How To Keep Your Ecommerce Business Safe During Coronavirus
In addition to health concerns, ecommerce brands across the globe are worried about the havoc unleashed by coronavirus (COVID-19). The global supply chain is at a standstill and there are a lot of forecasts and assumptions going around for the upcoming months.
Many marketing professionals are predicting that ecommerce businesses will see a substantial boom as the infections soar and social distancing becomes a daily routine for the foreseeable future.
Still, are ecommerce business owners actually optimistic?
Read on to take a closer look at some of the legitimate trends as well as insights from experts on how to stay afloat and make the most of this pandemic by connecting with your customers.
Ecommerce Sales Trends During Covid-19
Given discouraging signs at the global level, issues in the supply chain and concerns about what it means are relevant for online distributors.
In reality, the supply chain issues, inventory shortages, delivery delays, and potential demand drop as the economy fluctuates are important factors that can contribute to a dip in online sales.
However, amidst these dark times, a few niche ecommerce businesses have gained momentum.
Listed below are the top trends accumulated from ShipBob until 12th April, 2020:
- Demand for baby products has surged by +693.9% month-over-month
- Sales of food and beverage products have seen substantial growth of +12.4% month-over-month
- Beauty product sales have increased by +64.6% month-over-month
- Demand for apparel has increased by +20.4%
- Electronic items sales have surged by +9.4% month-over-month
- Online orders for toys & games increased by +66.5%
- Sports & fitness equipment sales have increased by +112.2%
The Impact Of Coronavirus On Ecommerce Businesses
As of now, there are several uncertainties: how quickly coronavirus is spreading, how consumers respond to lockdowns, and what the pandemic will mean internationally.
Although nobody knows what is going to happen, the predictions listed below may give online sellers an idea of what they should expect.
- Unexpected Changes In Demand - Initial data from Quantum Metric points out that niche ecommerce businesses are seeing an average revenue growth of 52% weekly in addition to a 8.8% increase in conversions compared to 2019. On the other hand, due to job losses and pay cuts, online businesses dealing in non-essential products saw a sharp decline, ranging between 40% to 60%.
- Doorstep Delivery & Supply Chain Woes - Disruptions to the global supply chain are one of the biggest problems that online stores are facing. International shipping is at halt, which means low inventory and extended delivery schedules. Owing to these conditions, order fulfillment is a major pain point for most online stores.
- Plunging Customer Confidence - In a recent survey by Digital Commerce 360, more than 42% of online retailers cited concerns about low customer confidence. This is an economic sign that tests the degree to which customers are positive about both the personal financial situation and the overall economic situation. They disagree, however, as to the degree of an impact. Almost 60% think that there won’t be much of an impact whereas 22% believe that the effect will be major and 20% believe that the effect of the pandemic will be minimal.
- Lesser Stock In Hand - If you’ve visited an essential store recently, you might have witnessed empty shelves. With more and more people stocking up on essentials, both offline and online stores are facing huge shortages of inventory. 44% of the surveyed sellers by SGB Media say that they anticipate a production delay while 40% foresee an inventory shortage throughout 2020.
Adapting Your Online Store To The Change
Although your revenue or your ability to do business as normal may have been adversely affected by coronavirus, not everything is lost.
Yes, coronavirus will have an impact on demand, but things will gradually normalize to an extent as the outbreak’s momentum subsides.
In the meantime, here are a few things you can do to adapt to the changing scenarios:
- Be Transparent & Tactful - Although some brands seek to take advantage of the ongoing industry trends and consumer concerns, experts are advising ecommerce firms to resist these strategies. Be transparent by providing prompt support and being upfront about out-of-stock goods along with delays in shipping and delivery. Moreover, standard pricing limits will help build trust and generate more sales.
- Target Niche Audiences - Depending on the products you have in store, you should target the preferred audience rather than posting generic ads. Make sure you invest thoughtfully in pay-per-click ads.
- Be Visible & Available - To sell your stock and attract more clients, you need to be visible to buyers. Use available social platforms and integrate online marketing to boost sales. Provide customers with opportunities to connect with you via Messenger, WhatsApp, and other channels.
- Run Dedicated Offers - Nothing lures in customers like a well-placed discount or an offer. These are hard times, and your buyers are limiting their budgets. You can drive sales by showcasing special offers via paid ads and other online channels.
- Diversify Your Product Range - Non-essential products aren’t in demand. Accordingly, it is important that you try and add more of the essential categories to stay afloat. These are fast-moving items with immense potential to keep the sales flowing.
Read more: The Impact of Covid in ecommerce SEO
These are unprecedented times. Sure, no one was prepared for it, but now is the time to adapt to changing circumstances. As an online retailer, you should make it a habit to communicate and connect with your customers. Besides these best practices, keep an eye on the trends and follow the tips listed above to keep your business running.