The Coronavirus undoubtedly has been one of the leading factors in the changes regarding eCommerce sales, with this switch in fact being positive for many online businesses, as well as also offering potential growth to small startups looking to increase their ROI.
The impact of Coronavirus on eCommerce sales overall seems to have fast-tracked this rise in online sales and digital adoption by various industries; leading to the question, how exactly does an eCommerce business increase online sales during these times?
COVID-19 and eCommerce
The pandemic has been a time of chaos. Consumer behavior had initially spiraled into panic buying, then finally settled into somewhat of a plateau while lockdown was in place. Now, eCommerce has increasingly risen with predictions displaying it is only set to increase as years go on, even if the virus starts to decline.
Businesses during these times have had to work hard at gaining consumer trust and creating loyal relationships with their audiences; and although this has come with much work, the effort of it all has helped increase sales immensely.
Overall, this goes for industries both big or small that are dealing with the crisis, but eCommerce during COVID-19 should be seen as a short-term challenge with long-term solutions as companies begin to make headway with new digital approaches.
5 Factors To Increase eCommerce Sales
Online sales are currently ruling the roost regarding recent revenue tactics, and it’s crucial for your own company to understand the factors that go into successful eCommerce strategies. Businesses have to adapt to all things digital, even if it is just having a website and social platforms, but your brand will need to learn about key trends and better cater to consumer needs in order to stand out against competitors. Below are five factors to help increase eCommerce sales:
1. Fast Engagement
Similar to the experience a customer would be getting from in-person shopping, fast-engagement is key to increased eCommerce sales during COVID-19. Good customer service is built upon quick responses and by doing this your brand can build consumer trust and help create a better reputation. For example, having a chat box on your online site may be a good method of answering customers’ questions in a timely manner.
2. Know Your Target Audience
A company should have a clearly defined target audience that they are working hard at marketing services and products towards. Without a niche target group, a brand’s message may get lost along the way, making it hard to generally attract any audience or consumers.
3. Augmented Reality
In some cases, in-store shopping has become rather difficult for consumers’ convenience. In other scenarios, stores altogether have shut down for good in response to the pandemic. Many companies have turned to the use of augmented reality to now showcase their products and services, giving consumers an in-person experience without having to leave their homes. It’s predicted by the end of the year that around $80 billion in retail revenue will be directed towards augmented reality, with customers being able to utilize AR in different ways such as virtually trying on clothes or placing a couch in their homes to see what it may look like in their space. Overall, offering this experience to consumers will help them interact with your brand and potentially lead to increased sales.
More than ever, consumers are looking for ways to trust and form relationships with brands. In response to this, eCommerce has set up personalized services through their sites and social media platforms catering to their audiences’ needs. Numerous methods have risen from this trend such as businesses offering online quizzes, customizable products, or suggested products based on customers’ tastes. As these accommodations would be essentials in an in-store experience, companies that are now prioritizing this consumer need are seeing positive results.
Whether it be on a desktop or mobile device, customers are looking for easy platforms to shop on. Specifically on cell phones, and being able to shop via apps with only a few quick clicks can potentially lead to increased consumer sales. eCommerce sales during COVID-19 have also focused on the functionality of platforms knowing that customers want the most convenient, hassle-free way to buy products as opposed to the difficulties the virus has created with in-store shopping. Retail brand Urban Outfitters has done an excellent job of giving consumers an easy method to shop their items through their Instagram. Customers are able to simply tap on a photo the company has posted and an option to buy the product will pop up.
Implementation of these factors can greatly influence the future of your own business model which is why it’s important to also think of consumer trends post COVID. Many of the points listed above will be a part of the long-term eCommerce strategies, yet what can also be recognized during these times is the quick evolution of consumer behavior. Your brand taking on new approaches swiftly and being able to adapt effectively will be key factors in eCommerce success as time goes on with the decline of the pandemic and long past.
Financial Planning Tips For eCommerce
Financial concern has been a huge issue since the start of COVID-19. Many eCommerce companies were unprepared for this crisis, meaning some struggled to survive while others unfortunately had to shut down. But from the impact of coronavirus on eCommerce sales, we can plan better for the future, as mentioned below:
Keep Track of Funds
Keeping track of funds is specifically important for small startups that may not have their own financial branch to handle their business expenses. Revenue can easily slip through the cracks if not accounted for, so it’s important to know how the money is being spent and the flux of ROI. It may be smart to create a dedicated document or utilize specific financial apps to keep track of all funds that can help save a business from any crucial mistakes or lost sales in the future.
This is a time where your business could learn how to save a ton on spending or potentially focus budgets elsewhere. Most likely your company’s office space will be unable to reach full-capacity, allowing your business to let go of that extra space or downsize, notably helping with savings and allowing your brand to put money towards new eCommerce trends that’ll need finances.
Put Away Funds
Putting away some funds is a smart way to keep yourself afloat amidst any crisis that could arise. The Coronavirus has taught a valuable lesson to many eCommerce brands in knowing that a crisis could happen at any given moment, so they’ll need to be financially prepared if it were to ever happen.
Despite these tips seeming incredibly basic or obvious, they can be easily overlooked by startups and even forgotten by the most affluent of brands. No one would’ve ever thought that a pandemic would have swept across the globe and created such chaos for eCommerce and industries as a whole. A huge takeaway from this event is, that in fact, a crisis of this magnitude can happen and eCommerce brands will need to stay on top of all avenues of financial planning in preparation for any future disasters.
Experts have predicted that eCommerce sales will reach $4.13 trillion by the end of 2020, making this a valuable asset to all businesses recognizing that they should prioritize online selling for overall company success.
Here is an overview of the factors for increased eCommerce sales and financial planning tips amidst the pandemic:
Increase eCommerce Sales
- Make sure your brand practices good customer service as well as responding and engaging with your audience at a decent rate
- Define your target audience to overall brand your company more directly and have a clear marketing strategy
- Utilize augmented reality in future plans to simulate an in-person experience for consumers
- Connect with your audience by giving them a personalized experience while they are shopping
- Have a highly functional website and social media platforms to make shopping quick and easy for consumers
Financial Planning Tips
- Keep track of your business’s funds to help catch mistakes or losses before anything detrimental happens
- Rethink the distribution of budgets and funds; cut unnecessary costs and redistribute to plans that could help your eCommerce brand further develop
- Create a separate budget or account in case of an emergency to keep your eCommerce brand afloat
In conclusion, the impact of Coronavirus on eCommerce sales has led to outstanding results that are predicted to only keep rising. Despite the initial chaos the virus brought to industries around the world, it has also been a great time for eCommerce brands to better reevaluate their sales and business strategies moving forward.
Hannah O’Brien is a passionate content writer with an interest in digital marketing, social media, and copywriting. She writes for digital marketing agency Aumcore, which specializes in generating the prime digital experience paired with a top-notch content marketing plan.