The COVID-19 pandemic has not only proven to be a hazard to global health, but its wake has also threatened the livelihoods of millions of people and businesses. As with all calamities, we will get through this; we always do. But, as we wait for the Coronavirus impact to subside, there are some concrete things you, as an eCommerce merchant, can do to ride out the wave.
Since this has begun, it has become apparent that we are in a unique position as online retailers, and that the effect this virus will have on our businesses can be mitigated with proper strategy and planning.
While brick and mortar sales will be more severely impacted, now is the time for your online efforts to perform. In recent days, we have seen significant increases in online sales for several of our clients.
Each of these merchants is taking advantage of the lower cost of ad spend and employing strategies to scale sales.
Here are a few key points we would like you to seriously consider:
1) Understand that Cash is King. Converting your existing inventory to cash is a top priority. With people curtailing their in-store purchases, online is where to go. This is an excellent time for eCommerce promotions that give back to the community, which in turn supports small business.
Disclaimer: Always be tasteful and respect the fact that families are being affected by the virus.
2) Knowing the crisis will end and that this is the absolute wrong time to take your foot off the accelerator. Any sales not made during the time to recovery will most certainly be lost. Continued online promotion is more important than ever, and it is essential that your brand and products are visible and available online. By going "dark" merchants risk courting brand irrelevance, which they may not recover from.
3) Because more people will be in front of their screens, it is a great time for "scaling" experiments. We just finished testing a new online strategy for one of our clients this weekend, which resulted in a 517% increase in Return On Ad Spend (ROAS). By taking advantage of the reduced cost of advertising "real estate", we were able to expand the scope of the experiment and discover several new pockets of active purchasers as a result.
4) If you are experiencing product supply issues, you should continue to promote and sell even if it is only to a waiting list. Having an active purchaser list to deliver on once COVID-19 subsides beats having to create new leads and customers from scratch several weeks / months from now.
5) Communicate with your customers excessively.
6) Clean up and catch up. Shakespeare wrote King Lear during quarantine for the Black Plague. Now is the time to work on your business.
It is time to show your generous side because it is not all about money. This is a terrific opportunity to show the world that you are more than a business, but rather a real part of their community. Create a promotion or offer that helps relieve some of the strain that many people are facing now.
Deploy a strategy to KEEP SELLING and to cash in on your inventory now.
Stay safe, stay calm, and stay home.