Without a doubt, COVID-19 shook the online e-commerce industry to its core. While the pandemic has been an ongoing challenge for many customers and businesses across the globe, there are still some companies that have found ways to thrive despite the circumstances. Though consumer attitudes are always changing, there are a few key tips and tricks you can keep in mind while adjusting your store and policies to keep your customers loyal all year long.
Focus on Customer Satisfaction
First and foremost, consumers are becoming less tolerant of excuses as the pandemic continues on. A study by The Index found that only one in five (21%) U.S. consumers say they are forgiving retailers and brands for service disruptions due to Covid-19.
If you’re suffering from any pandemic-related issues, try to mitigate them now while buyers’ attitudes are changing. Make sure your shipping times are accurate, and that you are able to fulfill orders. Upset customers can be more devastating to business than none at all.
Prepare for Slowed Online Sales
Shopping behaviors are known to be unpredictable. But there are still big-spenders out there willing to splurge. However, as more shops open up and restrictions are lifted, online consumers may turn to in-person or in-store purchases to free themselves from their isolation.
However, if you’re a small-to-medium sized business, this may not be an option for you. Instead, offer discounts to loyal shoppers for giving you their business during the pandemic, and continue to incentivize new shoppers with additional promotions.
Additionally, perform a website audit to make sure you are up to speed.
Spend Time Telling Your Brand Story
Buyers appreciate purchasing from digital storefronts that align with their beliefs and ideals. While there are still many out there that go to Amazon to buy the latest, cheapest item, online shoppers appreciate buying from stores that put emphasis on storytelling and building a brand experience.
If you are looking to rejuvenate your website, consider emphasizing different aspects of your business or your brand story. Do you give back to charity or offset your carbon emissions? Make this known! Though it won’t be enough for every buyer, a clear brand story can help retain customers and acquire new ones.
Upgrade Your Email Marketing
Email is still the single-most effective medium for staying in constant contact with your buyers. However, you must do so with personalization in mind. You are competing with several other stores and information in their inbox, so make sure that yours is as relevant as possible to their immediate needs.
Think about the content you send your buyers, and consider segmenting your audiences into different types: frequent, moderate, and rarely. You can better reward and communicate with your frequent buyers, and try to convince your rare buyers with special promotions.
If you want to learn more about email marketing, check out our in-depth guide.
Supercharge Your Operations
If you’re still dealing with issues brought on by the pandemic, discover ways to inform your customers so they understand. For in-stock and out-of-stock products, make sure to clearly convey shipping times and availability.
Additionally, if you aren’t already, send tracking numbers so customers can place extra trust in your company’s ability to deliver their products, and modify your fulfillment times accordingly. Even if consumers aren’t as forgiving this year as last, you can still make sure your customers understand what they can expect when purchasing from your store.
Change Up Your Marketing Strategy
Have you been having success with large orders, only to find them falling flat during the pandemic? Due to economic uncertainty, many buyers are holding off on their larger purchases, and considering waiting to hold on to emergency funds. If you’re experiencing slower buying cycles, consider launching a smaller item to incentivize buyers.
You may need to work harder to launch a new, smaller product. Not every product launch is a breeze. But, the sooner their purchasing data is in your system, the sooner you can market to these new buyers, and eventually convert them into long-term buyers.
We hope these tips were helpful. And while every store has been dealing with its own issues during this pandemic, remember that we are all in this together. If you need help getting your store started, join us! Try a 14-day free trial with Jumpseller today.