How to Keep Your E-Commerce Business Successful During COVID-19
During the COVID-19 pandemic, buyers’ habits have changed in a big way. E-commerce businesses selling necessary items like food, cleaning products and paper products are getting so much business that they can’t possibly handle all of it. Businesses selling things like boutique clothing, crafts and entertainment products, on the other hand, are having trouble making ends meet. Millions of consumers are laid off right now and have nothing to spend. Those who are still working and have money are spending their funds with extreme care.
So, do you have an e-commerce business selling something that isn’t essential during a pandemic? If you are, you’re probably feeling a lot of pressure right now. These tips can help to keep your business afloat during the COVID-19 outbreak, so that when it’s over, you’ll emerge stronger than ever.
- Make Sure That People – and Google – Know You Have Stock
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many online shoppers are trying new merchants out because their regular suppliers of various products are out of stock or are having trouble keeping up with higher order volumes. If you have a product that’s difficult to find, make sure your e-commerce platform clearly shows that the product is in stock and ready to ship. You should also ensure that your website passes stock data to Google. When you search for one of your site’s product pages on Google, you should see “In Stock” on the search results page. People will be looking for that when they search online for hard-to-find items.
- Publish a Statement Confirming Your Readiness for the Pandemic
All of the major e-commerce companies have published statements on their websites telling customers that they’re prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic and explaining what they’re doing to keep workers safe and ensure that their facilities and products are sanitary. You should do the same. Place a banner linking to the statement on the front page of your website. In the statement, you should also explain that you have plenty of stock ready to ship and that you’re well prepared to handle the increased order volume. You can find a good example of a company’s statement to this effect at this page.
Since you’ve taken the time to craft a statement about your company’s response to the pandemic, you may as well get the best possible SEO benefit by sending the statement out as a press release. A press release may result in links from major media websites, and high-quality inbound links can improve your website’s chance to rank for competitive search terms.
- Make Your Product Quality and Buying Experience as Great as Possible
The COVID-19 outbreak is going to change commerce – both online and offline – in an important way in that some people are going to change their buying habits permanently. Here’s why.
Many people are going to buy from online merchants they’ve never patronized before. That’s going to happen because many local stores are temporarily closed and because major online sellers like Amazon are having stock issues and are having trouble keeping up with the extremely high order volume. So, people are looking elsewhere for the products they need, and they’re giving lesser-known merchants a chance.
That creates an opening for you. If people change their buying habits – and they’re happy for having done so – they’ll never change back.
Make sure that your product quality and ordering experience are as amazing as possible. Ensure that your packages ship quickly and arrive at their destinations in perfect condition. Every time a new customer gives you a chance and buys from you, that’s an opportunity to earn a new customer permanently. Don’t waste it.
- Use Creative Marketing Techniques to Make Products Stand Out
Do you sell products that might be difficult to find during the COVID-19 pandemic, or are your products fundamentally the same as what’s available everywhere else? If your products don’t have any unique attributes, you’ll need to use a bit of creativity in how you market them.
Let’s suppose, for example, that your company sells natural and organic cleaning products. Your products most likely cost more than the mainstream products that people can buy at their local stores and at major e-commerce retailers like Amazon. That’s going to make your products a hard sell when people everywhere are tightening their wallets. If that’s the case, you can potentially increase interest by curating something like a “Stuck at Home Rescue Pack” bundling several types of cleaners, a sponge, a brush and maybe even a few healthy snacks and beverages.
Once you’ve created a bundle that you think will be a hit, you can drum up a little interest by sending a few bundles to social media influencers with audiences whose interests match those of your typical customers.
While bundling may not be appropriate for all types of products, there is always plenty of room for creative marketing in any industry – and during lean times, creativity is what will see you through.
- Increase Your Web Traffic by Blogging Frequently
If you’re stuck at home and don’t have much to do when you aren’t packing and shipping orders, it’s a perfect opportunity to start generating new content for your website. If your e-commerce business is a one-person operation, chances are that you don’t normally have much time to work on your blog. At the moment, though, you probably have a lot more time on your hands than you normally do – and if that’s the case, adding new text to your site is the best thing that you can do to start generating more traffic.
Try to find the time to add new blog posts to your site at least a few times per week. Remember that while Google has added advanced image recognition capabilities over the years, it’s still fundamentally a text-based search engine. The more text you have on your website, then, the more traffic you can potentially generate.
When you write a blog post for your e-commerce site, always write with a specific search phrase in mind. Do your best to ensure that your article will completely satisfy the intent of a person who would search for that phrase on Google.
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