How to Maintain Your E-commerce Business Amidst COVID-19 - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

How to Maintain Your E-commerce Business Amidst COVID-19

Businesses around the world are struggling to stay afloat amidst the outbreak of COVID-19. Although there are discussions regarding help for small businesses, it doesn’t apply to all small businesses and execution is slow. Unfortunately, the setbacks that some businesses are experiencing could lead to permanent shutdowns. During uncertain times like these, it’s important to think about how your business can jump above these hurdles. 

Whether you own a retail store that also sells products online or manage a fully-digital e-commerce shop, there are steps you can attempt to continue to increase sales for your business and build brand awareness around the coronavirus pandemic. Here are a few ideas on how you can achieve this: 

Look for Discount Opportunities

With many people losing their jobs, convincing them to spend money may be difficult. With this in mind, you should begin identifying stock that you can discount, giving potential buyers an incentive to make a purchase. Take a look at your inventory and pay attention to the underperforming stock. Chances are, you’ll find products that you can afford to let go with marginal profit loss. Many companies sit on anywhere between 20% to 30% of dead stock. Bundle items together or apply discounts to help get them off the shelves. 

Create a Strong Site Search

Your website’s internal search tools play a much bigger role in its success than you might think. In fact, one study even found site visitors who use the website search feature account for 14% of the site’s overall revenue. Your online search helps users find what they need and discover what they want. As a result, you should focus on creating a much stronger internal search system depending on your site platform. For example, you might look into platforms that specialize in BigCommerce site search or hire a marketing agency that can use data, heat maps, and other tools to determine the strongest potential for your search feature. 

Build an Email Campaign 

You may have already received an email from a business detailing how they are currently addressing the coronavirus crisis. This is because one of the best ways to garner support is to be transparent and honest about how you’re handling and situation and how you expect to move forward. Let your subscribers know how you’ve been affected by coronavirus, how you’re staying safe and handling the situation, and what they can do to support your business during challenging times. You’d be surprised to find that many consumers would rather support a local business than a corporate one when it’s needed the most. Lastly, being vulnerable and honest helps humanize your brand, and differentiates your e-commerce site from corporate giants. 

Collaborate with Local Businesses

By partnering with other businesses, you can expand your reach and increase your marketing budget. There’s power in numbers, and through collaborative efforts, you can reach new target markets and segments that may not be as easy to penetrate independently. Brand partnerships, in general, are great ways to build brand partnerships. You can take a look at some of the best brand partnerships to see how other companies are working with one another on mutually beneficial agreements. For example, Spotify partnered with Uber to provide seamless streaming experiences; this helped Uber improve customer experiences, and incentivized Uber riders to create Spotify accounts. While this is a high-level corporate example, you can apply the same logic to small, local businesses. 

Host an Online Event

People around the world are practicing social distancing. With the proliferation of self-quarantine, many have turned to online video platforms like Zoom to host conferences, meetings, and other types of online events. Regardless of what types of products you sell or what industry you’re in, chances are that you can use virtual events to reconnect with your core customer base and reach new potential customers. From informational webinars to online conferences, there are many directions you can go with virtual events. What’s most important is that you think about the value proposition you bring with your event. This means answering the most important question: why should anyone participate? And furthermore, be sure to start planning your marketing efforts sooner than later. 


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