The COVID-19 pandemic situation has
led to many
consumers coming online
and/or increasing their
activities. “U.S. online sales
for September increased 43% year over year,
reaching $60.4 billion, according to Adobe
Analytics. This growth was just above August’s online sales growth, which
increased 42% year over year.”
This has been a boon for many companies that have existing e-commerce platforms but this has led to many new e-commerce businesses and traditional companies who do not have e-commerce platforms to jump onboard and expedite their online presence. This is evident by the increase in traffic but drop in conversion rates. What are the innovative ways in which some companies have stood out from the crowd?
E-commerce retailers have turned to data analytics to track metrics to see what tactic worked and hasn’t worked in the short run. Some e-commerce businesses have created landing pages and are promoting products that customers are looking out for to manage in the pandemic, such as face masks and hand sanitizers. By showcasing them and given the limited supply, customers are likely to spend more time and add other products. Other features that online platforms have introduced are higher quality and/or 360 degrees images, free shipping, a more flexible exchange policy, offer buy-now-pay-later solutions, improve live-chat and FAQs section, promote pre-orders and highlight price match guarantees.
Mountainist, a women’s outdoor gear-rental service relies on outdoor events and with many events being cancelled due to the pandemic, decided to waive cancellation fees and offered 15-minute one-on-one virtual shopping experiences on Zoom. These experiences help their clients to become enthused about future events once the pandemic ends. Some companies are not only contributing, but also partnering with NGOs by hosting donation links or apps on their platforms and promoting to customers to contribute what they can to support frontline workers. For example, A.Lynn Designs is hosting AmeriCares so that they can get medical supplies to first responders in this pandemic. This would resonate with the customers of A.Lynn Designs and foster brand loyalty.
Other companies like Amazon, Alibaba, Apple, Facebook, Google have taken steps to do their part for the community and while not directly advertising these efforts, consumers would feel more positive towards these brands. Companies have to strive through their messaging to not be shown as opportunistic during these times.
The pandemic has hit small businesses the hardest across the world. Many of them have had to close their shutters for good. Others have managed by moving online completely and are juggling with their presence on the crowded internet space and offline operations. Some small businesses with
e-commerce platforms are supporting each other by promoting the other’s business. For example, Organic Bath Co. partnered with Bully Boy Distillers to partner on a hand sanitizer.
Companies are also leveraging social media to communicate differently with their customers. For example, Tracksmith, a lifestyle brand for running, launched a club through Instagram stories featuring running related movies, books and podcasts. To stand out from the crowd, e-commerce businesses have had to get creative and not be afraid to build a personality to their target audience. Marketers predict that the ways e-commerce brands communicate through social media in the current pandemic crisis will impact marketing strategies for the long term.