Business and Covid-19: E-commerce Strategies to Save your Business
Sustaining one’s business is difficult during the times of Covid-19. Creating an online presence can save you from closing down your business. Find e-commerce strategies that will help you in continuing your business for a very long time.
The Coronavirus pandemic and subsequent quarantine measures have affected economic activities severely. Amidst nationwide lockdowns, shelter-in-place restrictions and the overall bleak environment, businesses are struggling to survive. Whether you are involved in manufacturing and distribution of essential goods and medical supplies or your business deals with non-essential products and services, every single business unit is facing issues.
Whether it is a supply issue, staffing problems or government restrictions, businesses are nothing if not adaptable. Let’s focus on how you can keep your business afloat and ensure the employment of your staff.
1. Take your Business Online
Novel Coronavirus has changed the way we live; changed the way we conduct our business. If you have still not opted for an online existence, it’s time to create an online store to sell goods to your customers. Many retailers and small business owners are facing the issue of reaching out to customers, especially when a majority of them are quarantined at home.
Creating an online e-commerce store is the way out of this mess. Build a new Magento store and take your products online. If you already have a store, make sure it is upgraded to the latest Magento version for added security and safety of your customers. Magento will stop supporting Magento 1 store after June, 2020. This is the right time to migrate to Magento 2 and secure the future of your business.
When it comes to establishing your business online, you need to consider how today’s customers access a business. Everyone uses mobile so, make sure you create AMP-friendly Pages which load faster on mobile so customer do not have to wait for a longer time or you have a mobile app for a streamlined shopping experience.
Summary: Build an Online Presence.
2. Reduce Footfalls; Increase Online Traffic
Contactless Delivery: It is one of the things that the outbreak of Covid-19 has taught us. The more you dissuade customers from coming to your store, the lesser are the chances of contamination. You need to protect your workforce as well as ensure the safety of your customers. And contactless delivery is the way to go.
You can use a few tools to enhance the features of your Magento e-commerce store and provide customers with an “in-store” shopping experience online.
- Use a product image flipper to show a product from different angles. Your customers cannot touch the product but at least they can know how it looks from all angles to make a purchase decision.
- Tell customers what products are available on discount. Mention limited items and highlight essential products on the website with the help of a product labels extension.
- Make use of Ajax Quick Search to enable customers to find products in a matter of seconds. You can set search type to “like”, “full text” and “combine” for queries.
- If customers are habituated to look for products based on specific characteristics such as the year, make, or model, install a products parts finder and make web navigation effortless.
- Display product information quickly with an Ajax-based quick-view popup This way, customers won’t have to wait for the respective product page to load and they will find all information on the category page itself.
- Offer real-time shipping rates and provide an estimated date of delivery so that customers can make an informed decision. There are many country-specific extensions such as Fastway shipping, CouriersPlease shipping method and E-go shipping method to help you display accurate shipping costs, including handling fees and taxes.
Summary: Stores are Closed; your Business isn’t.
3. Facilitate Safe Shopping
If you were primarily a brick-and-mortar store, many of your customers may not be accustomed to online shopping. But with the Coronavirus outbreak, they are not going to return to your physical store anytime soon. So, how do you solve the problem?
Replicate the in-store shopping experience online. Just as you make sure there are no long lines at the checkout counter, you can ensure a streamlined checkout process online. Eliminate unnecessary steps, remove redundant fields and reduce time to check out from the e-commerce store. Use one-page checkout extension to eliminate non-essential steps from the process.
Allow customers to place orders without creating an account with the store. Offer order review on the checkout page so that, customers can make changes without going back to the cart. Remember a speedy shopping process means a higher number of impulse purchases!
If your business deals with wholesale customers, there is one way to help them place bulk orders online. With a wholesale fast order extension, B2B buyers will enjoy a separate section for ordering products with the help of SKUs. They will be able to upload a CSV file and place their order without moving from one product page to another. Additionally, you can put opt for Request-for-Quote extension to take care of price negotiations and send customized quotations to your customers.
Summary: Make Online Shopping Effortless
4. Bridge the Gap between Demand and Supply
Labor shortages, insufficient material procurement and shipping delays are affecting business revenues severely. It has led to multiple instances of out-of-stock products online. If you are facing inventory problems due to the pandemic, explain the situation to your customers and notify them as and when the product is back in stock. Bridge the gap between demand and supply by using out of stock notification extension.
Another way to increase sales during these trying times is to target abandoned customers. Send them reminder emails and find out why they opted out of making a purchase. Track abandoned carts, send convincing emails and offer customized discounts to bring customers back to the store. By tracking abandoned customers, you will be able to fine-tune pricing strategies and grow your business in the long run.
Summary: Do not let your Customer go.
5. Grow your Brand; Capture the Mind Share!
Covid-19 has made sure that all your customers are home. No one is on the streets to check out your store’s billboard. There is no one in the stores to take advantage of in-store brand promotions. So, how do you connect with customers when they cannot come out to your place of business.
Email marketing is thriving in these uncertain times. Make sure you are connected to your customers. Whether it is in the form of order confirmation emails, shipping updates or simply a follow-up email, make use of a comprehensive email template editor to stay in touch with your target market.
Focus on expanding your subscriber base and encourage customers to make purchase via attractive newsletters. Create blog posts regularly to grow your audience.
Summary: Connect with Customers.
The Only Way to Grow your Business is to ADAPT
As of 7th of May, 2020, there are 3.76 million confirmed Coronavirus cases across the world. The world is gravely affected by the disease. It has changed our lives and it will have a deep impact on our economic activities for years to come. It’s time we adapt our businesses to suit the changing needs of our customers.
This is the right time to build a strong online presence, enhance store features and deliver a great shopping experience to customers. Reach higher number of customers to continue and sustain your business during the desperate times of Covid-19.