The spread of the coronavirus has had untold effects on everyone, in their personal lives as well as in business. In record numbers, businesses have either chosen or been forced to close, creating a bullwhip effect that everyone in the country has felt in some form or other. To any given person, the effects might be as fleeting as the inability to get a haircut or as severe as the loss of a job.
Whatever the case is for you, there’s no denying that the impact of the virus has reached economic proportions. Recent developments have shown that eCommerce, in general terms, offers some protection against the shutdowns that affect brick and mortar businesses.
With that being said, competition is high and eCommerce businesses everywhere are feeling the squeeze. At times like these, it’s best to reevaluate your game plan and look for ways to improve your processes and strategy to help safeguard your business. Take heed of some of the suggestions the experts at our eCommerce agency offer you.
Evaluate (or Re-evaluate) Your Supply Chain
If your eCommerce business develops and manufactures its own wares, then that’s good for you, but others are not so fortunate. Disruptions in supply chains have had serious consequences for online businesses and shoppers that rely on them.
Keep communication open with your suppliers. Find out about their disaster plans with particular respect to two scenarios. Find out how the business is equipped to survive a reduction in orders, but most important find out how they are equipped to manage an increase.
If your suppliers can’t cope with increased demand and you can’t fill orders, customer satisfaction will drop. If possible, now might be the time to diversify your portfolio of suppliers to protect your business.
Another note: If you’re having trouble meeting demands or shipping has been delayed, split your procurement schedule as a buffer against spikes in orders. That way, instead of getting one bulk shipment and a bunch of customers that might be unhappy with a delay, you can get two or more shipments on a rolling basis to help cope with the demand.
Make Customer Satisfaction a Priority
One of the greatest benefits of eCommerce is that it enables you to reach the widest market in the world. The downside is that customers have as much access to you (and your competitors) as you have to them. They can shop between competitors’ offerings in the blink of an eye.
Communicate with your customers about what matters to them. Elicit their feedback in an order confirmation email. Ask them to take a survey and offer them a perk that your business is capable of offering. You want to know what matters most to your customers and the answer isn’t always price.
Perhaps your target market relishes swift communication. Perhaps your target audience is highly receptive to offers of specials or sales. Maybe the case is even that your customers have been waiting for you to offer customizable or personalized products. You’ll never know unless you ask.
Consumer habits have changed, and that is because they have experienced a change in lifestyle. For example, some fashion eCommerce companies have struggled and even gone out of business pursuant to the caveat of the old dictum that some are “all dressed up and have nowhere to go.” People learn quickly – they won’t be getting dressed up if they have nowhere to go for long.
Because customers’ fundamental needs have shifted, if your business is experiencing a slump in conversion rates or sales but is still capable of conducting business, you may want to consider repositioning your online marketing, even a full rebrand.
Instead of marketing your product as a way to decorate yourself for high society, position it as a product in which the customer can indulge from the comfort of home. Stress the importance of self-care instead of social gathering. There are a million ways to go with it – now is the time to get creative, or to work with our digital agency’s creative team for branding.
Refresh Your Category or Product Pages
Something as simple as fresh product images or a new description can really catch a user’s attention. In fact, it’s more likely to capture the attention of repeat users, and their business is as important, if not more important, than new prospects. Since they are more familiar with your site, oftentimes a new description or some fresh content will really get their attention. After all, your customers look to you as the authority on your own products.
Even a quick change like some new, high-quality product images can have a profound effect on consumer behavior. It can have a refreshing effect on the overall spirit of your website and, on top of that, it can generate reinvigorated interest in your products.
You might even want to take this opportunity to perform an entire site refresh or holistic website redesign. Conduct a customer satisfaction survey, and you may found that they are desirous of new elements on your website.
As you can see, there is more than one way to switch things up and create new flavor for and attraction to your eCommerce website. These are only a few of the more immediate, easier ways to spice up your online presence, but you could certainly get more involved with a new website development project or even a migration to a newer, more capable eCommerce platform.
Our full-service eCommerce agency has served eCommerce clients in many different industries throughout the years, solving problems ranging from stale content to slouching sales and shoddy website designs. If you’re experiencing challenges in the online marketplace and need some help adapting, reach out to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 888-696-4059 and let us help you reinvigorate your online business.
- Michael Esposito
- May 18, 2020