If you own an eCommerce store, there’s no denying that the Coronavirus pandemic has had an impact on your business.
Will it be in a positive or in a negative way it’s up to you though.
While many are closing shop, others are prospering beyond belief. To help you move into the latter category we’ve devised a checklist that you can use to ensure your success during these extraordinary times.
If you follow these 7 steps, you’ll be sure to stand out from the rest of the eCommerce owners that just want to make a quick buck.
You’ll earn your audience’s respect, trust, and loyalty.
Which is something that you can count will bring dividends in the post-COVID-19 eCommerce space.
The state of eCommerce during the Coronavirus crisis
You may ask yourself: “Is now the worst time for eCommerce owners?”
To answer that question, let us look into some numbers first.
During the first quarter of this year, consumers spend more online.
According to the latest US Department of Commerce online spending has risen from 127.89 billion to $146.47 billion, which is a 14.5% increase from the previous year.
No wonder really, since the Coronavirus has kept them behind closed doors.
Not only that, but US daily sales grew 49% during the month of April when the pandemic struck hardest.
Not all industries are seeing a rise in traffic.
According to a case study by Common Threads Collective, it’s best to be in these industries:
• Medical (essentials) +433.99%
• Household Goods +210%
• Baby Products 201.42%
• Toys & Games, Health % Wellness, Work from Home +89.25%, 85.15%, and 84.5%
While these industries have seen a drop in revenue:
• Jewelry & Luxury -2.76%
• Automotive or Tools -18.72%
• Bags or Travel Accessories -55.33%
It’s not all sugar and spice, though.
Based on a survey by Digital Commerce 360, during the coronavirus pandemic the majority of eCommerce owners report:
• Drop in website traffic
• Decrease in conversion rates
• Lower average order value
What do these numbers mean, though?
It seems that the consumers are moving towards fewer brands, and focusing more on the essentials.
Luxury goods, electronics, travel equipment, and such have all seen a sharp drop in activity.
On the other hand, if you find yourself in one of these categories you may actually benefit quite handsomely from the current situation.
How can you take advantage of the current situation and win big?
We’ve asked ourselves that very same question. Based on our research compiled over hundreds of successful and not so successful stores, we found 10 things you can implement right now in your store to see massive growth.
1. Ensure the stability of your supply chain
While a rise in demand is good, not being able to follow up on your promise is not so good.
Matter of fact, it’s one of the worst things you can do during these times when the battle for customer confidence is at its strongest.
To ensure that you don’t see any disruptions, contact your manufacturers as well as any other moving parts in your supply chain and ensure that there will be no hiccups in delivery.
You don’t want to earn a bad rep and carry that stigma when the value of a buying dollar is at its strongest.
2. Conduct a customer needs evaluation – be sensitive and relevant
You don’t want to sound insensitive during one of the worst employment crisis in US history. While many are losing jobs and struggling with basic necessities your marketing message has to be catered to those that have seen a decrease in their buying power.
It’s not all about you and your needs
It’s all about your customer.
Make a detailed overview and create a customer persona.
Ask these questions:
• Who is my ideal customer?
• Are they working from home?
• Are they an essential worker or have they been laid off?
• What is their highest current concern?
Once you understand your target audience you can better cater your message towards them, which brings us to the next point.
3. Focus more on social
While many are forced to stay at home, it’s no wonder that social media has seen a traffic increase of 51%.
While people are spending more time on social, the cost of advertising platforms such as Facebook and Google has actually dropped.
Let’s look at some numbers.
According to a case study by Common Threads Collective, their clients have seen a drop in:
• CPM: -13.71%
• CPC: -5.83%
• CTR: -4.59%
What does that mean for eCommerce marketers?
You should focus more on social now than ever!
When the rest of the marketers are pulling back, now is the perfect time to go forward and focus on social media spending more than ever!
For the same amount of money you can get greater impressions and more clicks, it’s up to you though to increase the conversion rate by earning your customers’ trust first!
4. Create a loyalty program
It can be said that we’re now in the post-acquisition world. The coronavirus pandemic has turned plenty of brick-and-mortar businesses into eCommerce stores while those who have avoided online spending are now forced to embrace the new reality.
With the majority of the customers and business online, now the battle for customer loyalty commences.
In these times now it’s more important than ever to make sure your customers return for more and that you encourage their loyalty!
With customers active more than ever it’s essential that your reward your first purchase in an effort to keep them coming back.
What is the value of a loyalty program?
Not only are you encouraging your customers to shop with you, but you’re also making sure that your customers feel valued and appreciated.
Make sure to reward the customer journey during each step of the way.
• Reward customers for signing up for your newsletter
• Create exclusive rewards that can be redeemed at a later date to ensure loyalty
• Offer coupon codes that will encourage further shopping
• Offer special discounts in your eCommerce store on coronavirus specific items
• Find ways to ensure that your customers are redeeming your rewards
5. Focus on DIY and stay-at-home niche
DIY as well as everything related to home improvements has seen sharp rise inactivity. No wonder, since the majority of the people are having a couple of hours more extra each day to spend doing things they love the most.
So, how can you better serve them?
Let’s say you’re in the DIY furniture niche. Now is not the time to be selling equipment, but selling information about how to make the best desk, bed, or anything else that comes together with the saws, drills, and such.
Why should you do that?
You will increase your authority in a given niche and people will be coming back for more.
Just ask yourself one thing.
Who would you value more, the guy that gave you a fish or that other guy that taught you how to fish?
6. Focus on SEO and organic search
With the value of paid traffic lower than ever, focus some of your existing marketing efforts into SEO and organic traffic as well.
Why should you do that?
By investing in SEO you’re basically future-proofing your business. SEO is a long-term strategy that required patience and constant upkeep. So, if you’re one of those like to fall into the get-rich-quick schemes this one is not for you.
If you’re looking to invest in your future, though, read on.
Now is the perfect time to optimize your website and really move it up through the rankings.
When it comes to SEO its all about momentum.
Create valuable content that your visitors will love to read and that will bring them back for more.
That way, once the crisis stops you’ll have a strong foundation upon which you can easily scale.
7. Automate your marketing efforts – use lead magnets, email sequences…
If you’re not already using some automatization in your eCommerce business during the coronavirus pandemic, now is the time to implement it.
In the current times, it’s all about the numbers.
When the conversion rates are so low, to ensure that you keep on growing focus on bringing a greater number of visitors to your site.
Here are the ways to do it:
1. Combine PPC ads with lead magnets (such as this one right here) to bring more leads
2. Collect their email address and nurture them through email sequences
3. Retarget them on social since the cost of ads is lowest it has been in years
It’s a simple 3 step process that will cost you barely anything and will bring you huge success with only a moderate conversion rate if you focus on volume first.