Coronavirus and the impact on e-Commerce.

Coronavirus and the impact on e-Commerce.

We’ve found that there’s been a drop in confidence from our ecommerce retailers during this pandemic and wanted to touch on that.

The number-one topic for digital retailers

Across all weekly calls and meetings with clients this week, it’s been the number-one topic we’ve talked about, Coronavirus. How it’s affecting ecommerce imports and stock. And then when you get the stock into the country, are people actually going to buy it? 

It will get a lot of worse too, if the country goes into a lockdown. The second is that the ecommerce logistic companies are going to stop delivering parcels, and we could see an impact in terms of sales. I think there’s another aspect as well. If we look at our B2B clients, if people are no longer in the office, if we do go into lockdown, are those orders still going to happen, and are people still going to order for their business?

It takes for us to understand what aspects are affecting that performance.

It’s the lack of confidence that is multiplied when you’ve got things like new web development projects going live, and not only is there the concern about any retailing platform, and the impact on that when you’ve got to make sure you’ve got smooth transition on SEO and making sure that there’s been not been a drop off in ecommerce conversion rate, but when you put on top of the added layer of people not wanting to buy, is that it makes for a really hair-raising time when you’re trying to get something new out there, and there’s an an increased level of fear in terms of is it right, and actually the time it takes for us to understand what aspects are affecting that performance.

Not only noticed on web builds, but we noticed it in managing PPC campaigns. We manage it in people making decisions over what would be regular pieces of work, actually deciding what’s the impact on that, when you’ve got all these other external factors?

Increasing your marketing activity to be at the front of the queue

Definitely I think now is the time not to cut down on your marketing, but actually to increase it. When sales are down, the one thing you don’t want to do is make yourself less visible. I think you should be increasing your marketing activity, particularly as we come out of this slump and consumer confidence picks back up again, you want to be at the front of your queue in your industry. 

Paid search campaigns may not be converting. 

They’re not converting because they are looking but they don’t want to buy it because they don’t want to answer the door to somebody who’s potentially going to be bringing a disease into the house, because then they’re in lockdown. And even, do they want a workman in the house? I spoke to a guy today who works on site, and he’s saying, “Well I don’t know if I want to work on site with another 15 unwell guys.” That you know, aren’t particularly healthy looking at the best of times.

Online shopping takes a lot of mind space

Any form of online shopping takes a lot of mind space. You know? When people would be talking about, “Oh, we’re going to buy a new sofa,” or “We’re going to buy something for the car,” or anything like that. You don’t get a chance to have those conversations. `Those conversations don’t materialize because everyone’s too busy talking about the next update on Covid. And so, then all it does is just pushes back the decision making.

How long can people continue?

We’ve not experienced anything like it before. And it’d be interesting to see how it plays out, because at the moment it seems like if campaigns are not profitable, how long can people continue to run those campaigns without actually deciding they’re going to pull the plug on those campaigns?

At what point do they start to decide that they’re not going to order as much stock? And then how long is it before they then choose to reorder that stock? And then the kind of the yo-yo effect of that stock not then being available. I mean, this could go on for months and months and months, couldn’t it? 

When you come out of this crisis

It may be a question that people reallocate where the budget’s been spent, and if you don’t want to do so much paid search, maybe you can fix some areas on website so you improve that conversion rate, so when you do come out of this crisis, you can convert more of that traffic with a good ecommerce strategy.

Stay focused on the most important accounts and be mindful of that. Remember these things often are blips and don’t react too swiftly, and things can kick into shape really, really quickly.

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