Online business is no different when it comes to dealing with natural disasters. In the offline business its comparatively easy to deal with natural disaster. The reason being the additional and important factor in online business which is shipment from seller to buyer.
Shipment plays an important role in online selling/E-tailing as many of the major E-market places have a condition that the delivery of the ordered products should be done in a minimum amount of time like 1-2 days in case of domestic shipping and 1 week - 10 days in case of international shipping. The rating of seller and that way the rating of the website depends on the shipment time.
When natural disasters like storm, heavy rains etc. struck then definitely there will be an effect on online business. The shipment can't be done if all sorts of transportation come to a stand still. The E-market places will be responsible for the late delivery of the products. In some cases the order may get cancelled automatically if a delay takes place for more than the mentioned amount of days.
By taking these following steps huge losses in online selling can be avoided :
- Websites like Amazon, Ebay etc. which act as a medium between a seller and a buyer can include some conditions in their websites which can reduce losses during natural disasters. If the shipment gets delayed due to natural disasters, providing an option to the seller to change the shipment period is a good option to avoid loss.
- Fulfillment Delivery option which is started by Amazon is a very good option in case of natural disasters like heavy rains/storms as the shipment in other places will not be stopped/affected because of the untoward incidents in the affected place. Through this option majority of the losses can be avoided as the products are stored and delivered by the E-marketplaces.
- If the E-tailing is managed by a single owner or limited number of people, sending a personal mail to the customer explaining the situation is a good option.
- Choosing/changing the mode to vacation can be done to avoid taking new orders.
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