Running an online business is always a tricky feat. Unlike brick-and-mortar businesses, it is harder to establish trust when your business is purely online. Consumers will dig high and low just to check if your business is legitimate. They will spend their time getting to know your brand before they even purchase what they need. The lack of face-to-face interaction also makes it hard to prove that your customer service from start to finish is excellent.
Online businesses may have had an advantage during the crisis. They have already established their online presence, while physical brands struggle to take their business online. But then, many challenges rocked the world of e-commerce entrepreneurs after the pandemic started.
E-Commerce Challenges during the Pandemic
When the crisis started, more people went online to find what they want and need. While site traffic increased, so did the need to optimize their businesses. They can no longer stick to their old website habits, as the surge in traffic led to slow website speed.
The increase in customers also led to more problems. As the demands for online products and services skyrocketed, many e-commerce businesses struggled with getting a hold of their supplies and staff. Some of their employees got sick while their suppliers were stuck after borders closed down.
The increase of online consumers also led to more competitors online. Many small e-commerce businesses emerged during the crisis. Moreover, a number of brick-and-mortar businesses also migrated online in an attempt to keep their business afloat.
E-Commerce Lessons One Can Learn from the COVID-19 Crisis
Returns Management Is Just as Important as Shipping and Delivery
Many e-commerce brands are so focused on fulfilling orders that they tend to forget to optimize their returns management. But when you prioritize the process of recovering returned goods, you can actually boost your brand’s overall profitability. Here’s how it works.
When you optimize your returns management, you can retain customer trust. The more seamless the returns process is, the more satisfied your customers will be. Even if they had to retain a product or two, their chances of doing repeat business with your brand increase, and the more likely they are to recommend your company to their peers.
Optimizing the process of overseeing returns allows you to retrieve defective items easily. This will help you identify the necessary adjustments you need to make to reduce your product returns rate. The more issues you get to resolve within your production and shipping process, the less likely will your customers make more returns in the future.
The good news is there are many ways you can boost your returns management. For one, you can invest in a reverse logistics system compatible with FedEx. This way, you can further simplify the returns process and give your customers a more flawless returns experience. Your customers can easily drop and track items they returned while you get to retrieve returned items to resolve issues on time.
Using Social Media Is No Longer an Option
The pandemic changed how consumers use social media. Users no longer use this channel just to post timely stories and to reach out to their loved ones. They are also using social media to keep themselves informed of the latest current events and find the information they need.
For instance, more consumers are now shopping for products that businesses are posting on their social media pages. Businesses have applied this strategy since many social media users are not comfortable leaving trusted sites just to make online purchases. This goes to show just how influential social media is to consumers.
Even if many consumers are back to visiting physical stores, many are still shopping online. Establishing an online presence in your target audience’s preferred social media sites can help you boost your online reputation. It is time that you start working with influencers and share engaging and valuable content on social media so that your e-commerce business can gain momentum.
Improving Business Adaptability and Flexibility Is Crucial
Even the most successful and established brands had to adapt to the crisis just to keep their brands afloat mid-pandemic. For instance, one e-commerce giant established more than 150 pandemic-related process updates just to ensure the safety of both customers and employees mid-crisis.
Big businesses allowed employees to work remotely during the crisis. In another instance, one company specializing in professional organizing services provided virtual organizing services to their customers. These companies just show how important being flexible is in times of a crisis.
Improving your brand’s ability to adapt in times of a crisis is now a must. A business should be willing to make timely changes to ensure they cater to consumers’ needs no matter the situation. Failure to keep yourself updated with the latest industry news and your unwillingness to adapt to new practices won’t help your e-commerce brand thrive.
The pandemic may have caused many businesses to struggle. However, the crisis made entrepreneurs learn how important resiliency is in times of crisis. The items listed above are just a few examples of e-commerce lessons we can all learn from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meta title: How E-Commerce Business Owners Made Their Brands Pandemic-Proof
meta desc: E-commerce brands had to make numerous changes just to keep up during the COVID-19 crisis. Learning from these three pandemic lessons will make it easier to make your e-commerce brand more resilient in the future.