The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the eCommerce world upside-down. Many companies are either struggling with the reality of closing their warehouses and scaling back business, or struggling to keep up with skyrocketing demand while complying with ever-changing regulations. During this situation, we are happy to serve as a resource for eCommerce businesses, helping them thrive even in the face of uncertainty.
While we know that all of this may seem overwhelming, and it may be tempting to just press pause on your development and marketing progress, we encourage you not to just maintain the status quo – or worse, halt your communication efforts. Instead, take this time to focus on really connecting with your clients and your online community.
Buyers in the current market are experiencing a range of emotions. People are feeling fear over lack of resources and potentially contaminated items. There’s pride in seeing local businesses and communities come together to support front-line workers. Purchasers’ standards of on-demand convenience are being undermined by decreased availability and longer shipping times. On top of it all, many people are feeling overwhelmed as they try to adapt to a new balance at home with family.
With everything happening right now, it can be hard to know what to say. But now is an important time to speak up. As a brand people trust, you can help bring people peace of mind.
Research tells us that purchasing decisions are strongly influenced by the level of identification or connection a buyer feels with a brand, and now is the perfect time to grow that connection. When all of this is over, customers will remember the businesses who saw, addressed, and met their needs.
We highly recommend that all eCommerce businesses incorporate the following public relations messages into their communication with clients via website, email, social media, and any other appropriate communication channels:
Focus on Health and Safety
Tell your customers what you’re doing to prioritize safety. Don’t just assume that they know you’re taking extra precautions. Your customers are likely very concerned about the safety of the products they are bringing into their homes, and the safety of those who work in the companies that make those products.
If you are still selling/shipping products:
1-800 Contacts is updating their header message daily on their COVID-19 response.
If you are no longer selling/shipping products:
Share Community Involvement
Your customers want to support companies that are supporting their communities. If you’re doing something to make the situation better where you are, tell that story. Even if folks can’t buy from you now, the goodwill you create will keep you top of mind later. Use photos and videos to tell the story whenever you can.
Showcase Your Customers
There’s a good chance that your online community members have found themselves with an increased amount of free time. Take advantage of that! Reach out to them and encourage them to engage with you!
Imperfect Foods is highlighting creative customers repurposing their branded shipping boxes.
Practice Excellent Customer Service
Your customers may have a lot of time to interact with your brand right now, especially online. It’s vitally important that you are ready and willing to respond.
We hope that this quick list of recommendations will help your eCommerce business navigate the uncertain circumstances we’re all navigating right now. Day-to-day operations for your business may look very different today than they did a month ago, and they may look very different one month from today. But you have the opportunity right now to take steps that will help your company maintain, or even grow.
If you find that your business needs more in-depth help, or you’d like to discuss how these recommendations fit into an overall eCommerce strategy, please contact us today.