Pandemic is disrupting economies in an unprecedented manner. To deal with coronavirus, every nation has taken a defensive step of lockdown. While essential categories like medicines and groceries are going to be available during the lockdown, your e-commerce business can suffer from massive chaos.
Right from panic buying to not buying at all, coronavirus has affected the consumer buying psychology as well. Your e-commerce online store needs to find creative ways to stay engaged with your customers, even while their retail location is still unavailable.
What happens in a lockdown?
When a country is a full lockdown, no one is allowed to go out onto the streets, unless there is an emergency. Depending on the situation in each state, your logistics partners might not be able to enter a specific country anymore. Keep in mind that parcels and handling claims will be delayed.
If the carriers cannot enter a specific part of the country, then delivery to these areas will be impossible. It also means that no one inside the area is allowed to leave. This can affect your e-commerce supply chain too. You need to keep track on your logistics website for updates surrounding the coronavirus to see if delivery to a specific area or country is still possible.
Coronavirus Kicked off Online Sales
According to experts, e-commerce is expected to grow by 50% and 8.8% increase in new online buyers since the coronavirus started. Many people are avoiding physical stores, and so, online shopping is the perfect way to shop for their necessary items or comfort during the lockdown.
Health products have received immense online attention with the data showing more than 420% increase in hand sanitizer and disinfectants compared to last year. Major e-commerce giants like Amazon even cancelled their FBA services expect for necessary household items and healthcare products.
How can you maintain an uninterrupted supply of goods?
In economic terms, your e-commerce business is facing extreme challenges, as more countries are locking down due to COVID-19. Your supply chain could be strongly impacted depending on the sources from where your products are imported. Despite the situation, it is still vigilant to be prepared.
• Ensure you have a backup supplier for your raw material or products. You need to find an alternative for your supply chain.
• Try to add new products or services in your web store. Alternative products from different suppliers can help you to decrease the risk of supply failure. If one supplier failed, you have other products from another supplier.
• Keep accurate track of supply chain shipment routes to ensure alternative routes for delivery.
• Constantly maintain communication with your supplier and logistic partner. Make sure you have a good relation with them. Stay polite and respectful of their struggles.
Ecommerce Tips to Overcome COVID-19
The coronavirus is spreading around the world at a rapid pace. There is no escaping when it comes to online trading. To save your internet business, or to smoothly resume it after lockdown, you need to adjust your logistics, transportation, supply chain, purchasing, and stocking. Here’s how implementing the following tips might help.
1. Diversify suppliers
Diversification sounds easy, but finding a right alternate supplier or manufacturer is challenging depending on your product. Diversifying suppliers is similar to launching new products, and the supply comes from a different region. Beyond the geographical factors, you also need to consider the cost, the quality and the terms and conditions of the supplier. Large e-commerce stores need bulk requirements.
2. Add Alternate products
Another option to keep your supply chain working is to launch new products. Start by analyzing the customer’s purchase history and then choose complimentary or similar goods. For example, if you are selling women’s apparel, then you could also see handbags, accessories and other related items.
3. Invest in excess inventory
As an e-commerce merchant, you generally avoid buying too much inventory. But, just in case, your strategy does not work this time, and the suppliers will not be able to ship your order. Even a smaller merchant could benefit from investing in excess inventory to meet demand during the time of crisis.
4. Communicate with your customers
Remain honest with your customers when it comes to products and deliveries. Ensure your customers are aware of your operating status. Provide them with information about your working hours and also about your available products. Retain buyers by sending them newsletters or messages to make them aware of your operations in their areas during the coronavirus.
5. Check website efficiency
Many consumers involved in panic buying due to lockdown. Make sure your website is up and running at its optimum capacity. If you are dealing in grocery and daily necessities, you might see unusual traffic to your website. Make sure your website is not overloaded and does not crash. You can engage your visitors by providing COVID-19 information.
6. Flexible deliveries
Try to be flexible when it comes to delivering the goods. You can provide suggestions for flexible delivery to your logistic partner. Stay updated with your deliver status and keep in contact with your logistic partners to figure out alternative delivery routes during the lockdown.
7. Go local
Collaborate with local and offline suppliers. Offline retailers are going through a tough time. And by working together, you can both increase your sales and broaden your target audience. You can provide a discount on certain local products. Going local can also facilitate prompt delivery and satisfied customers.
To make your e-commerce store survive in this crisis, be prepared for any change. What applies today may be different tomorrow. Make sure you are partnered with a strategic e-commerce development company to stay flexible and keep your customers proactively informed with changes and delays in deliveries.
Perception System experts can help you stay updated with the latest web technologies for having a flawlessly working e-commerce store. Right from designing to managing stock, you can get full support of talented professionals. It will be your best digital and strategic partner when it comes to accelerating your business against rough circumstances.