How eCommerce Businesses Can Achieve More During The Pandemic
There’s little doubt that 2020 has been a uniquely challenging year in business. The seismic effects of the global Covid-19 pandemic have impacted every single part of our lives and businesses and will continue to be felt for quite some time to come. Within the eCommerce sector, it’s been highly tumultuous. While some companies have experienced soaring demand due to quarantine restrictions and people going to bricks and mortar stores less, they have also struggled due to untold pressure on supply chains and their own staffing and resources. The time of greatest opportunity has also been the time of greatest challenge. As the effects of factory closures and restrictions in the APAC region make themselves apparent, there will also be a rise in online shopping – and at more unusual times of day. So what strategies can ecommerce brands put in place to cope with this unique set of circumstances and find a silver lining within all the hardships of the crisis?
Communication and Support
As supply chain and shipping disruptions continue to affect trading operations, consumers will increasingly turn online to cope with quarantine restrictions and source hard to find items. It’s a critical time within brand building and reputation management for ecommerce destinations – an opportunity to convert casual browsers to loyal customers, secure repeat business and claim market share. However, they are doing this in challenging times, with everything from extra sensitivity around messaging to problems sourcing stock can occur. The answer lies in having a clear communications plan. No one wants to be seen as profiteering at a time when millions are suffering. And yet people still need goods and services. While mega conglomerates have overcome this with showy moves such as huge donations to aid organizations, or use of their production facilities to create PPE or vital medical suppliers, it can be a little harder for smaller businesses without the deep pockets of a blue chip global brand. The key is to find a way that you can make a difference, however possible. Share encouraging messages, create relevant content that helps your customers to stay safe, and reassure everyone about the measures you are taking to keep your workers safe. Consider what contribution you can make and how you can talk about it in a sensitive and appropriate way.
Upgrade Your Site Functionalities
Whether you’re a pure ecommerce business or you have physical locations too but need to accelerate your online gains due to the ongoing restrictions, now is the time to invest in creating a great experience online and optimize what you’re doing to draw customers in and move them down the sales funnel to purchase. Working with a top agency can help you to see opportunities and improve on the structure of your site. Using a high functioning system which integrates seamlessly with a CRM and gives a personalized customer experience will allow you to build on higher levels of traffic. Look closely at areas such as keyword adjustments to category and product pages, relevant content that is written for your audience, making sure that your site is fully accessible and compliant with all online legislation, that your images are great and have relevant alt tags and that your site navigation and check out process is seamless. All these incremental improvements can support you to increase your conversion rate and win repeat business.
Focus On User Experience
With all the extra technical demands that can be placed on a website suddenly experiencing enhanced visitor numbers, you may be seeing things such as site crashes, slow functionality and poor user experience. This can risk business continuity just at the point of most opportunity. It’s worth aiming to interpret data analytics to identify peak areas of demand and strengthen your site at key points. This data can also help you to make top level strategic decisions on which areas of your ecommerce site to invest in. Making sure that you have the right digital infrastructure is an ongoing process, and it can make all the difference between winning customer business or developing a bad reputation online.
Adapt Your Attraction Strategy
Now is the time to think outside the box when it comes to offsetting the conditions in the wider world. Partnering with other businesses, introducing new innovations and developing the ability to pivot your business strategy and remain responsive to developing audience demands is absolutely key. Good business leaders acknowledge the need for greater flexibility in times of crisis. Launching an innovative marketing campaign that helps to nurture existing customers or generate new leads as more people turn to online shopping can be transformative. Leverage the power of your data to help you make the right call about how to focus your efforts. Insights about current customer behavior and efforts to uncover patterns in different audience segments that allow your business to predict demand and conversion rates is key to tailoring engagement campaigns for maximum return on investment and customer retention.
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