Ecommerce is one of the few industries that have benefitted most from the coronavirus and lockdown. But ecommerce businesses have their own set of challenges to battle and win.
Their supply chain is disrupted, their warehouses are out of stock, their logistics partners too are on delay, and if there is a demand they aren’t able to deliver. These are the reasons why a large number of small- and mid-level businesses have shut down, either temporarily or permanently.
This is specifically true for segments of ecommerce that saw a sharp decline in user generated demand.
To survive and thrive in the era of COVID-19, you need to follow some tried and true strategies adapted by businesses that managed to maintain their momentum during these difficult times. Here are 5 actionable strategies you can consider to boost your ecommerce sales during COVID-19 –
Fix the Roadblocks –
Many smart entrepreneurs leverage the setup of their retail business to function as an ecommerce store, taking and delivering customers’ orders to their doorsteps. If you too are a retail business, looking for ways to survive, you can think of this diversification.
If you are a retail business with an operational ecommerce division or if you are already a full-fledged ecommerce business, looking to drive traffic and sales on your website during coronavirus lockdown, the first thing you should do is – make it easier for your audience to find you online.
For this, you will need to identify technical issues on your website. Apparently, users will abandon your website and possibly never return because of development-related errors and confusing website design. So, you will need to fix those issues at the earliest.
TobaccoPipes.com went for a revamp, fixing major issues related to website design and development. Their aim behind this routine was to increase SEO-readiness of their website and to stay prepared for the time when normal traffic and sales return. Being SEO-ready makes them easier to find on search engines.
Re/Activate Your SEO/SMO –
Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Optimization are two essential tools to generate traffic and sales for an ecommerce website. You need to make sure that your ecommerce business has an active online presence. If you stopped these online activities at the beginning of lockdown, this is time to reactivate it.
SEO involves a set of strategies that make your website user-friendly and with that, search engine-friendly. Right SEO implementations help increase organic traffic and sales on your ecommerce website.
Use your social networks to promote your products and current offers. You can join most popular social networks in your area. You can also build a local community there and use it to engage with your potential audience. This way, you can increase engagement, establish/reestablish your brand, and boost your traffic and sales.
WildlifeShowroom.com, an ecommerce store that offers wooden duck decoys and decorative items such as sculptures and drawings, made a great use of Instagram during lockdown and generated not just leads but also many new customers.
Shorter Checkout Process and More Secured Payment Processing –
So you have convinced your audience to visit your website and buy your products. Whether a customer will complete the order will depend on one important factor – and that is how secure your payment and checkout processes are.
If your checkout process involves unnecessary steps and form fills, there is some bad news. There will be a higher cart abandonment rate.
Similarly, if the customer feels unsafe making payment, then also the rate of cart abandonment will be high on your website.
You wouldn’t want to miss a single opportunity to sell. For that, you will need to streamline your checkout and payment processes.
Segment Your Database and Email List –
Email is one of the most effective marketing channels for ecommerce businesses. You can include emails in your ecommerce marketing strategy to promote your brand and offers.
However, to get started with that, you will need to keep your database ready beforehand. If you don’t have it, you can build one by scanning through your ecommerce website CRM.
You can run online ad campaigns to add more emails to your customer database. And make sure that your database is segmented. Here is a guide to segment your email database.
Sending emails starts with creating compelling email content. It could be text, graphic, or a combination of both. Avoid using words that land your emails in spam folder of the recipient. Encourage your customers with a strong call to action. Here is a complete step wise guide to get started on ecommerce email marketing.
Pro Tip: You can customize offers for your loyal customers, giving them additional discount or freebies.
To survive and thrive, it is recommendable to explore every dimension of online marketing. PPC or pay-per-click advertising is giving ads on search engines and social networks, and is regarded as the most hard-hitting way of marketing for ecommerce businesses.
The reason why PPC could be the most fruitful marketing tool for your ecommerce business is – it is targeted and cost effective. Never confuse that paid ads are expensive.
You can choose the audience who will see your promotion. The ones who do not fit into the definition of your buyers will be shown your ads. That means, you can save big on your marketing expenditure.
The outcome of PPC? PPC yields better results than television and print ads do. These targeted ads increase your website traffic and give you leads and eventually, customers. There are countless other benefits of PPC for ecommerce, if you will explore and exploit it right.
One thing to remember: Paid ads work differently on search engines and social media. And you will need to create your PPC strategy based on that.
Bottom Line –
In addition to these, you will need to change your marketing approach. You should first consider reprioritizing your product listings and promote the products that get more attention or demand from users.
For example: The sales of groceries, furniture, self care, and cleaning and hygiene products are up and the sales of fashion and apparels are down during lockdown, because of the shift in user behavior and interests.
The strategies recommended in this post are easy to set up and you are start doing it now. Moreover, they do not require any initial investment from you.
And the best part is, all these strategic implementations are measurable. With an analytics tool, you can measure and understand what works for you and what doesn’t. This also gives you a chance to fine-tune your strategies to make them work for you.