How your E-commerce store can emerge strong from the COVID-19 crisis
By Charlie Britten
24 Jun 2020
The Coronavirus pandemic has come as a major shock to our way of life, as might be expected for the most potent pandemic to hit the world since the Spanish Flu a century ago.
Of course, life has changed a great deal since 1918-19, both in our capacity to understand the medical challenge being faced - which may soon lead to a vaccine or effective treatment - and also the extent to which life is affected.
A century ago, there was little social distancing except in some American cities. In Europe, media censors in nations at war banned reports of the disease, so normal life - to the extent that total war could be so described - carried on, while the disease gained its name from the freely reported epidemic in neutral Spain.
Why the internet makes life easier in a pandemic
This time, everyone knows about the virus and most of the world has been forced into lockdown in some fashion, greatly reducing trips to the workplace, shops and other activities outside the home.
How countries might have coped in such a situation even 20-30 years ago can only be guessed at, but one benefit of modern life has been the capacity of the internet to enable economic activity to continue through home working and also online shopping.
Indeed, while the overall economy has suffered, the E-commerce sector has boomed, making it one of the few winners in the crisis. New data has shown that in the 12 weeks after lockdown began, online shopping in the UK was 115% higher than in the equivalent period in 2019.
People either afraid to go to physical shops or keen to order items online to entertain themselves while on furlough were among the contributory factors to the trend.
What comes next for E-Commerce firms?
A key question is, if you have a firm that is either entirely run on an E-Commerce basis, or has a significant E-Commerce element, how should this shape your approach going forward when the crisis ends?
A range of factors should be taken into account:
- As lockdown eases, fewer people will feel the absolute need to shop online
- Job losses mean some have less to spend
- On the other hand, many people who did not shop much (or at all) online before may now have got into the habit of doing so
All this means there are both challenges and opportunities for firms that sell online. The key is that firms must stay ahead of the competition, as growth in the online market means there will be more and more challengers either emerging as new firms or stepping up their online operations to grab a slice of the action.
What can you do to get ahead?
This means every E-Commerce firm needs to consider how better online marketing can help them stay ahead of the game. There are many tools available to help do this:
- Content marketing blogs to raise awareness
- Social media management to increase interaction
- PPC to generate leads
It is also worth noting that it is not just successful companies who have enjoyed increased returns during the crisis who will look to enjoy post-Covid success. While the situation has benefited firms such as gaming companies or Netflix, those selling items for activities that have been restricted are struggling. For example, Go Outdoors has gone into administration, with walkers, campers and other outdoors lovers being unable to take advantage of the fine spring weather as they normally would.
What all this means is that as lockdown is eased, E-Commerce firms need to be ready to raise their game. Some might have done well recently, while others will be seeking a way to make a comeback. Either way, competition will be fierce as consumers more used to shopping online become the increasing focus of marketing campaigns.
How BeUniqueness can help
At BeUniqueness, we can help your E-Commerce firm prepare for the future. As the market grows, many will still fail, but others will thrive. We can provide you with a tailored marketing strategy to help ensure you are in the alter category.