The menace of Covid-19 already made a grave impact on life and businesses around the world. Thanks to the government imposed lockdown in many parts of the world and increasing restrictions to ensure social distancing, retail businesses are suffering huge losses. This is the time many customers are looking up to the online stores and e-commerce websites for ordering their needs and this is the best time to contact eCommerce development company.
How e-commerce stores can really survive this crisis and can thrive in business? Well, here throughout this post we are going to explain various effective ways for the eCommerce business operations to continue doing business during this Covid-19 pandemic.
How Regular Retailers are Facing This Trouble?
To understand the e-commerce opportunities opened up for the small retailers during this Coronavirus pandemic and resulting lockdown, we need to assess how the regular retailers are facing the troubles. As the high street sales are falling and online competition is increasing at a rapid pace, many retailers are finding themselves in a struggling condition. The impact of the crisis really reduced their chances of survival in the way they used to do business.
A study by Alvarez & Marsal in recent days tells us that nearly half of retailers in the UK just could be wiped out if the coronavirus pandemic continues. The study which has been conducted among 34 non-food retailers found that quite a number of businesses taking part in the survey have already experienced negative cash flow just after the spread of the pandemic. Another study by Retail Economics tells us that just a 10% decrease in sales can result in over two-thirds of major UK retailers facing negative cash flow situations. More alarmingly, most reports indicate that sales across all retailers dropped as much as 70% since the lockdown.
Now seeing this reality showing impending doom in the horizon many retailers are opting for the online sales and digitisation of business as survival tactics. Here we are going to provide some examples of this.
How Does The Tesco Store Adapt to The New Scenario?
Tesco as a major retailer brand already reported that it experienced a 30% sales rise in the first few weeks following the spread of the coronavirus pandemic just because of panic buying of groceries by customers. In spite of this factor, the supermarket gave us an estimate of loss ranging from £650m to £925m as the financial impact of the pandemic is going bigger. The store management is citing payroll, distribution, and store expenses as responsible factors for additional cost burden.
Considering the impact and the way things can take a negative turn in the time to come, Tesco now has made some changes in the way their stores are operated and the way they provide retail service to their customers. To stay clear of the health risk associated with the crowding of customers in their physical stores the company informed customers about creating one-way aisles and a ‘one in, one out system’. Moreover, the store is increasing the limit on contactless payments to encourage more customers to avail of this payment mode.
Aldi and Spencer Jumping on the eCommerce Bandwagon
While some regular retailers are trying out new measures as a survival strategy, some retailers are adopting online platforms for the first time. Another supermarket giant Aldi for the first time started selling online. The self-isolated or quarantined or some vulnerable customers now can order the essentials online and get them delivered at the doorstep. They created an “essential” box consisting of food, toilet paper, and antibacterial hand wash for the customers to order online.
This move also inspired other retailers to do the same. Already supermarket brands such as Marks & Spencer and Morrisons indulged in selling boxes of essentials for the isolated customers to order online and get them delivered at their door.
Important Ecommerce Tips to Win Over Crisis
Since the coronavirus pandemic is spreading around the world at a rapid pace, even online stores need to take precautions from the emerging challenges corresponding to the delivery, procurement of products, managing inventories, and running back-office operation. Here are some tips that e-commerce stores can find helpful to deal with the challenges emerging during the pandemic.
1Getting Supplies From Various Sources
Diversifying supplies is one way online retailers can solve the problem of procuring products and ensure a continuous supply of essentials. But however easy it sounds, finding a perfect alternative supplier or manufacturer is often challenging depending on your product. Diversifying suppliers should also take into consideration various factors such as transportation problems, cost, and quality concerns.
2Providing Alternative Product Options
Since the shortage of supplies for various product categories is increasingly becoming common in stores, providing alternative product options is a good way to make things available for each customer’s needs. You can easily get an idea of this by analysing the customer’s purchase history and accordingly select complimentary or similar goods.
3Make an Additional Investment in Inventory
Most e-commerce stores generally avoid buying too much inventory. But since the pandemic can create an imbalance of all types in the supply of products, you may need to procure products in more volume at a given time. In fact, even a smaller business store can benefit from investing in additional inventory for meeting the rising demands.
4Indulge in Customer Communication
As far as the delivery of products and availability of products, be honest with your customers and inform them transparently about the situation. Make sure your customers are aware of the business operation and give them information about the changing working hours, delivery schedule, and available products.
5Make Sure Your Website Works Well
As most consumers now indulge in panic buying due to lockdown, always make sure you can allow them to buy their needful online. This is why it is important to make sure the website is up and running at its optimum capacity. If you are dealing with grocery and daily necessities your website should be well equipped to handle the unusual traffic volume.
To assure customers about your unflinching care for them, try to be flexible in respect to delivering the goods. You can give suggestions to your logistics partners to ensure flexible delivery as per customer timing. Make sure the logistic partners use alternative delivery routes to ensure faster delivery during the lockdown.
To help your service reach out to the target customers easily, it is always recommended to collaborate with local and offline suppliers. Since offline retailers are going through a crisis time, you can partner with them and this is how both businesses can increase sales and reach out to the target audience. To make things more lucrative you can provide discounts on the local products as well.
The last piece of advice would be to prepare for all kinds of changes to make your e-commerce store survive during this crisis. You need to remember, your earlier strategy may not work now as it used to work in the months before. Stay flexible, alert to the situation, and respond with creative means that can give your customers more readings to buy goods from your store.