Social distancing is good for public health but is bad for small businesses. The foot traffic has dropped significantly post coronavirus outbreak as more and more customers are staying at home and self-quarantine. 

 

Many businesses are worried that the impact of COVID-19 will be deeper and more long-lasting than anticipated. As a result, business owners in every industry are looking for different ways to keep their customers intact during the coronavirus lockdown. 

 

Here are few e-commerce strategies that help you to keep your customers engaged and to boost up business during and after coronavirus lockdown.

 

Communicate with your customers 

 

The situation is changing rapidly and we are not sure what news will come up. Customers are empathizing with merchants facing a crisis as long as you communicate with them properly. Let your customers know your employees are working in a safe and clean environment. Inform them that you are strictly following all safety guidelines to assure the safest and uncontaminated deliveries. 

 

Besides, you need to let your customers know if your employees are working when your e-store is closing. Beyond letting customers know the logistics of your approach, give them a way to stay connected. Notify your customers through different social media channels, through emails and through Whatsapp. Take orders over other platforms other than e-commerce site including social media, and Whatsapp. 

 

Promote Gift cards

 

Promoting gift cards will provide you with an immediate infusion of cash and guarantee that a customer will return to your business in future. For food delivery business, where the margins are already thin, promoting gift card will help you to stay afloat until the crisis passes. 

 

You can target the customers who are used to going out of their way to local cafes, bars, eateries. Gift cards provide an easy to keep cash flow moving. Start an e-gift card campaign to reduce the risk of human contact, or work with a third-party delivery partner like Uber Eats to accept their gift cards at your location.

 

Build an audience through live streaming

 

Go digital with your services to continue to provide access to your customers who are sitting at home, wishing they could support your business. For tutors, personal trainers and even therapists are making them available virtually. Use free tools like Google Hangouts, Zoom or Skype to offer your services remotely. 

 

You can create a live streaming session to build an audience and to answer their concerns about your products or services. You can ensure them that you are working to meet their requirements without any restrictions. You can post a video about your products and how your customers can use your products in an innovative while staying at home. 

 

Organize an online event

 

Organize an online event like the e-commerce giant Amazon did which their “The Great Indian Sale.” Recognize that most of the consumers are craving for entertainment while being quarantined at home. You can plan an event for new product launch, or celebrating an anniversary, and stream it live on different social media channels. 

 

It is a great way to keep your customers engaged and build goodwill as well as to sell your products. Offer a special discount code to the first 100 people who stream your live event or create an exclusive behind the scenes look at the new products to customers on your email list. Get creative with how you can make customers still feel invested in your brand and engaged with your content from a distance.

 

Adopt free shipping policies 

 

Online customers like to save more and more on their shopping. No matter it is grocery or apparel, they tend to get their desired products as low as possible. Day by Day, the customers are getting smarter with their searches and with the e-commerce store’s terms and conditions. 

 

One such way to attract and retain customers is to waive off the shipping cost. You can lure the customers by delivering their products free of cost. You can inform your customers that they are eligible for free shipping for the specific amount of products in the cart.

 

Encourage flexible labour

 

In this time of crisis, you need an innovative approach to meet your requirements and to address your customers’ needs. By delivery goods for free, you just need to cut off your operational costs by encouraging flexible labour. 

 

For example, if you are running a food delivery business, hire labors from your local restaurants. In this way, your business can also help the labours to have food on their table. Hiring local labour does not only help you to reduce the cost of the operation, but it will also help to plan safe deliveries by avoiding contaminated locations. 

Changing consumer behavior for e-commerce industries

In order to avoid going to stores where there is a higher risk of infection and a potential lack of inventory on the shelves, clients are moving to online retail with longer delivery windows.

The consumers are transforming their offline shopping habits online and it won’t disappear when the pandemic is over. This will have a very long and positive impact on the entire e-commerce industry.

  • eGrocery 

eGrocery has seen rapid expansion during the outbreak. The demands of raw food products and basic needs like vegetables, fruits, meat and seafood have tripled. The world has already seen the first signs of booming e-commerce with an increased in eGrocery by more than 30%.

  • Food Delivery

The food delivery network has also grown. There are millions of restaurants open for business and deliver food right at their doorsteps. Local restaurants now knew that delivering food at their doors is the only option left for generating revenue.

  • Online Baby and kids store 

Diapers, skincare, formula and baby food are highly in demand due to coronavirus crisis. Many online babies and kids store targeting parents with small children through social media and Whatsapp. Communicating and taking orders online to ensure their babies have all basic necessities.

  • Healthcare

Many healthcare providers launched free online consultation services with doctors and also launched online tools to help patients with chronic disease such as diabetes, heart attack. The app is also designed to maintain their drug supply.

  • Insurance

Some insurance companies are adding free coronavirus related coverage to their products. This has encouraged customers to buy health insurance online and increased the loyalty of existing clients.

Strategic direction for the coming years

Many Chinese companies have already moved from crisis to post-recovery planning. Full-scale digitization is at the forefront of many such plans including for manufacturers in all industries.

From the above consumer behavior, we can predict that the digital side of the retail business will grow at a faster pace than the previous projection. Lockdown cities, terrified people and crashing economies, the is hard for the entire world. Although it is a proof that e-commerce is robust and is able to answer to the big issues. Digital transformation is the positive thing to achieve the long-term goals for your business.

E-commerce addresses the issues

Ecommerce is robust and is able to address all the big issues created due to coronavirus lockdown. We at Perception System believe that better e-commerce technology can help shape and improve the future of the world. It’s not just a bold marketing claim, it is true and always will be. The best e-commerce technology partner will give everyone in the industry a great deal of motivation to find answers to the current problems and then plan for the future.

 

ecommerce expert
Jullie Roslin
Jullie Roslin is the resident E-commerce Expert at Perception System Pvt. Ltd having rich 8 years of experience in the eCommerce industry. She possesses extensive experience working in the technology industries and is responsible for introducing emerging eCommerce trends to the team.