavior and adapt your eCommerce strategy accordingly.
And remember to stay positive through this all. This too shall pass. Stay safe.