COVID-19: Impact on E-commerce

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13Mar
2020

COVID -19: Impact On E-commerce

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is about to make a huge impact, isolation and social distancing measures have already been put in place across many countries including a few cities here in the USA. Many concerts are canceled, sporting events are being played without an audience, schools have been shut down;  This is all a new territory for Americans.

Though people are working from home, avoiding public and crowded places the healthcare professionals are the first line responders when it comes to helping people that are affected by Coronavirus. We truly appreciate their support and dedication to the community.

A survey by Coresight Research in February 2020 showed that 27.5% of the US internet users were avoiding public places and it also indicated that 58% would go for the same if the coronavirus outbreak worsens in the country. Malls and Shopping centers were the most-avoided places, however more than half of the respondents said they would even avoid shops in general.

More than eight in ten (85.6%) respondents age 60+ said they were likely to avoid grocery shopping in person as well as going to shop in person at malls and other brick and mortar stores. As the virus is the most fatal for older individuals, they are the ones most likely in need to alter their behaviors. This will have a direct impact on the adoption of e-commerce. People here in the USA as in other countries already shaken by novel coronavirus will prefer buying things online than going to a crowded, germy store that could kill them.

E-commerce activity, particularly for health and grocery, is increasing in the country. The increasing supply chain issues is proving to be a challenge to digital retailers.

Just like healthcare professionals, we value the important role the logistics and delivery professionals play in this state of the epidemic.

As a leading E-commerce Agency and industry experience of more than 15 years, we have come up with the following tips to help you serve your customers the best:

1) Make Sure Your Website is Ready

Be ready to get a massive influx of traffic to your website for people who are eager to buy the products available in your store. Your website may see a pretty steady flow of traffic regularly, but during this time, you need to prepare for an uptick.

Test your server’s load capacity so that you can be sure that your website can sustain a big wave of traffic.

2) Have Backup Plan

What kind of contingency plans do you have in place should the worst happen? Making sure that your website can sustain the traffic is one thing, but do you know if you are going to have enough in your supply or inventory to meet a huge increase in customer demand?

There are some great sales forecasting tools that you can use to get a clearer idea of what kind of demand you can expect to see during these days and that weekend.

3) Prepare for the Best

Use a forecasting tool to give you the best idea of what kind of demand and sales that you can expect. You don’t want to overstock and tie-up too much of your budget in inventory, but you don’t want to be turning away sales dollars either.

This might mean just giving your customers notice far ahead of time. Let them know that due to expected increased demand, the shipping and processing times may take a little longer.

4) Make Sure You’re Mobile Optimized

This should go without saying, but the majority of your customers start most of their searches and do the majority of their shopping from their mobile device. Test your website to make sure that it is optimized and loads quickly on mobile devices.

5) Offer a Generous Return Policy

Don’t let your return policy be the only thing holding your customers back from buying your product. Offer them a generous return policy so they have the comfort they need to buy at that very moment.

E-commerce store owners need to be on top not only with their supply chains but also with the latest coronavirus news driving consumer behaviors.

Image Source : emarketer.com

Mike Patel
Mike Patel

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