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July 7, 2020 Comments(0)

Top 5 Tips for Pivoting to eCommerce

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From mom-and-pop shops to legacy brands, businesses everywhere have had their operations upended because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Business restrictions and stay-at-home orders have drastically changed how many companies, especially small companies, generate revenue. Pivoting to eCommerce can mitigate these Covid-19 disruptions and keep your business in the green. Let’s explore the top 5 tips to increase your eCommerce presence!

How Covid-19 has changed eCommerce

Rising mobile and internet use, technological breakthroughs, and advanced payment and shipping methods have all converged to make eCommerce an attractive option for consumers and businesses. The Covid-19 pandemic has skyrocketed demand for eCommerce options. 

Compared to March and April of 2019, in 2020, eCommerce order volume increased by 47%. Recent studies have found that the global eCommerce market’s compound annual growth rate will be 11.1% until 2025. The most popular items with online shoppers during Covid-19 have been new essentials — things that make sheltering-in-place more comfortable. 

While the pandemic will eventually end, the trends and data indicate that eCommerce demand will continue to rise. Online shopping is convenient for consumers. For brands, eCommerce helps them reach a wider audience and allows them to sell goods and services across the globe, 24/7. 

How brands are generating profits during the Covid-19 crisis

Thinking about what the customer wants during the pandemic, and getting creative with how to deliver it will help brands generate revenue during these strange times. Many businesses are doing all they can to succeed at eCommerce during a drastically changing retail landscape. 

Traditional brick-and-mortar stores are starting to sell their offerings online. Some are sharing their products on social media. Unprepared to take payments online and ship, plucky businesses are taking phone orders and doing contactless delivery and curbside pickup for their local customers. 

Creative hair salons are making at-home coloring kits for their customers. Restaurants are going to takeout and delivery only, and some are creating daily meal specials to drum up increased sales. Coffee shops, unable to allow patrons to sit and sip inside, are making the switch to packaged coffee. They’re grinding the beans in-house and selling the packages via phone orders or online. 

Alta Goods, a CBD-infused snack shop, launched their company in February 2020. Predictably, sales dropped in late March with the rise of stay-at-home orders. But instead of getting discouraged, the company founders invested in their eCommerce platform. Making the switch to online sales at such a rough time has helped the company turn a profit and carve out a market niche despite the corona chaos. 

Pivoting to eCommerce During Covid-19: Top 5 Tips

 Taking phone orders and trying to coordinate local delivery may work in the interim. But going forward, it’ll be advantageous to approach eCommerce from a more professional angle. Picking a platform, shipping and fulfillment options, and more is crucial for grabbing eCommerce market share well into the future. As you can see, many businesses are getting creative and managing to stay afloat and even thrive during the coronavirus pandemic. Here are the top 5 tips  you can use to copy their eCommerce success.

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Tip #1: Identify an online offer

Finding a good online offer will be easier for some brands than others. Product-based businesses can simply start selling their products online. But if you’re a service-based business, this may take a little more thought. Could your area of expertise easily lend itself to a particular product? You could start selling related gear. You could schedule virtual lessons, or start selling a subscription box. Think about what your customer needs to make their life a little more comfortable during the pandemic and how your brand can help. 

Tip #2: Decide where to sell your offerings

Once you decide on your offering, the next step is to choose an eCommerce platform from which to sell it. There are a lot of options available, like Amazon, Etsy, or eBay. You can also launch a Shopify site and sell your products directly. If you’ve been blogging on WordPress, you can add a plugin like WooCommerce that’ll enable you to sell directly to your audience. Your offering, customers, and your budget will all determine which eCommerce platform is right for you. 

Tip #3: Choose a fulfillment and shipping plan

If you’re selling a physical product, the logistics of how to source it, where to store it, and how to track how much you have is a crucial part of eCommerce success. Consider how you will get your product to customers. Another critical aspect of shipping physical products is packaging design. 

Durable packaging ensures that your product is protected during the shipping process and arrives at its destination intact. Also, professional packaging designs increase your brand’s standing in customers’ eyes, and increases customer loyalty, trust, and brand recognition. Displaying your products on your online eCommerce platform in attractive, branded packaging can also enhance your marketing efforts and increase conversions. 

Deciding whether to fulfill orders yourself or outsource this part of the job to a trusted fulfillment partner are all things you need to consider. Understanding inventory management is also essential, so you don’t run out of stock. If eCommerce is entirely new for you, outsourcing fulfillment to a third party may be beneficial. It’ll free up bandwidth and time so you can work on growing your business. 

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Tip #4: Check your pricing strategy

Many people are out of work or have had their hours cut, thanks to the Covid-19 crisis. As a result, people are more conscious of where their money goes. Customers are looking for deals and bulk options. So think about how you’ll incorporate deals into your pricing strategy. Will you offer bulk discounts, free shipping, or referral incentives? Competitive pricing and deals can grab consumers’ attention as you carve out a place for your brand in the eCommerce niche. 

Tip #5: Offer contactless payment options

Shopping online offers contactless payment by default. But things will start to reopen and go back to normal at some point. But it’s safe to say that people will be more cautious with how they conduct business transactions face-to-face. Tap to pay, or contactless payment options, are becoming more popular. This trend will likely continue once the pandemic ends. 

Contactless payments are easy and quick. Terms and conditions are straightforward, and many new contactless payment companies are offering flexible business checking accounts. Consider offering contactless payment as a way to stay competitive and build trust with consumers. 

Pivoting to eCommerce in the age of Covid-19

Things will return to normal. But the pandemic has permanently changed consumer habits and business operations. Pivoting to eCommerce is critical for businesses to remain competitive and generate healthy profits. The coronavirus pandemic and response has caused significant shifts in the economy, and disruptions will continue to happen in the future. Establishing eCommerce operations for your brand will help you remain competitive and safe from any future market disruptions.

Did these Top 5 Tips help you? Do you know another tip that could be helpful? Drop us a note…we’d love to hear from you!