It is very clear that the COVID-19 global pandemic will likely be one of the defining ecommerce events of 2020. The responses have been widely seen on social media—from bulk buying to online shopping, consumer shopping habits are evolving, leaving online sellers to adapt and be flexible to meet changing needs and requirements.
Meeting these challenges can be challenging but the silver lining is that more people are shopping online due to the numerous store closures worldwide. With a basic understanding of human nature, you can continue to sell your products to loyal and new customers during this pandemic.
Retail Therapy and Omni channeling
Humans will react to crises in different ways. But in general, when faced with an uncertain, risky situation, people tend to behave in a way that will may them feel like they have some control. These psychological factors are behind why “retail therapy” is a popular response to a personal crisis.
The COVID-19 pandemic has added another layer. The global spread of the virus continues to carry a lot of uncertainty and contradictory information. This has led to the buying in bulk or hoarding. Understandably, people are hearing differing advice from multiple sources, so their instinct is to prepare more than less. There is also the factor of crowd mentality. Seeing other people buying up necessary products and then seeing a scarcity encourage them to stock up. Many will turn to online sellers to buy items that are out of stock in retail stores. This can be good news for e-sellers.
Make sure that you are promoting your products on various seller platforms such as online and mobile ads. Now is the time to brush up on your omni channeling retailing to provide your customers a unified experience across all channels or touchpoints. It is the best way to be everywhere and provide a seamless shopping experience without coming across as aggressive or desperate to make a sale.
Understand and Highlight Safe Packing and Shipping
Unfortunately, many people are afraid. This is understandable considering the constant reporting of the virus in the news. As a result, customers are concerned about the safety of receiving their online orders. Conclusive findings continue to change and as experts continue their study of it. As a result, you will need to stay updated and be flexible enough to adhere to changing guidelines as this crisis runs its course.
Highlight updated health information on your site and on social media as it relates to your product, including shipping. This will help your customers understand that you are up to date on the current safety standards for your staff and during shipping of your products. If you are working with a 3PL, makes sure that they are following the latest Coronavirus safety standards for all items they ship to customers.
Your customers are trying their best to adapt to a strange and uncertain time. As an online business owner and fellow human, you are also facing much of the same uncertainty. Use this time to brand yourself as the go to online seller by understanding your customer’s motivations as well as what will calm their anxieties.