The coronavirus pandemic has changed many things.
It’s changed how we work, as countless employees are now telecommuting by necessity, their employers forced to support a distributed workforce they were never prepared for. It’s changed how we spend our time, leading, per Statista, to a massive worldwide increase in media consumption. And it’s changed how we shop, with more consumers than ever relying on ecommerce and digital delivery services.
“After China comes out of national confinement, many brick-and-mortar supermarkets continue to lose foot traffic, while their online channels continue to thrive” Chengyi Lin, affiliate professor of strategy at INSEAD Business School, explained to Business Insider. “In the US, we may see a similar recovery pattern. We could expect to see a continued increase of ecommerce penetration for retailers. This increase could benefit both pure ecommerce players such as Amazon and traditional retailers who manage omnichannels.”
Further evidence comes courtesy of Feedvisor, which manages an AI-driven repricing platform for Amazon sellers. In an analysis of its customer sales data, it noted that sales of groceries and other essential services have spiked amidst COVID-19, while all other channels are seeing a slow recovery in recent weeks. It concluded its research brief with the assertion that sales trends will continue to see a positive shift.
In other words, if you own and operate an ecommerce business, the future looks to be bright, at least in the long-term. In the immediate future, your focus should be on surviving. Because like it or not, amidst disrupted supply chains, economic instability, and shipping delays, your business will likely deal with at least some lost revenue in the months ahead, particularly with a looming economic recession.
Moving forward, cut nonessential spending. Communicate to your consumers that there may be shipping delays and product shortages due to supply chain issues. Be open, honest, and authentic with your audience.
While you do, it may also be advisable to prepare for a surge in demand post-coronavirus. Explore the possibility of expanding your supply chain with additional partnerships or hiring additional staff, but don’t commit to any of these just yet. Focus on planning for now, so that you can execute immediately when the opportunity arises.
Because at this point, even though there appears to be a positive outlook for the ecommerce space, it’s impossible to say with certainty what the future holds. Let’s be honest: everyone is just guessing at where this pandemic is headed and what it means for our businesses. As is so often the case with a scenario like what the world currently faces, the situation has the potential to change, either for better or for worse, overnight.
But that’s no reason to panic.
The best advice we can give for right now is to stay vigilant. Pay attention to how the pandemic is progressing, and try to stay ahead of the major shifts, like new manufacturing delays, gaps in the supply chain, or delivery delays Most importantly, take care of yourself, your staff, and your customers.
Christopher Moore is the Chief Marketing Officer at Quiet Light Brokerage, which specializes in helping clients sell their internet-based businesses. Additionally, he founded Gadabout Media LLC to inspire, educate, and unite others by creating visually stunning content for clients.