COVID 19 has changed everything. While every sector is struggling, the e-commerce and retail industry is not out of its deleterious effects. Customer behaviors are also changing. Retail trends are switching. In this situation, existing market patterns are still emerging. The kind of usage of consumers’ products has got a different appearance. People are moving (amid lockdown) fearing the catastrophe that results in demographic change.
The USA is passing now its phase six of Coronavirus while others are just stepping in. The sixth phase is worse than the previous phases regarding new cases and mortal rate due to the virus. The communities are in severe lockdown that causes the change in customer behaviors, shopping trips, stock availability, services, and product pricing. Since the USA and the rest of the world are going to enter more new phases for mass cases of COVID-19, companies cannot stay away. They should take preparation for the next stages.
However, the e-commerce and retail industry is going to have some suggestions from this content as to how they can prepare themselves in this emerging retailer trend and customers’ behaviors.
What happened in the previous phases?
The retailers are facing stiff challenges for COVID-19. So, they are prioritizing the safety issues for their customers and employees. A lot of renowned companies are already in the row- Apple, Nordstrom, Nike, H&M, and more. Most of them have shut down their door for the customer’s entry.
Preparation for the Next Phase of COVID- 19:
Considering the ongoing situation and the seriousness of the e-commerce and retail companies have a lot of things to do as the preparation that will help to cope with the dreadful effects of COVID-19. Have a look on the list below-
- First thing first. Keep a close eye on the present crisis. Take the necessary precautions and protect your employees. Take safety measures to avoid risk and don’t lose internal confidence. Be conscious of not losing the public’s trust and buck.
- In this pandemic crisis, the e-commerce and retail industry need to increase their online presence by constantly updating their messages.
- Where product delivery is still not safe, they should utilize the system of buy-online-fpick-up-in-store, or BOPIS, or curbside pickup. They should prioritize the most flexible purchasing options.
- So that people buy their daily goods from the safest distance with an enthusiastic attitude, try to incentivize every option with deals.
- The acuteness of COVID 19 has made the people obey quarantine guideline that drives them to be the “Savings Strategist” and the “Trendy Spender.” In this crisis moment, people tend to save foods and goods, and they become trendy spenders. They will purchase numerous things that are more “nice-to-have” than necessities. Such products are beauty items, electronics, apparel, etc. Anyway, the retailer should ponder the trendy spenders and grab the opportunity to capture these consumers. They should offer good deals that will push them to purchase.
- The e-commerce business companies and retailers can provide value to cost-conscious shoppers through discounts and cash-back offers. It will establish long-term customer loyalty. These customers focus on necessity as per their budget-limit rather than spending more on fashionable products during any crisis.
- If you think that the horrible coronavirus will decline online shopping, you are wrong, rather in the next phases of this pandemic, e-commerce sales will get a new height. Online shopping for necessities will get increased. At that time, the retailer should concentrate on the ‘nice-to-have’ categories. People will buy clothing items, electronics, toys, health items, etc. The eCommerce and retailer should provide discounts on these products to catch more customers.
- Retailers should be engaged to have positive communication with their customers. By their online presence, they should provide the most up-to-date advice to the customers understanding their crisis. Their promotional activities should be run on daily commodities, instead of nice-to-have products. In the crisis moment, your customers may not feel their prior things. Try to remind them of offering the most urgent goods through internet promotion. During home quarantine, people will browse the internet than ever. Take the opportunity and try to create an impression through positive communication. Retailers who can throw positive messages with appropriate content at the right time, they will surely win.
- Take a close observation of the most in-demand products. Ensure stock availability, on-time delivery, and smooth communications. Your streamline will determine how your business will behave in the next phase, even after the corona crisis.
- Since everything is fluctuating during this pandemic emergency, retailers should diversify supply chain operations. Maintain positive communication with local suppliers.
- Retailers should think out of the box and work to create an aura of newness. They should promote the products they already have and also focus on unique color stories, themes, designs, and styles. They can edit the existing designs-work-from-home.
- Never suffer from the shortage of the right products in the right season. Due to corona, you are struggling, no doubt. But be aware to communicate the suppliers and factories-level. You may need urgent production or cancellation of the order. Friendly communication with the production-level will help you cope with the crisis.
- E-commerce companies and retail industries should take extra care of their customers. Send them messages outlining the hygiene measures and requesting to stay clean and safe. In the case of product deliveries, be more punctual than ever. Provide customer services with the best responsibility. If you face potential delays to deliveries due to crisis, just apologize emailing your customers. Avoid delays in manufacturing, packaging, and distribution.
- Due to coronavirus, an entire generation of shoppers will surely get introduced with to stock-up & buy-in-bulk shopping thought. So, to grab the new consumer chain, the retailer should move away from on-demand purchasing and selling. They should rethink in-store experience.
- Save money, spend on advertisement and marketing, contact the companies for product image editing services, take huge preparation for filling the gap between demand and on-time delivery, talk to the manufacturers & supply chains, hire people for distribution, keep delivery transportation ready to go, and more. Remember you will not get enough time after COVID 19 to win over the contemporary competitors.
However, since the Coronavirus is a pandemic crisis, the e-commerce and retail industry is not suffering alone, rather every sector is going through a tough situation. The world is going to be the victim of a rapid but longer-term economic downturn. Financial industries are facing disastrous effects. Millions of people are going to be jobless. In such a restless crisis, right and on-time readiness can keep the e-commerce and retail industry ahead.