eCommerce Business Strategies to Overcome The Coronavirus Crisis

May 4, 2020

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eCommerce business strategies

The impact of Coronavirus crisis on economies across the world has been nothing short of brutal. The lockdown restrictions and social distancing norms have forced brick and mortar stores to close down. We are about to enter a recessive phase because of the present conditions.

The knowledge of strategic marketing options can facilitate the development of e-commerce companies during this crisis. Some general strategies along with tactical options with regards to the 3 pillars of e-commerce: SEO, CRO & PPC are listed below.

SEO Strategy

The SEO (Search Engine Optimization) changes in e-commerce businesses need not be drastic. The thing with SEO is that it doesn’t result in immediate changes. The current instability in search volume can be positive or negative, depending on the industry. An SEO is a long term move and isn’t susceptible to change soon.

The following SEO activities can be a part of an organization’s strategy –

  • Avoid index bloating and poor-quality pages on your site
  • Design creative content that gains search volume and can increase conversion rates
  • Keep the content quality high and maintain proper internal links
  • Conduct a keyword research comparison with competitors to check if your site is under or over-optimized and correct accordingly
  • For long term dominance, scale the production of quality content

CRO Strategy

A site needs enough visits to obtain significant statistics in split testing or A/B testing for CRO to be successful. This means that CRO is practical when there is a reasonable amount of traffic. However, that doesn’t mean that conversion rate optimization should stop.

Businesses can choose to improve their current User Interface design on their sites or focus on the following actions –

  • Improving your site’s speed can lead to better conversion rates
  • Design your site according to the e-commerce CRO best practices
  • Go for a site-wide redesign when not A/B testing

PPC Strategy

PPC strategy has more nuances during a crisis. The key to making strategic changes depends on the kind of business. Some businesses are witnessing a downturn in PPC traffic while others are seeing improvements in Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS). This contradiction is because of the ‘wait and see’ approach that many companies are taking.

Positive ROAS matters the most when it comes to PPC. As long as the returns justify the spending, PPC is a viable option. It is worthwhile to track these results over some time rather than making any hasty decisions.

Here are two ways you can utilize your PPC budget if physical retail partner distribution is significant for your business –

  • Utilize your PPC budget to direct foot traffic to your retail partners
  • Ask the retailers to promote your products by giving some of your advertising budgets

It can be beneficial to experiment during an economic recession. The general marketing strategies listed below have given positive results to other e-commerce companies.

Acquire New Customers

Regular customers may not necessarily be able to buy your business’s products or services because of the pandemic. Try to use this time to see if there are other customers in need of your products.

Some B2B companies selling essential equipment are confident about their sales continuity as a lack of proper equipment can lead to further damage to owners. B2B businesses can also transition to a B2C business by creating DIY content to attract customers.

Grow Customer Base

Due to the virus outbreak, customers might not be able to buy your products right now. However, businesses with adequate cash can exploit the gradual drop in costs per click as other companies slash their ad budget.

Try directing your ad budget towards expanding your email directory. Offer quality content to customers to grow your relationship. Your business will have access to a bigger customer base to target later.

Accept Backorders

Your business doesn’t need to stop sales even if there is trouble in sourcing inventory. Try taking orders which you can send to customers at a later date when the products are back in stock.

It can be particularly helpful to e-commerce businesses that fulfill orders themselves as Amazon is not shipping non-essential items. Hence, consumers will place direct orders on your site.

Highlight products with relevant ad copy

Changing your products to adapt to a world after the corona crisis may increase your brand value. Creating ad copies that represent society’s contemporary conditions or depict your re-positioned products can help.

For example, companies selling furniture can create ad copies emphasizing the work from home progression. Businesses can also donate to charities, thereby providing their customers with an opportunity to be a part of the fight against the virus.

Shift to online events and activities

To attract and engage customers, some e-commerce companies host live events or activities. But with the current scenario where social distancing is necessary, amassing large crowds at one place is not possible. Businesses are now venturing into organizing online events to endorse their products or services.

An e-commerce company dealing with health and wellness is now conducting live online classes teaching yoga instead of in-person sessions. E-commerce companies trading tangible goods can try a similar approach while endorsing their products or services on social networking sites like Instagram, Facebook, etc. Videos demonstrating the use of products at home can help customers during the quarantine period.

Coronavirus and eCommerce

COVID-19 is negatively impacting businesses of all sizes across the world. The effect of the Coronavirus crisis on eCommerce business, however, has a positive long-term potential. Many people are now learning to shop online for necessary supplies.

The fact remains, however, that customers still prefer to make offline purchases despite the rise in online shopping. A counter to this preference is the nature of the virus, which is making even groups averse to technology to consider e-commerce options for their buying needs.

It is thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic that e-commerce companies are making defining changes. These changes are, though challenging to deal with, good for the future of online retail.

The corona pandemic is, in a way, highlighting the convenience and choices of e-commerce. Joining hands with an expert solution provider like Vinculum can enhance your business’s growth during the current and any future emergencies.

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