The lockdowns due to COVID-19 led to an e-commerce boom in 2020. While the pandemic restrictions have been devastating to brick-and-mortar stores of all sizes, the situation is different online. Online businesses are thriving. Many are receiving more interest and seeing an increase in profit despite the recession in the United States and many parts of the world.
Amazon was the big winner. Many businesses had to lay off staff and close down due to the pandemic. Amazon, however, had to hire more workers to respond to the increased demand for e-commerce. Walmart’s e-commerce platform also had a fantastic year. The company reported a 79 percent rise in online sales in the past year.
E-commerce became the primary way consumers shopped in the past year that, according to an expert, its growth was accelerated by four to six years. Even now that restrictions have been lifted in some places, it continues to enjoy consumer interest.
But how can businesses take advantage of the pandemic e-commerce boom?
Boost Your Online Presence
Other brands are also trying to ride the pandemic e-commerce boom, which means that, while many businesses closed in the past year, the competition is still fierce. Your business will need to boost its online presence to attract customers. A digital marketing company can help you develop a strategy that will catch attention and increase sales online.
This will involve creating captivating and quality content for a blog or social media to reach your target audience. Utilizing content to market their products and services makes the brand look more credible to potential consumers. The brand can turn itself into an authority figure in the industry and gain the public’s trust. A search engine optimization (SEO) strategy ensures that the intended audience will see a brand’s content.
Moreover, your e-commerce platform should be optimized to provide customers a satisfactory shopping experience. No customer will go back to a website that is hard to use and non-intuitive. Make sure that, in your digital marketing strategy, you include efforts to make your website adaptable to different sizes and types of screens.
Build a Relationship with Customers
Now is the perfect time to turn consumers into loyal customers. Businesses should, of course, provide a satisfactory shopping experience and excellent customer service. In addition, they should reach out and connect with every consumer.
Most businesses already send emails for when a customer abandons their cart without making a purchase. But there are other ways to send correspondence to a customer.
Send an email to confirm their purchase, notify them about shipping and delivery, ask for a review, and thank them for a positive or make a promise to improve service next time if they left a negative review.
It would also help to give customers the chance to choose how they want to be contacted. Aside from email, the brand can send them an SMS or, if they rather receive messages through Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram, or other messaging apps.
Reward Returning Customers
Make customers feel valued by giving them rewards for trusting the brand over and over again. Retailers that offer loyalty programs retain customers. They offer rewards, discounts, and other incentives to guarantee that their customers continue choosing their business to transact with. It is a very effective strategy to engage with existing customers and lure new customers.
An example is using a point system where a customer can earn points for every purchase. Eventually, once they have accumulated enough, they can exchange it for a prize like a voucher, for example, or a free product.
Offer Different Ways to Shop
Consumers shop in different ways. Their shopping behaviors change constantly. One day, they know what they want and can finish the transaction within two minutes. Another time, they have a vague idea of what they want and take the time to browse for options. Sometimes, they do not know what they want – they shop because they want to try something new.
Businesses should cater to the customer’s every whim. During the pandemic, a curbside pickup was introduced to a lot of customers. Instead of going into the store to make the transaction or have an item delivered to their house, they drive to a location where a staff member hands them their purchase.
While, right now, consumers have no choice but to purchase their needs online, post-pandemic, their preference might. Many will continue to shop online, but others might choose to go to the store to buy some items quickly. Businesses should evolve and improve to serve a diverse array of customers, both online and in-store.
The pandemic e-commerce boom has been a blessing for businesses that have struggled to keep afloat through the lockdowns. Those who can ride the customer demand for online shopping will gain so much from it.