eCommerce is an ever-expanding world. The intensifying of the purchasing power of global consumers, the increase of social media users, and the continuously progressing infrastructure and technology make the future of eCommerce more vibrant than ever. Yet, today, as the COVID-19 pandemic attacks global health, its wake has also threatened the market economy and businesses. However, in the eCommerce world, despite the risk of being affected by delivery problems and missing orders, eCommerce businesses are in a unique position. As online retailers, these companies can mitigate the economic effects as long as they come up with proper strategy and planning. So, in the wake of the current situation, here are a few key points every (small) eCommerce business needs to consider thoughtfully.
Understand your current financial position
To make informed decisions about your business, you must understand your current financial situation. For this reason, learn about
- restrictions imposed by the government,
- your ability to trade through this period,
- pay debts,
- keep and pay employees,
- meet existing leasing or loan repayments
All these matters are vital factors determining your financial position. Make sure you sit with your accountant and make a plan on what you need to do to minimize the impact on your business. Remember, cash flow is critical, especially if COVID-19 has significantly disrupted your business.
Upgrade your marketing efforts
As weeks go by, it proved that now is the time for increased online efforts to perform. Though this might be odd to some business owners, since marketing costs are first to be cut in times of crisis, bear with us. We will explain why. Statistics show that as a result of the current situation, more and more customers are shopping online. That means that marketplace change is likely to occur since more and more companies seek to capitalize on this trend. In this situation, your business must secure that your site is found in search engines for relevant searches. If you don’t achieve that, you are risking staying behind your competitors, thus diminishing your ability to compete. That said, learn which keywords people use to find your website. This way, you will get a better understanding of which search terms are sending you most organic traffic, and check if your SEO efforts are going well or not.
If you are in a position where sales are decreasing, and website visitor numbers decline, it becomes more important than ever to make the most of the traffic that does come in, working harder than ever to increase conversion rates. So, in this period, it is of crucial importance to focus on your customers by creating deeper bonds with them. If you find it challenging to attract new customers at this time, focus on ways to regain lapsed customers and engage your higher-value customers. Keep in mind that people are working, learning, and spending more waking hours at home and online. So, make sure your website is running at optimum capacity. Improve the site’s user experience, introduce customers’ testimonials, and, importantly, focus on your website’s content. All these things (and more) will likely have a significant impact on your customer retention and conversion rates.
Regardless of the scenario, your business is in, rather than stopping marketing activities, you could be best served by investing in or investing more heavily in these types of activities. While each business is different and will face its challenges, upgrading marketing efforts may help your company thrive and help position your brand in preparation for the increase in demand that will surely come once this crisis lightens.
Ease the burden and provide reassurance
Everybody’s life is being disrupted. So, in your online and social media presence, spread a message of optimism- We’ll get through this together, as a community. Importantly, make sure your customers know that your business is taking extra precautions to maintain a clean and safe environment.
Establish COVID-19 FAQs. Advise your customers about product availability, potential delays, and other steps your business is taking. Handle simultaneous requests and facilitate customer service by establishing a live chat. All these actions can prevent bad customers` experience and increase average order values.
Also, since many are struggling, offer promotions, discounts, or help that can support customers to manage their expenses better. This is your chance to show your community that you are more than a business.
Analyze whether buying an eCommerce business is an option
Many enthusiastic business people see opportunities in every situation. This pandemic is no exception, though, to be honest, it is like nothing the business for sale marketplace has ever experienced. So, if you are thinking about buying an eCommerce business for sale to scale up your own or to hit into a complementary niche, as a result of this pandemic, understandably, you might have doubts. However, business brokers still believe that there are excellent opportunities, especially in specific sectors. Nevertheless, before you do so, remember that investing should never be guided by particular moments- it should be a part of a process over time. And if you are keen on buying a business now, our advice is to do it slowly.
Polish your leadership skills
There are many different leadership styles, but the fundamental traits of great leaders are the same. Great leaders can inspire others, develop a vision, set clear goals, stay focused, and communicate effectively. They are aware of their (and their teammates) strengths and weaknesses, are good at giving and receiving feedback and are approachable, honest, and committed. Good leaders know how to execute a strategy even in times like these successfully. That said, now is the time to work not just on your business, but as well on yourself. How active your business will be in the course of the pandemic, and how prepared it will be for the post-pandemic future will largely depend on you. Above all, on your ability (and flexibility) to think and act wisely and strategically. Continuously sharpening your leadership skills will help you provide a vision for your business and motivate your employees to excel even in challenging times.
The world is still rocking from the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, and user behaviour is increasingly moving online. Ecommerce businesses are in a unique position to capitalize on this. While marketing strategies may need to be adapted, companies should maintain investments in analytics, online marketing, and online content, so they can remain competitive and meet their customers` needs. In these uncertain times, there are still opportunities to manage and even upgrade eCommerce businesses as long as owners are willing to take a different, adaptive, growth-oriented mindset and a positive attitude.