In the last decade e-commerce has blown up, businesses and even individuals are earning millions in sales through selling products/services online.
The constant development of technology and online solutions creates a fast-paced environment for the e-commerce world, with new trends and techniques emerging every day.
Sometimes this makes it hard to take advantage of what e-commerce really has to offer.
This article is going to equip you with the skills needed to adapt in the changing environment surrounding e-commerce, and the knowledge to scale up your revenue and presence online.
How has Covid-19 affected e-commerce?
The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way the entire world operates, whether you’re organising a weekend getaway or doing your weekly shop.
In all honesty, from our experience, e-commerce has been operating at an all-time high in some cases, with clients breaking sales expectations within the first few weeks of lockdown.
An estimated 1.8 billion people worldwide were predicted to shop online this year (2020), and with the majority of people around the world locked inside with the internet at their fingertips, it makes sense e-commerce has reacted the way it has.
With jobless claims soaring by nearly 70 per cent in the UK in April alone, you would expect to see a reduction in online business performance, but this definitely does not seem to be the case now or expected to be in the near future.
As a result of the increased demand, several trends have appeared in the e-commerce space which we would like to share with you.
1) Exponential sales growth
Social distancing and lockdown restrictions haven’t put a stop to online sales and e-commerce store activity. They’ve increased it.
According to Listrak, there has been a 40 per cent increase in e-commerce revenue since the U.S. declared the coronavirus a state of emergency on March 13.
You should expect these numbers to remain high for a considerable amount of time, as lifting restrictions won’t be easy or quick and may possibly take months.
2) Stock and delivery concerns
While e-commerce revenue has skyrocketed, the demand has led to multiple businesses going out of stock.
In some cases, the demand e-commerce has experienced is unable to be met due to supply chain and delivery disruptions. This has also led to businesses going out of stock because they can’t physically obtain any inventory.
As China starts to recover, you will begin to see a development in supply, but for now it’s down to availability.
3) Non essential products/services
In order to prevent the spread of the virus, and efficiently distribute essential products/services, platforms like Amazon have frozen some items that are non essential, or increased their expected delivery time.
It’s not uncommon for businesses to sell on Amazon and direct from their e-commerce store, so it’s not the be-all or end-all if Amazon freezes your items. If this is the case, retargeting your marketing efforts towards your website would be a wise move.
How should you adapt your e-commerce store?
If you are one of the few e-commerce businesses that has been affected negatively by the virus or are simply looking for ways to take advantage of increased demand, then we’re here to help.
All you have to do is follow these steps which will allow you to adapt your store and start to draw in more revenue.
1) Communicate with your manufacturers
As mentioned before, the demand for your products is there, but you need to meet it, and there’s more to play than simply fulfilling your orders.
Getting in contact with your manufacturers and anyone involved in the supply and distribution of your products, for that matter, will ensure you meet the demand and that customers actually receive their products.
2) Embrace change (only if it’s necessary)
If your manufacturer and distributors are failing to meet your expectations, do some research and switch to a competitor.
I know it’s not as easy as it sounds but if you really want to take advantage of the e-commerce industry at the moment, you will put in the effort.
3) Reassess your environment and customers
Now, there is undoubtedly a demand for your products online, but do your products fit into the right category?
It’s likely your product falls under an in-demand category, but if they don’t introduce a new one, you don’t have to sell it forever.
- Pet bed
- One-size-fits-all sofa and couch covers
- Minimalist jewellery
- Beard straightener
- Post-workout massage guns
- Plaid hoodie
- Infant and baby carrier
- Mesh shoes
4) Update your response page
At the moment some customers are very sceptical about buying products online, not knowing if they will arrive.
Updating your Covid-19 response page on your website and promoting it across your marketing channels will instil confidence into your customers so they are prepared to buy your products.
Managing this element of your e-commerce store will put you miles ahead of your competitors.
5) Show empathy
There is nothing worse than seeing a inconsiderate post relating to the coronavirus. We have all been affected differently by this pandemic and it’s important to display this in your marketing.
If you are interested in learning more about how to show empathy in your marketing and why it’s important, you can check out one of our latest blogs that contains an easy-to-follow guide about managing marketing communication and content throughout sensitive periods.
6) Run a promotional campaign
With unemployment rates higher than ever and a lot of uncertainty in the months ahead, running a promotional campaign will show your customers that you sympathise with their situation and are doing the best you can.
Running a contest on social media is another great way to increase your store’s exposure and business’s social media engagement.
There is a lot of uncertainty ahead and no one really knows how the e-commerce industry will react when the coronavirus pandemic has calmed down.
All you can do is take advantage of what’s in front of you today.
Make adjustments if you have to, adapt your product range if you must, it will all be worth it when the sales revenue comes in.
Besides sales, during this crisis you really need to support your customers in every way possible. Whether that’s running a promotional campaign, or a contest on social media.
For now, good luck.