COVID-19: How To Strengthen Your eCommerce Business
EDITOR’S NOTE: This blog was last updated on April 1st, 2020. Our team will continue to update as we come out with new data and improvements.
As we come together to abide by the safety measures indicated by government authorities around the world, businesses adapt to the market changes brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Consumers are increasing their time online and ordering in. Therefore, eCommerce businesses are in a unique position. Below is a quick overview of today’s market, the expectations in online activity, and how your business can respond to the current conditions.
New Market Behavior Arrives with the Coronavirus
According to a recent post by iCrossing’s VP of Programmatic, Amanda Betsold stated that media consumption is up as people spend more time at home. Her blog, published on March 27th reviewed the following points:
- 46% of consumers are using social media more vs. a week ago
- Visits to news sites are up by 33% as people look for information related to COVID-19
- Visits to eCommerce sites like Amazon, Walmart, and Target are up by 3.8% and continuing to trend upward
- Visits to travel sites increased by 9.5% as people cancel upcoming travel plans
- 40% of consumers are using their desktop or laptop more vs. a week ago
- Out of Home advertising has decreased by 47% vs. a week ago
Observations on the Ecommerce Industry
A survey made by Coresight on March 2nd, 2020, reflects those over the age of 60 were already avoiding malls,. Also, 58% of respondents under 60 were planning to do so if the outbreak worsened.
While COVID-19 continues to spread, time at home is expected to create a significant shift in consumers’ time spent online. Consequently, eCommerce businesses should create informative content/FAQs that address potential concerns. These may include:
- What is the official procedure to avoid contact with deliveries?
- What are your company’s preventive measures?
- How is your company enforcing preventive measures?
- How do you plan to deal with the understock of high-demand products?
- What protocols is your warehouse taking?
Responding to the Online Market
Before you approach your audience, define how you will support them during the coronavirus crisis. Forget your hard sell; focus on helping.
- Update opening hours and changes in shipping options
- Add a chatbot to your website for smoother interactions
- Ensure smooth, frictionless, and fast experiences on your eCommerce website. Remember to revise your mobile version!
- Provide product and business reviews
- Verify all product details are available for consumers
- If you sell COVID-19 high demand products, limit the number of items each customer can purchase
Revising Your PPC Strategy
- If you are using COVID-19 or Coronavirus related terms, expect 0 volume. Google is suppressing these ads regardless of if they are “approved” in the interface. This applies to keywords, ad copy, and creative.
- Use ad extensions. To illustrate, extensions that you can leverage include: price, promo, and call extensions.
- Focus on your ad copy to inform customers that you are offering free, expedited, or 24/7 shipping.
- Create brand awareness campaigns through display ads.
- Reallocate your budget based on search volume trends and product sales performance.
- Leverage Google Trends to update your negative keyword lists at both account and campaign level.
- Use Google My Business and SEO to increase organic results, page presence, and authority within your audience.
- Evaluate your location with Bing’s Interactive Map on Coronavirus Cases to advertise on the less affected areas.
Solutions For Your Ecommerce Business
- Google My Business: This free tool helps businesses and organizations manage their online presence across the Google platform. Update your business information to help patients find your business and share your story with them.
- SEO: Organic traffic is rising fast. Consequently, you have to make your content relevant with trending keywords to appear on the top of the SERPs.
- Bing Places: This free tool enables local business owners to add their listing to Bing Maps. Therefore, you ensure visibility and you display content that is useful in real-time.
- Yext: This Search Experience Cloud allows businesses to control facts available online.
- Call-Only Campaigns: These encourage patients to contact you by simply clicking or tapping your ad. In addition, your bid prioritizes calls to your business over clicks to your website.
- Audience Targeting: This feature helps you narrow down probable methods to reach your target audience. As your consumers engage online, connect with them by narrowing down interests, behaviors, and demographics through your ads campaigns.
- YouTube Campaigns: Video marketing can help you create brand awareness. Also, it prompts consideration of your services, and drive traffic to your website.
- Microsoft Advertising: Showcase your business to exclusive audiences and expand your brand with Microsoft Advertising. We are offering a $250 coupon for new accounts who add Microsoft to their marketing mix.
Given the circumstances your customers are facing, aim to communicate the benefits of your products and services. Therefore, forget your hard sell; focus on how you can help by providing relevant and up-to-date information. Being present can result in a positive connection with your audience and can come in handy when the markets settle.
Please note that we are constantly updating our blog with industry news as it comes up. Subscribe to our blog to stay up-to-date!