COVID-19 has brought a distinct change in consumer behavior, particularly in ecommerce. U.S. online sales for September increased 43% year over year, reaching $60.4 billion, according to Adobe Analytics.
While some ecommerce stores are holding steady or better, others are seeing a slow decline. But the important thing is people are still buying and, in some cases, more than before. For people who have been fortunate enough to keep their jobs and stay home, many are finding their expenses have gone down while their income has remained the same. So where is the money going??
In this dynamic environment, food and drink, as well as home and household essentials, are currently the clear winners as seen from the figure below. Games, puzzles, and art supplies are also faring well as people try to find ways to stay creative and sane. Luxury goods, anything travel-related, and large segments of apparel, especially everyday fashion, are significantly down. Groceries, alcohol and home improvement materials, accelerated, by 12%, 16% and 14%, respectively.
Savvy ecommerce business owners understand that, when business is affected by a global crisis, new ecommerce solutions could be the answer.
Here are 5 strategies you can follow to improve your ecommerce business in this environment.
- Run campaigns that target high intent traffic
Run marketing campaigns targeting users that are ready to buy. Sounds pretty straightforward doesn’t it? Given that most ecommerce companies don’t have six figures to spend on marketing, it’s crucial to set up your campaigns to get the most bang for your buck. That means setting up your strategy the right way, for example; using negative keywords to limit people in the research phase, paying careful attention to demographics, being very careful when using look-a-like audiences that could explode your ad impressions and cost, etc… The main point is to use the money you spend to target users most likely to purchase now, or in your desired period of time, and not spending money showing ads to everyone else.
- Optimize ad campaigns for low commitment goals
Set up campaigns that build a high intent audience which can be converted via remarketing efforts. Instead of targeting purchases, you can set up ads with upper-funnel events like getting more product views. This can be done by setting up ad events that target product views instead of purchases.
- Make your website mobile-first
These days, customers are as likely to make a purchase with their phone as they are with a laptop or desktop computer. Because most web browsing and shopping begins with a phone, it’s important to make mobile web design and speed a priority. Instead of building your desktop-based web experience first, consider a mobile-first design for your next update.
- Set up reliable customer support
In the immediate aftermath of COVID-19, many businesses struggled to keep up with customer support demands. But this could be a time when customers need support most. Moving from traditional support to online customer support can include growing pains but the long-term benefits to your customers and your bottom line can be immense. If you’re on Shopify, there are some great customer service apps… Customer support apps for Shopify
- Communicate changes for delivery and return options quickly and clearly
Some courier networks have extended their delivery times which means goods will take longer to arrive to customers. And customers have fewer ways to return, so collections may take longer than usual. So, customers will get frustrated if they can’t find out how long a product will take to get to them. Being up-front and transparent with your customers can alleviate the burden on your shipping department and will be appreciated by some, hopefully many, customers.