blog / article

How will e-commerce businesses benefit from the outbreak?

by Leo Chan
11 Apr 2020

Many of us were waiting for 2020 to be a magical year, but it has proven otherwise. As more cities go into lockdown all over the world, more panic and fear is spread, we see the economic downfall, and the situation puts many people out of business.

However, this is not the end of the world. We are going to grow back to normal and back to our restless lives.

But more importantly, many businesses are going to come out of this situation stronger than ever, even if they don’t realize it now.

E-commerce is at an advantage

According to research conducted by Klaviyo, as of April 7, 44% of businesses that participated in this research say their sales are going up.

44% of businesses that participated in this research say their sales are going up

This has been the picture for over 13 days now. At first, there may have been a drop in sales, but now more businesses are starting to report an increase in sales.

Consumers get new habits

As the situation goes on, more people are forced to buy online, trying to come up with ways to maintain “minimal human contact.” And because of this, online wallets and stores become essential parts of our lives.

This changes consumer behavior and develops new habits.

A few extra weeks and more people will realize that online shopping is much easier and time-consuming. This is a great opportunity for e-commerce to start looking for new customers who will most likely stay with the business even after the outbreak.

The online competition is rising

You’ve probably heard that the business should be wherever its customers are.
If you have, you realize that the more consumers shift to online shopping, the more businesses are forced to adapt as well. Currently, every business that can operate online has started utilizing that channel. This means more competition for everyone in the e-commerce business.

What can you do about it?

Just like in any other case, to beat the competition, you will need to be better than your competitors.

  1. Have some empathy: Try to understand what your customers value the most during these hard times. Don’t be all about business and show a bit more compassion than you would usually do.
  2. Use all the information you have: As an e-commerce business, you have more access to your buyer information than any physical store. Use that to your advantage to adapt to the situation.
  3. Be Social: Incorporate social media tools and be active. After all, your buyers now spend more time on social media.
  4. User experience: Make your website extremely easy to use, so that your customers won’t have to figure out how to use it.
  5. Adapt your marketing strategy: The strategy you were using before the outbreak won’t be of much help during it, because the consumer behavior has changed a lot. Try to adapt to those changes and make the most out of it.

Wrapping up

As I’ve mentioned before, COVID-19 is not the end of the world, all we have to do is to be patient, and we’ll see the exit. If we act wisely, for some businesses, 2020 may even turn out to be a magical year after all.


Cardy Chung is the founder of StreetPricer. Read more articles by Cardy Chung.

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