There’s no denying that this is a scary time for anyone who owns or runs a business. However, there’s also no denying that for ecommerce businesses, this period of quarantines and lockdowns presents an opportunity. Take for example the 183% increase in online grocery shopping from March 1 to 25th of this year compared to the same period last year – that is a truly massive number of people turning to ecommerce.
As with anything right now, though, ecommerce needs to be handled with care. While more consumers are shopping online out of necessity, the only way that translates to long-term gains for the businesses handling the influx is if they can provide a smooth, satisfying and maybe even surprising experience. The following three takeaways are a good place to start for ecommerce businesses trying to turn the current uptick into sustainable growth.
- First-time buyers can become repeat customers
Many people are currently shopping for things they never would have previously purchased online. Whether it’s placing a grocery order and entrusting someone else to pick their produce, ordering cleaning supplies, or putting a 10 kg bag of topsoil in an online cart, people are stepping out of their online comfort zones because they have to.
One of the keys to succeeding long-term will be showing these temporary customers the advantages of buying online when other options are available. Emphasizing convenience or adding value to products purchased online will help retrain consumers who are acting out of necessity right now but could be ordering out of preference by this time next year. After all, ecommerce shopping habits tend to form following periods of fervent activity.
- It’s worth working out supply and shipping issues now because another rush could be coming
While most people are looking ahead to the end of this quarantine period when life returns to normal, ecommerce businesses need to be looking even further. If COVID-19 follows the trajectory of other flues and respiratory illnesses, the summer may bring a slowdown of infection, but a relapse could follow when the colder weather returns to much of the world, which will coincide with the holiday season.
All of the tough lessons being learned by ecommerce businesses when it comes to the supply chain and shipping logistics right now will prove valuable in a few months’ time when we might be doing this all over again.
- The big guys don’t have to have the edge
There’s no reason major players like Amazon have to be the only ones who capitalize on the increase in online shopping. One of the biggest advantages major ecommerce stores offer to consumers is a smooth and secure checkout process that allows for a wide range of payment options.
Smart cashier software like Praxis integrates over 300 payment options into one interface, making it possible for costumers literally across the world from each other to have a checkout process unique to their local markets. Praxis also has automated rules engines that guarantee the highest payment acceptance rates, providing a simple and smooth customer experience that will inspire trust in your customers and keep buyers coming back. Praxis Cashier integrates with WooCommerce sites and also has a WordPress plugin, making it possible to use this smart and powerful solution with any online store and make it all the more likely that the temporary growth being seen right now can become permanent.