How To Make An Ecommerce Store Ready Post-Covid-19
Before coronavirus hit the world badly, the retail industry was already undergoing a seismic shift from a physical store to online selling.
The recent pandemic has accelerated the shift by five years, that has drastically reduced departmental store sales, and surge ecommerce sales by 20% in the year 2020.
A point in case: the early investment in omnichannel fulfillment has enabled Walmart to experience a 97% increase in ecommerce sales post-Covid-19. Amazon enjoyed huge profits along with 40% sales growth following the Covid-19 impact. The story of well-famous online grocery stores is no different in 2020.
All in all, the year 2020 was a great feat for the stores, which jumped on the digital transformation bandwagon quite earlier. What’s in the bucket for the new year 2021?
Ecommerce sales and online spending fueled by the pandemic have helped ecommerce stores make people visit the website who have never wanted to before. But how can the shift that’s already underway turn into a long-term impact. Moreover, adapting the ecommerce mobile app store according to the new demands and preferences of people in the “New Normal”, is necessary.
It needs strategic planning and a couple of things to implement. We have got this need covered in the blog, where 7 steps are illustrated that prepare the ecommerce store for the future after Covid-19.
Let’s dive in!
Cope With Inventory Shortages
After the corona outbreak, the world witnessed an imbalance in the demand-supply chain. Ecommerce web stores were unable to meet even the basic demands of customers. The badly impacted supply chain makes it difficult to source products, which resulted in a shortage of goods.
Well, it was an unexpected situation which the retailers were unaware, so planning for what they don’t know ahead of time is impossible. However, discussing with manufacturers about production, finding alternate suppliers, and leaning over local resources is a way to mitigate risks and grow at pre-pandemic levels quickly.
Think About a New Customer Proposition
In the new Covid age, the life and lifestyle of people have changed a lot. So, ecommerce stores have to evaluate the customer's needs to make the store a part of the holistic commercial offerings. The store needs to identify the target audience’s situation- what are they doing? Serving front line, laid off, or working from home to understand the needs and concerns for better targeting and simplify the operations.
The product portfolio customized to customer's preferences needs to evoke new online behavior and deliver wow experiences. The personalized offering helps in building the brand into every customer touchpoint.
The best instance is CBD for LIFE- the store, which added a new product-sanitizer to the inventory by manufacturing them at its manufacturing unit to meet the growing demand for the product. Thinking about the unique customer proposition has helped the store engage and convert a wide range of customers.
Meet the New Demands of At-Home Customers
With the corona outbreak, lockdowns have forced people to sit back at home or increased the time spent at home. That’s where lies the opportunity to create and sell something that serves the customer's needs or entertain them while they are at home in a stressful time.
The restaurants did the best by closing the in-dine services and starting pick-up or home delivery services following all the rules and maintaining hygiene conditions.
Ecommerce stores can do something like this by offering relevant items that kill the boredom at home and make them stay happy. It results in improved customer engagement and higher sales. The stores should be ready for unexpected scenes and plan accordingly.
Product Pages Need an Update
When the pandemic made its way to the world, people were expecting that this period will soon be over, but uncertain about when it will end. Its impact has brought unanticipated variations in product sales. Sometimes, the product was out-of-stock, low in inventory, limit put on product purchase, longer shipping time, and more resulting bad experiences.
Ecommerce stores deal with the condition intelligently by informing the same thing to the customers with product page updates. The updated information has brought transparency in how ecommerce stores are trying to meet the needs, which further helps in making the customer satisfied and managing the expectations.
You might have seen such terms and conditions displayed on the home page or product page.
PPC Advertising is Performing Well
The people staying at home leveraged digital channels to stay occupied and get entertained. It has resulted in improved Google searches in the last year. Google searches have increased the traffic to stores, but some of the stores have faced a drastic decrease in traffic. The recession has affected everyone, but some stores considered it as an opportunity to stay on top of the customer's minds.
Increasing market spending on PPC ads has helped those ecommerce stores increase the traffic that is selling the products relevant to newly created needs. Figure out the data closely to adjust the bidding strategy accordingly, if required.
Technology Upgrade is Essential
Online retail is taking shape with technology improvements to optimize processes, deliver the best offerings, and engineer an excellent customer experience. It has helped stores cope with current challenges just the way it helped offline stores.
Big data and analytics should be made an integral part of the next-gen ecommerce store as it helps in identifying the plus points and negative points across all the touchpoints that are interfering with the customer experience and impacting conversion and retention. The predictive analytics drive supply chain efficiencies and improve customer experience.
Post-Covid-19, there is a dire need to innovate and continuously bring changes in the technology stack to stand up to the “Evolved” customer experience and operational agility.
Taking a step ahead, investing in uptime is also essential to ensure a seamless experience and eliminate the security risks that increase when the server goes down. Make sure data centers are robust and backed by 100% SLA that guarantees the network will never go down.
Diversify Supply Chains
The disrupted supply chains have largely influenced the global economy because the worldwide impact of corona leads to delays in manufacturing and shipping. It taught a lesson to ecommerce stores that they have to find a reliable solution to deliver the products on time and remain viable in the market.
To meet the volatile demands, the ecommerce business should find out the multiple options when it comes to sourcing labor, raw materials, and other things. That’s where building relationships with vendors that can meet the compliance requirements of various industries would help.
Additionally, partnering with third-party logistics providers, bringing automation in fulfillment operations, and demand forecasting would help catch up with current needs and exceed customer expectations.