COVID-19 Survival Guide for eRetailers

The COVID-19 pandemic created a crisis around the world, and of course did not pass on impacting the retailer business. It is estimated that in 2020, around 20 000 retail stores will close permanently caused by the virus. People are concerned about their health, and their financial stability, therefore they go out less for shopping. 

The circumstances create opportunities for the eRetailers to step up and satisfy the customer’s needs. Many businesses are starting to research eCommerce platforms, enquiring about the creation of an online store, and focusing on online shopping. Others have already proven themselves in the eCommerce business as evergreen giants. Nevertheless, as of June 2020, the global eCommerce market will cross the two trillion US$ threshold. Here is how the share of retail eCommerce looks in the US:

Does it surprise you that Amazon online shopping is dominating?
In this graph, we can clearly see the progressive growth of e-commerce sales.

Let’s take online grocery shopping for example. Online grocery shopping has been around for many years but recently has started gaining popularity among American consumers. The increasing prevalence of online grocery retailers has caused more and more Americans to rethink getting in the car and going to the actual store, instead of having fresh groceries delivered with the click of a button. In 2015, only eight percent of U.S. consumers were likely to buy groceries online, a number that has grown to over 30 percent by 2017. But it’s not as easy as just creating an online store and waiting for the customers to arrive. As consumers will undoubtedly spend less time in public, the eCommerce sector will rapidly grow. 

Now, let’s take a look at the situation in Europe.

The growth of consumers who purchased food or groceries online is steadily increasing, in some countries, very rapidly.

During 2017/2018, United Kingdom was accounted for 7% of the value in global online grocery sales. France on the other hand accounted for approximately 5.5%, whereas Czechia exceeded Germany and the Netherlands. The online grocery market size in the UK was set at 14.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2018 and is expected to grow to 22.1 billion U.S. dollars by 2023. Although Germany’s market size was much smaller in comparison with 1.3 billion U.S. dollars, it’s believed to triple in size in the upcoming years, according to Statista.

To have a successful eCommerce business in 2020 and in the future, to increase conversion rates and retain customers there are some tips that you might want to consider. Let’s dive into them.

  1. Update your customers on actions you have been taking to prevent the COVID-19 virus spread, and add a social responsibility message on your campaigns.  If you are in the grocery delivery business, for example, your customers will appreciate a video showing how people at your company follow the newly established healthcare rules. This will build up the trust factor in your audience.
  2. If not a physical gift, it can be a thank you card via email. It will still be greatly appreciated. The thank you card can have a link for special offers, subscription to a newsletter or any other engaging content.
  3. Always remember your loyal customers, creating special offers for them will ensure their commitment to your business. It can be a discount or a buy one get one free, either way, it will be valued.
  4. Guarantee stable support and inventory updates. Support is very important, and inventory updates are mandatory. There is nothing worse than placing an order on something that is out of stock.
  5. These next lines are crucial regarding conversion rates, overall customer satisfaction, and user experience. We can’t stress enough, how important mobile ready hero images, secondary images, and product videos are. This is the driving force of your eCommerce business. Following the newly established GS1 guidelines is essential. But most important is to put a tailored touch on your products depending on the product category. You can read more about the impact mobile ready hero images have on eCommerce right here in our previous article here.
  6. Finally, find an eCommerce partner that will guide you and take a lot of the load of your shoulders.

 

Those are just a few ways to keep your head above the water in these uncertain times. Of course, an eCommerce partner can provide expertise on all of the above, expand on the idea, provide a personal approach suited for your business, and help the further development of the company. Following these guidelines will certainly help you, but entrusting it to a partner can rapidly change things.

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New Wave 360 Content Solutions, a division of New Wave Digital, develops a wide range of tailored eCommerce content solutions.