Coronavirus has altered our lifestyle. The uncertainty of the future has had a colossal impact on our day-to-day lives, the way we usually function and by default to the businesses around us. Industries who can adapt to the situation can still rely on their incoming funds, whereas others are unfortunately pushed out of business.
The times are unforgiving. Though innovators who are sticking around with their businesses, rapidly shifting their module will create: a profound sense of confidence, inspiring others to cut their losses, to adapt and improvise. Not only the employees but even their customers will feel relieved to see a support system that is available in time of COVID-19.
It has been more than 6 months that the pandemic has unraveled the planet. Slowly it is necessary for the companies to put their best minds together and forecast the future of their product-specific market. They must take full advantage of all the data to survive in this dying economy. Amongst all of these, the biggest question was or still is: How is the e-commerce industry surviving?
The biggest e-commerce mogul aka Amazon have declared their first quarter earnings to be more than that of 2019. In 2019, they made $59.7 billion whereas during 2020, they made $75.5 billion. However, their net income has reduced from $3.6 billion to $2.5 billion. Even though sales are happening due to their excellent adaptability, their operational cost has taken a toll. They have hired more people to work on frontlines with proper steps taken for their safety. Nevertheless, they are providing across platforms in these unprecedented times. When looked into their module, it was noticed that they are just heavily driven by data alongside a thriving customer support team. To overcome the challenges of serving customers, here are some points that are helping ecommerce industry to manage during this pandemic.
Even though the world is aware of the pandemic, customers still expect flawless service. It is your responsibility as a brand to inform them about your delivering capacity. Inform them how you are trying to work around the immediate crisis and the timings of your availability. Educate them about the precautionary steps that you are taking to ensure safe delivery while asking them to take steps too so they don’t harm or infect your delivery agents. Deploy a chatbot dedicated to the coronavirus crisis and how your business is constantly adapting around it. A constant option of communication and awareness will create a sense of reliability and trust amongst your customers.
It is imperative that as an e-commerce business you stock up on the essentials as customer needs are different during the pandemic. Lagging to deliver these essentials can reflect poorly on your business. At the same time, be aware what products are being sold on your website by third-party vendors. It has been noticed that a lot of vendors are over-pricing their products or making false advertisements to take undue advantage of the circumstances. Detect these vendors and deactivate their accounts. Protect your customers from all kinds of maltreatment. Popular websites like Amazon and Flipkart have removed thousands of vendors from their websites to shield their customers from getting kited by them.
During the coronavirus pandemic, certain things are deemed to be essential. However, you can never tell what every individual might end up needing, not without assessing global data continuously. This is where machine learning comes in. Employ AI-driven analytics for demand forecasting. The biggest challenge of serving customers is understanding what they want. AI-based forecasting can solve that problem to a great extent, for most businesses. Gaining proactive approach is a huge winning edge in the face of a pandemic.
Partner-up with local businesses based on your geographic locations to ensure a mutually beneficial relationship. Local businesses which are at the verge of going bankrupt will find new demand through your website, in return they ensure you never run out of stocks. Invest in these micro-businesses so you can focus on the bigger picture. Such essential collaborations are much needed to come together and meet the rising demands.
The best way to communicate with your customers is your social media. Be completely aware of your audience and respond to them. Customers can be expected to be uber anxious about their deliveries. The messages will be continuously popping with several enquiries about the status of deliveries and products. Your team needs to respond to them in real-time or with minimal delay. Complete transparency is necessary so you do not lose your customers to your competitors. This is also a major reason why you should integrate your social media with your omnichannel system.
Open up the touchpoints that your customer prefers. What we are observing more and more consumers are preferring Whatsapp as a quick and efficient way to communicate with support and delivery agents. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to remain closer to your customers. Integrate Whatsapp with your enterprise live chat or bot platform.
Subsequently, ensure that your website is always showing real-time status of products. The prices should be accurate based on government regulations. Delaying in updating such crucial data may lead to much unwanted loss.
Consumer behaviour will audaciously keep changing due to the strange nature of circumstances. Uncertainty will lead to unexpected demands but with the right insights you can be well-equipped to deal with it. Currently, more and more people are choosing e-commerce due to COVID-19. There will be a surge of new customers. With proper infrastructure, these customers can be converted into lifetime supporters of your business. Not only will you rise above the current circumstance, but will also gain a significant edge for the coming years.
Author Bio: Sweta is a passionate technical writer with experience in digital marketing. Outside work, she is a devoted Esports advocate.