The world of e-commerce is ever-changing, but now more so than ever. The COVID-19 effect on e-commerce is changing the way consumers shop, and the changes aren’t going to go away – even after this pandemic comes to an end.
Customers are trying to adapt to strange times, and business owners are facing the same uncertainties while trying to adapt to support customers’ needs and keep their own heads above water.
Why COVID-19 is affecting e-commerce
Over the past few months, there have been huge changes in consumer shopping behaviours because of how people are approaching this period of isolation and uncertainty. From bulk-buying to online shopping, people are changing what they’re buying, when, why and how.
E-commerce has been gaining traction over the past few decades but had not yet been widely adopted, however, the impact of world-wide quarantines has catapulted e-commerce into hyperdrive. Right now, many people are forced to shop online and are also spending more time browsing the internet than ever before.
There is no denying that the outbreak of the Coronavirus is going to leave a substantial void for business owners across the globe. Considering that governments have enforced quarantine and restricted outdoor trips, thousands of brick-and-mortar retailers are facing harsh repercussions, but even e-commerce businesses are being affected. This is due to restrictions on manufacturing, product shortages, shipping delays and even hesitant customers.
The next several months will be make-or-break for many industries and businesses as organizations will be pushed to meet demand, but now that everyone is being forced to figure out how to shop online, this knowledge will not just go away after the crisis, leaving room for e-commerce businesses to change for the better.
The effects thus far
On the negative side of things, many stores have since had to shut their doors, and shipping and supply challenges persisting, however, since the begin of the outbreak and the consequent social distancing, online sales have been growing by triple-digits. This is because preferences are now void, and traditional consumers are being forced to adopt e-commerce practices. This is the easiest to see in essential retail businesses like grocery stores.
Social group e-commerce sites are also BOOMING, such as home gaming and entertainment services like Netflix, Spotify and Xbox. People are also using their time to rediscover or introduce themselves to crafts, books, music, and movies. Other social e-commerce organizations seeing impressive growth are apps like Zoom, Skype, and Google Hangouts.
Ways to adapt your digital strategy
So, the big question is how can digital marketers adapt in order to thrive? Brands are having to adapt and be flexible to meet changing needs, making this a crucial time for marketers to adopt strategies to optimise long-term profitability by working smarter.
It’s true that businesses with online selling capabilities are in a better position than any to continue to do business, however, the 2019 Coronavirus has placed restrictions on many manufacturers and distributors, limiting the inventory on more essential items. The limitations here mean that consumers are more willing than ever to substitute preferred brands to what is currently available, and this is where efficient SEO and comprehensive digital marketing can make or break your numbers.
Unlike physical retail, you can change your content or promotional strategy in real-time and quickly measure effects.
Some basic steps to take:
- Manage PPC budgets efficiency
- Retain organic visibility
- Be visible on social media
- Overhaul paid social strategies
- Revisit buyer personas
- Optimize and perfect advertising strategies
How Web SEO can help you and yours
If you’re getting ready to take your business online for the first time, you don’t have to do it alone.
To us – there is no one-size-fits-all approach to digital strategy, but rather our web development services are specifically designed to guide you in creating the right marketing approach to fulfil your customers’ current needs.
In terms of online searches, adverts and Google My Business, Google will be tweaking their algorithms now more than ever to ensure that the public gets the most accurate information. This means that even ignoring the basics could risk reducing organic visibility in the long term.
Along with the aid of artificial intelligence and automation, we deep-dive, analyse and segment your consumer base to set up targeted and personalised digital campaigns for each type of customer.
With us, you can get clear, actionable steps for setting up and running your website to reach new audiences and keep your brand growing and avoid a long-term impact on market share.
When all of this is over, it’s going to be a new world for e-commerce marketers. COVID-19 is forcing the world to change, and your customers are learning how to shop online, meaning that you need to emerge from this phase ready to do business in an evolved market.
The question is, will your business evolve along with it? Or will you be left behind as your customers move on to other businesses who adapted to meet the changing needs of their market? The answer is up to you.