The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 has caused an upheaval in almost all aspects of modern life, globally. Look around you and see how consumer-centred businesses such as restaurants, retail stores, movie theatres, gyms, and so many others are picking up the pieces and trying to rebuild their financial foundations.
While brick-and-mortar businesses have taken an enormous hit, e–commerce has benefited in unexpected ways during the pandemic—and shows no signs of returning to the “old normal.” As it grows by leaps and bounds, e-commerce is facing an unprecedented sea change in the post-COVID-19 environment.
With a willingness to adapt, businesses will be able to regain and maintain stability in the post-pandemic landscape by diversifying into e–commerce. A little bit of agility can go a long way towards keeping your customers happy and keeping your bottom line healthy.
Your Business’s E-commerce Presence Post-COVID-19
If your business lacked an e–commerce presence before the pandemic, it surely needs one now.
Even if the foot traffic to your store on Main Street is still slow because of imposed lock-downs or voluntary quarantines, your online presence can provide an alternate avenue for sales and help you thrive.
Once your e–commerce doors are wide open and welcoming customers, take the opportunity to learn more about e-commerce and, especially, how to improve your user experience.
As social distancing continues into the fall and winter, e–commerce opportunities will grow—from selling items like groceries and household items to clothing and pet care needs—and even furniture.
Keep in mind that older shoppers, who have been the most accustomed to the traditional, in-person shopping experience, have become savvy about e-commerce and rely on it now more than ever.
Also, remember that once corona-virus is a thing of the past, the desire for convenience won’t be. Many Australians have established new patterns of shopping. We will continue to want to lounge on the couch, browsing online, loading up the virtual cart, and buying almost anything possible with the touch of a button.
The popularity of e–commerce is sure to prosper as customers of all ages relish the convenience of shopping from home or through their mobile devices. So make sure to optimise your e-commerce site for the mobile experience.
How to Grow Your E-commerce Post-COVID-19
Here are a few simple tips that can help your online business flourish now—and as the e–commerce world continues to change and adapt in the future.
Deep Dive Into Searches
In Augusts, Septembers, and Octobers of the past, if online shoppers searched online for “masks,” they were most likely looking for superheroes or evil clowns. In December or January of this year, they may have been preparing to hit the slopes. Now, the majority of “mask” searches are for corona-virus protection.
If you are selling products like masks, gloves, hand sanitiser, cleaning products, or other items that are sellers in the post-COVID-19 world, be sure your customers can find them through searching terms like COVID, COVID-19, or coronavirus. Learn which keywords are most effective at bringing online traffic to your site.
Flexibility Is Your Friend
Many sites are now selling protective face masks even though they did not sell them before the pandemic. However, they’ve found a way to match the product to their brand identities—serving the customer in new ways without changing who they are.
This sort of flexibility is particularly important if your regular items have been lagging in sales. Be creative and step up to meet the new needs!
Clearly, neckties are no longer big sellers since millions are now working from home. If you previously sold lots of neckties, don’t stop selling them—but adding some masks to your online options may boost your business.
Some small breweries and distilleries refitted their machines to bottle hand sanitiser to keep their names top-of-mind even when customers couldn’t raise a glass at their favourite watering holes.
A little creativity goes a long way without totally disrupting your business model.
Can you find a way to link sales to charitable donations? That can add a bonus. You’ll benefit from the PR of being a good corporate citizen and likely increase sales of other items on your site.
Pay Attention to Your Supply Chain and Be Ready to Make Suggestions
Supply chain issues are everywhere these days. You’re bound to have items run out of stock. If possible, suggest reasonable alternatives. For example, you can save both you and your customers from frustration with an online filter that returns results for in–stock items only.
Keep in Touch
Reach out and give your shoppers a heads-up when items are back in stock. Remind them that you are still around. With a back-in-stock email, you can be first in the inbox to let your customers know that you are thinking of them. Be sure to couple the message with suggested items for cross-sale as well.
While people isolate at home, they are also spending more time on social media. Using social media marketing is a great way to catch the attention of both existing and new customers.
Help Shoppers Pay Up
You’ve provided your customers with a great experience, helped them find the items they need, and they’ve filled their carts. Make it easy for them to settle up.
If you’re not already taking advantage of third-party payment options, now is an excellent time to start. Ali Pay, Amazon Pay, and, of course, PayPal can help your customers pay for their shopping spree on your site.
PWD Is Here for Your E-commerce Post-COVID-19 Needs
If you don’t have an e–commerce strategy, or if you’ve been neglecting your e–commerce strategy in favour of your brick-and-mortar business, PWD can help.
We have locations in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney. Wherever you are, we invite you to join our digital community to put your business into the next gear.
We hope this pandemic condition will one day return us to a new normal. However, the future of e–commerce, post-COVID-19, will be forever changed. Adapt your business to this brave new world and get on track with e-commerce. We can help you.