Top Tips for ecommerce Brands Weathering the COVID-19 Storm

The ongoing pandemic has dramatically changed the retail landscape.  For many, coronavirus has negatively impacted sales or the ability to carry on with business as usual but it is possible to adapt your ecommerce strategy to this ‘new normal’. Whilst ramifications will of course vary depending on sector, we’ve put together a list of top ten tips to help brands navigate this unprecedented time.

  1. Follow the data

    If sales have taken a dip, it can be tempting  to panic when it comes to reviewing marketing spends. Instead, aim to make more informed, data driven decisions. Carefully consider which channels are working, regularly optimise campaigns and ensure your budget is working as hard as possible. 

  2. Content is still king

    Investing time into creating regular blog content is key for maintaining a relationship with your consumer as well as being an effective platform to communicate the different ways your business may be adapting. Your blog will help build a community, speaking to your customer on a more personal level to demonstrate that ‘we’re in this together’. Be considered with brand tone of voice and acknowledge that your consumers may be understandably sensitive at the moment. Lastly, a blog can also  be a great place to deliver more positive content and serve as a welcome distraction from daily news updates. If you don’t already have a blog, now is the time.

  3. Evaluate customer needs

    Think about what your ideal customer needs right now. Are they working from home, serving front line as a key worker or recently been furloughed? Consider whether your inventory can meet their needs or whether you could pivot to provide a more relevant product right now. This advice is a nod to the numerous beauty companies who have expanded into hand sanitizer production or fitness studios launching online workout classes.

  4. Don’t pull back on SEO

    SEO is a long term strategy and all the hard work you’ve invested can quickly disappear if you hit pause. Google can make it difficult to claw back your organic rankings so stay on top of technical maintenance and keyword research. 

  5. Show you care 

    Whether this is through a loyalty scheme to reward your customers when they purchase, extending your returns policy or giving back to key workers, think about ways to bring your brand values to life which will lay the foundations for long term brand building. 

  6. Be smart with PPC

    Be there when someone is searching for a product that you stock. With more people at home, some will turn to ecommerce for products they would have previously bought in person. Watch your data closely, adjust bidding where necessary such as upping bids at certain times of day where conversion rate is at a high. 

  7. Special offers

    With so much economic uncertainty, acknowledge that your customers may be more price sensitive than ever - particularly Gen Z and Millennials. Consider offering limited promotions or added value if customer spending is down for your e-store as it could help draw shoppers back. 

  8. Look after your own

    Where possible, it may make more sense to focus efforts on looking after your existing customers vs a large scale acquisition campaign. We all know that it is usually more expensive to acquire a new customer vs upselling to those who are already converting and this is now the case more than ever. 

  9. Keep on top of housekeeping

    Keep your site visitors up to date with any changes to how your business is operating. Think delivery lead times and contactless deliveries. Update FAQs and consider a global banner to let consumers know if you’re still shipping. Providing info up front will leave you with a happier customer. Implementing ‘back in stock’ alerts on a PDP are also useful for keeping users up to date if their preferred item isn’t currently available due to specific SKUs suddenly becoming much more popular (hair dye or desk anyone?).

  10. Offer Gift Cards

    Gift cards can be an effective way to drive sales in the current climate whilst also securing future visits to your site when it comes to redemption. 

Here at Underwaterpistol, we're working with lots of merchants to ensure continued growth throughout these unprecedented and strange times. Contact us today to find out more.