Has the coronavirus pandemic left an impact on the business of the eCommerce community in the United States so far and what challenges await it at the market level?
Let’s say right away, the high-tech industry is one of those niches that aren’t directly affected by the current pandemic. Forecasts go so far that, in the long run, this industry will be one of those that could profit if it isn’t directly related to the most affected sectors, such as tourism, catering, transport, etc.
A Coronavirus Had to Happen for Us to Understand: eCommerce Is the Future
Inspirational examples of successful business stories are coming from the USA, making life easier and more beautiful for tens of millions of users and launched the creators of these ideas into the constellation of the biggest business stars. At a time of coronavirus-induced pandemics, these success stories are turning into models of survival, both for those who use them and for those who created them.
The story of eCommerce has become important not only for the average consumer in the United States, to whom it brings a new channel for the supply of basic necessities, keeping him and his loved ones safe, but it’s becoming the essence of the business model of successful entrepreneurial stories.
Micro and small enterprises through eCommerce have a unique opportunity to adapt their business to the conditions of the crisis, to find a way to a new customer, and thus ensure survival, preserve liquidity, and take the best possible starting position for future growth in the post-corona phase. Especially because there’s been a dramatic change in favor of shopping online by customers in America.
Tips to Keep Customers of Your eCommerce Satisfied in Time of Corona
COVID-19 pandemic definitely caused a slowdown in both demand and supply. Many businesses have noticed a drop in revenues. As many as 96% of small employers in the USA claim that the coronavirus outbreak has left a negative impact resulting in slower sales, employees asking days off too often, and supply chain disruptions. However, in the digital world that we live in, there are numerous ways to stay connected to customers even during this crisis. Here are some tips on how to adapt your eCommerce business to make a profit but also keep a good reputation with your customers.
- Proactive Communication With Customers
Customers can understand entrepreneurs confronting a crisis as long as they approach them appropriately. Inform your customers as to whether you’re shutting down your store, changing your work hours, and what steps you’re taking to keep your employees and workplace safe and clean. In the event that your store is shutting, inform your customers on your social media pages, through email, and on your website.
In the event that your store is remaining open, explain the measures you’re taking to maintain the risk to a minimum. Associate your customers with all your ongoings. Since your customers are about to keep shopping because they need things despite being at home all the time, direct them to your eCommerce store, take orders via social media channels, and be prepared for increased website traffic compared to earlier months.
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- Communication With Suppliers With Mutual Understanding
Proper communication with customers should be transferred to proper communication with suppliers. It’s essential to comprehend what’s going on with your manufacturers, partners, and other links to your supply chain. You should realize their point of view and issues to give timely answers to your customers if any difficulty occurs. In other words, supply can be jeopardized regardless of having an increased demand or not for your products.
You can’t be prepared for what you don’t have a clue about, so give an effort to be as informed as possible of all pieces of your supply chain. One of the options is to seek alternative providers.
- Evaluate Customers’ Needs and Collect Their Insights
Think about what’s the current situation with your target group and what are their needs? Are they working from home, serving on the front lines, or got fired? Learning that will help you assess your readiness to satisfy these needs in terms of having the inventory to support them.
Don’t ignore customer insights during the crisis. Understand their considerations regarding your products and services. It might be beneficial for you because you’ll keep the impression that you’re focusing on business despite the crisis while at the same time you’ll keep your customers engaged.
- Update Product Pages
The crisis and problems with merchant providers (products out of stock, shipping takes too long, some goods sell faster than usual…) might affect your business in a way that you have to eliminate some products or add new ones. Your customers need to be well-informed, so keep your product pages updated. In case some items won’t be available for some time, inform your clients. In this case, customers won’t hold a grudge against you even with a slowdown in service.
- Special Offers and Gift Cards
Your customers will be very sensitive given that they are mentally affected by the crisis, but some also lost their jobs. So, consider offering a special discount on items that have higher demand. You should do this also in case the spending in your store is down because special offers will inject an instant money flow to your account. E-gift card programs are one more solution in regard to this, or you can find a third-party delivery partner to accept their gift cards at your website.
- PPC Advertising
Consider pay-per-click if you haven’t done it already, especially if your eCommerce store has items that are relevant to the lives of your customers during coronavirus and aren’t right for every business. By observing your data and analytics closely, adjust your bidding strategy. During times of day that have lower conversion rates, reduce your bids to save money, and vice versa.
- Stream Your Services
If your customers develop trust in you, they would want to support your business while sitting at home. Make your eCommerce services available virtually and remotely by using free video chat tools such as Zoom or old fashion Skype in which you can give advice, tutorials, hold events online…
If you’re in a vertical market, consider starting a channel at online video sharing platforms such as YouTube or Vimeo, giving your customers access to your content for a fee. You won’t be able to charge as much as your regular services, but it will help you with cash flow.