The online purchasing patterns have changed drastically, ever since the pandemic has hit the world. The place of ‘luxury’ or fancy products has been taken by the ‘necessity’ or value-based ones. Owing to the constant threat to jobs, the fear of running out of essentials, and the panic led by the pandemic, the overall purchasing power of the consumers has dipped drastically. In fact, all these factors still, and will continue to upheaval the entire eCommerce market.
The eCommerce business owners are baffled with the uncertainties led by the pandemic, as in a recent survey, they shared mixed reaction about how is the pandemic going to impact their eCommerce business, as depicted below.
Amidst the uncertainties, one thing is certain – It has become inevitable for eCommerce business owners to modify and amend their eCommerce strategies in terms of operations and eCommerce marketing, to align their business with the present scenario. They need to adapt to these changing trends so that they can continue to serve the customers while dealing with the challenges at the same time, as all that matters to them in the current scenario is – maintaining business continuity.
Let’s dig into some smart strategy-related adoptions required to be implemented in eCommerce marketing strategies.
The pandemic has hit hard on the financial capacities of people, with layoffs and salary cuts happening almost in every sector. Even those managing to stay onboard constantly dread of getting dropped at any point of time, and this has given a serious blow to their buying capacities.
Since the beginning of pandemic and lockdowns, the consumers have shifted their focus from brands, quality, alternative items to ‘availability’ of essential items. Though in recent times, the restrictions on discretionary spending have been lifted up a bit, yet as an eCommerce business owner, you need to focus on providing what is indispensable for managing the life-flow in trying times. You need to build a rapport with the customers to earn their trust, which will play a lead role in driving your business not only today, but ever after. No matter, how brute your eCommerce business strategies may have been, you need to modify your current marketing tone with more subtleness which is a characteristic of empathetic behaviour, and need of the hour.
Make your eCommerce website an ultimate source of factual and relevant information for them, as that’s what the customers expect too.
The increase in challenges in operational efficiency is quite obvious in eCommerce business, owing to the increasing shift of the entire population to online shopping. The challenges in stock maintenance, shipment, following additional safety measures and many other aspects, are certain to occur. Therefore, it’s perfectly fine to modify the operational process, like extending the shipping or delivery time accordingly, and notify the customers about them. The informed customers will have realistic expectations from you, which will relieve you from the burden of overstressing self and your employees.
This will help you to ease down the tightened deadlines, without disrupting your accountability to your customers.
Sharing the painful emotions, diminishes them.
Don’t keep marketing your offerings to your customers all the time, share your emotions as well. Considering the circumstances, connect with your customers, not just to market, but to share your side of story. Let them know about how has corona impacted your business operations, and what concrete steps are you taking to keep serving the customers better. You may even open up on the challenges led by the crisis, that you have been facing and overcoming. You can do this by simply uploading a nice video addressing your customers, right on the homepage of your website. Let them know that you are there for them, no matter what.
You can also apologize for the obvious shortfalls as a service provider, if any, and get them an idea about the required time to normalize that aspect of your business. For example – the non-availability issue of a product that stays in high-demand.
By doing so, you will let your customers develop realistic expectations from you in a positive way.
From ‘buying the luxurious’ to ‘buying the essentials’ – there has been a considerable shift in the focus of customers, which is depicted in their online purchasing patterns. Why not shift your focus too? In fact, various big brands are doing that already. Considering adopting the right pricing strategy for ecommerce business, they are shifting their focus on essential products from general ones, by prioritizing them. Forecast or predictive buying will allow you to have ample time arranging and maintaining the stock and cater to the demands efficiently.
Well, make sure you do not overdo this due to the reduced purchasing capacity of a major slab of the population, led by financial constraints.
It is always wise to respond to the arising needs by implementing best practices, and making sure your customers are aware about your proactive approach. Give your customers an assurance about the safety measures you have already implemented to ensure safe shipping of the product at their doorstep. Let them know about all that you are doing to minimize the risk, like sanitizing the product before packing, hygiene standards and social distancing maintained in the warehouse, etc.
This will certainly contribute to the positive outcomes of your eCommerce customer acquisition strategy.
The pandemic has incredibly strained the network system with the entire working population depending on it, and this has shifted everyone’s focus from all whims and fancy to the unavoidable. Therefore, it becomes critical for you to beef up all the information on your site with more attention to the self-help information resources like product listings, website chat, website responsiveness, and lot more. Prioritize the website functionality over other avoidable aspects, for optimum performance of your website and better user experience. Whether you are sure about high resolution alternate images or not, you should be feeling easy on your mind at least about the basics of the website without which it cannot perform.
What the consumers want today is, convenience. Whether it is about making the essentials available to them, or their timely shipment, or even the ease in payment, convenience is what you can provide them for enhanced user experience and increased sales. The most concerning aspect in shopping transaction that even leads to cart abandonment is, limited payment options.
While the customers face cash flow issues in these trying times, you can consider adding to the payment plan options you have on your website. Introduce – Buy Now, Pay Later!
Allow them to pay later, by the time it gets feasible for them to. The customers will certainly go for essential as well as luxury buying from your e-shop, especially when they will rarely be getting such a flexibility elsewhere.
Ensuring smart functionality in these crazy times for quick and smooth experiences on their shopping websites and apps should be the prime focus of eCommerce business owners, so that the customers’ demands are met with absolute efficiency. This is the time when you can prove your mettle as a reliable eCommerce store manager, and can earn the ever-lasting customer loyalty.
Tarika Technologies offers smart eCommerce solutions that are designed on the basis of fool-proof and malleable eCommerce marketing strategies to which the contingency plans can also be incorporated, for maintaining optimum user experience, come what may.