Top Tips for Ecommerce Business Owners During Coronavirus
Wow! We couldn't have seen this coming in the last couple of weeks. The world has changed. The way people interact has changed. The way people buy goods and services has changed and e-commerce is never going to be the same. A lot of e-commerce owners are small business owners who have employees, vendors, inventory and other expenses to pay.
A lot of you are worried about the economy, worried about sales, and worried about how to pay your employees while your expenses continue to build up. So how can you get through this time and come out the other end even stronger? We'll go over some tips and suggestions to help grow your eCommerce business and remain stable through these uncertain times, bringing you out stronger at the end.
With the shelter-at-home in place, there are a few different categories of products online.
Essential items - are your basic home goods: such as food, canned goods, water, toilet, paper, toiletries. Those items that are selling off the shelves. Since people aren't going to the stores themselves, or these items have been hoarded and no longer available in stores, people are looking online to purchase these goods through Amazon, Instacart, and Walmart for example. These stores are not having any problems getting orders in. They're having more problems fulfilling those orders.
Non-essential items, but still very useful - are items that are not necessarily needed, but still very helpful during times of quarantine: such as workout equipment, home office equipment like stand-up desks, software that makes it easier to work remotely, board games to pass time and even guns and ammunition.
Non-essential items - are your everyday goods, but aren't necessarily needing to be purchased during quarantine: such as clothes, jewelry, makeup, fashion items. During this time of instability, people are holding back on their spending habits.
One thing to remember is that we're all in this together. And in order to keep a good economy going, we have to help each other. We have to support small businesses in our communities to keep our local economies going. Below is how we can do so:
1 - Gift Cards
Right now, even though you don't necessarily need new items like clothing or jewelry, but know you will buy these in the future, think about buying a gift card. As a business owner, promote these. This will help with additional cashflow. People are willing to help out in a time like this. You just need to educate them so they know how they can help. You could even offer discounts to further entice them to purchase gift cards. There are always holidays, birthdays, anniversaries and other celebrations that people are looking to buy something for. Remind them about this.
2 - Charities & Givebacks
If you have a high margin item and you want to see some additional cashflow coming through your business, consider donating a percentage of proceeds to a charity or cause that you stand behind. During these times where people are hurting, these will go a long way. If you're in a position to help others in need and can give back, be sure to help your community where you can.
3 - Ask for Support
If you need support and you have loyal customers, be transparent about it. Encourage your loyal customers to make those purchases now to continue supporting your business so that in turn, you can still be around to offer them your goods and services after all of this. You need to be open and honest with them. Let them know that you need the help. A lot of people don't realize how bad business owners are struggling right now, and if you're transparent with your customers, they're more likely to help you out.
4 - Social Media Livestreams
With the day and age we live in right now, people are glued to their phones. They're constantly on social media and checking up on the news. Get in front of them, do a live stream, be positive. Do a demo on your products, a livestream about how your products are made, or a Q & A session. Get creative. Just do something to get in front of your customers and followers. Remind them that you're there and keep interacting with them
5 - Email Marketing
Email marketing is still a very powerful tool that helps reach your customers. Keep your customers updated with products that you sell, continue to send them information, mention the gift cards, charities and givebacks. Let them know that you're still here. And email is a great way to do this.
6 - Keep Customers Informed
If there are any major changes in the way your conducting business, let your customers know. The more information you provide them, the more likely they are to to continue purchasing from you. If you have plenty of stock, let them know. If you're running low on certain items, let them know. If your order fulfillment or shipping times have been affected, keep them informed.
A lot of customers also don't realize if businesses are still operating as usual. Be vocal about this. If you're operating as usual - make it known. Update your website, your home page, your product pages, your social media pages - anywhere and everywhere that your customers will be looking.
7 - Ask for Reviews & Testimonials
Now is a great time to ask for those reviews and testimonials. Your customers are sitting at home, and a lot of them don't much to do. This is a great time to engage with your them. Offer them a small discount or make a competition out of it to incentivize customers taking part.
8 - Clean House
Get on top of your shit. You'll never have this time again. Update website and those product descriptions, bulk up your content, write those blog posts you've been meaning to the last few years. Clean up your inventory, tidy your storage room or warehouse, get yourself organized. You will be so much more efficient and ready to continue business when this is all over.
9 - Have a Positive Mindset
We're all in this together. Don't forget that. Stay positive. We will get through this.
Let us know which tip was most valuable to you and if you have any others we did not cover. Let's keep adding to the list to help business owners around the world through these tough times.==============================================================
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