Post-COVID-19 eCommerce Landscape
Updated: Jul 21, 2020
With the many weeks of Government mandated closures, logistical disruptions, and social distancing rules/regulations – the re-opening of the various countries is going to take time and effort.
While goods and services require coordination, employee procedures and seating/standing arrangements of 6ft/2m takes some thinking about in staggering and spacing staff such that they are at a reasonable distance from one another. Some buildings are more accommodating than others, and therefore some will have greater ease in achieving this – open warehouses vs a narrow open plan office building for example.
Customer Facing Challenges
With eCommerce – there are none! However, for Curb-side pick-up a scheduling extension (BOPIS) of your delivery arrangements might be a good idea.
Goods Disruptions and channels
As you might have experienced, goods might not be available from many parts of the world like it was pre-COVID-19 – where reliable deliveries were being made. From a consumer perspective, items on eBay are experienced to be more reliable since the postings are fresh, and are bound by rules of performance to deliver vs. Amazon where inventories may be disrupted without the end-user knowing. Therefore to get your word out, finding channels that greater confidence will win the short-term turn over on the goods that you have and are ready to ship.
Communication gets critical
With the lower consumer confidence with the disruptions, communication, and rapid response to clients is going to be a critical tool in getting people to engage. While AI can assist with the simpler questions, the “live” person will most likely be appreciated. Clients might be inclined to check with the company first before placing an order and risk waiting weeks/months before their item reaches them. Additionally, reflecting your inventory accurately on your site will help clients know what’s available and reduce frustrations from both sides.
Supply chain and what can be expected
With a lot of goods produced around the world, the production of various categories of goods has gapped out supply. This of course creates pent-up demand, price increases, and wrecks havoc in the supply chain. Focus on the products that have availability, and has good demand will be the most rewarding. With items that are gapped out, keeping tabs on their plans to resume production can only bring you an idea of availability. Do note, the first batches may be more prone to quality issues since the production line processes/operators may not be 100% tuned in. That will take time, which will mature production reliability and price/availability stability.
Shipping cost alignment
UPS has put a premium on large boxes due to the increasing demand for the eCommerce space like they do around peak periods like Christmas. This reaction due to the pandemic might surprise you and your customers at the checkout – keep an eye on shipping costs, and if some of your clients are local, BOPIS might be the solution for them.
Keeping Marketing profitable
Over March and April, the average American spending has decreased while they have increased their savings. With consumer confidence being lower, the temptation to promote and get clients to spend has to be revised based on supply. This means that checking your competitors is critical on their availability of supply, as a lot of promotions on desired goods might have run out. Profitability will be a challenge in trying to get customers to come on-site and be converted.
Sticking to what you can control, have to offer, deliver, and provide a good customer experience via a channel that touts to be accurate in availability and delivery is where one should focus. If you could benefit from BOPIS/scheduling pick-ups, good inventory management, and have good tools to communicate with your clients – all these are technical solutions that TheGenieLab can help with.