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Top E-commerce Tips to Beat the Coronavirus Pandemic

Category: Covid19 Resources

The coronavirus outbreak, followed by lockdowns and social distancing practices, has made it essential for almost everyone to go online and shop for everyday items. The impact of this ongoing crisis has been profound on the e-commerce landscape. While some e-commerce segments are thriving, some others are facing major hurdles. However, as a whole, the e-commerce industry has adapted itself to the changed circumstances in a quick and timely manner. Online businesses have undertaken multiple steps to ensure that their customers receive the best possible services during these challenging times. You too can check out some of the top tips to thrive during this pandemic and keep your business up and running.

  • Focus on social media: While restrictions on the movement of goods and people may have impacted your business in a negative manner, keep in mind that these restrictions are forcing people to spend more time on the internet, consuming social media content. So, this is the best time to fully harness the potential of social media platforms and ramp up your engagement strategy. You can create timely and impactful content and media to remain in contact with your existing clientele and to expand into new market segments. The focus on social media will also ensure that your loyal customers continue to remain so in future as well.

 

  • Upgrade your website and infrastructure: Technology is constantly changing, and often, you may not be able to catch up with the latest trends. This is especially true during normal times when your business is thriving and you do not want to risk any breakdown or interruption of the services. However, the pandemic has changed the concept of normalcy drastically, and you must make sure to use this downtime in a constructive manner. So, try and make changes to your website and other areas of your business such as optimizing your logistics. You can try a new layout for your online store or install a new and improved checkout system. Relatively low business volume will make it easy for you to customize the new changes till you zero in on one that suits you the best.

 

  • Engage your customer base: The pandemic has also brought you a unique opportunity to spend some time connecting with your customer base. However, your efforts need not be restricted to your existing clients, as you may want to engage with untapped areas of your target markets. Now, there are several ways to build a connection with your present and prospective clients. You can engage in community services at the local level, which may provide you an opportunity to know your client base better. You can also arrange an online charity drive and fundraising events. These steps will earn you the much needed social reputation while letting you help your community.

 

  • Revamp your financials and records: If you have been planning to try out a new billing system or bookkeeping software, then this is the right time to do so. During busy times, it may not seem appropriate to try out new things as they may lead to disruption of services. So, you can use this downtime for testing things and procedures which may have long term impact on your business. Once your business picks up again, these little tweaks may bring about substantial efficiency. Additionally, installing these systems will also make your business more customer-friendly.

 

  • Network more: While it is natural that you would want to use this downtime for engaging your customers, it is also prudent to ensure that you widen your network in other areas. This temporary slump has provided you an excellent opportunity to engage with other stakeholders in your business, such as your investors and other collaborators. So, take this time to work on new financial strategies with your investors. You may also want to fine tune your upcoming marketing campaigns. Similarly, remain in close contact with your creative partners too, such as artists, graphic designers etc. You can use this time to chart strategies which can be implemented once things go back to normal.

To conclude, keep these easy tips in mind and make the best use of the time available during this breakout. Lockdowns won’t be forever and you should be prepared when they end.

How-to-Prepare-Your-Ecommerce-Business-for-a-Post-COVID-World

It does not come as a surprise that the COVID-19 outbreak has dramatically changed the way online businesses carry out their operations. After all, consumer behavior and buying patterns have altered to suit the effects of the pandemic. So, ecommerce businesses have had to adapt themselves quickly in order to accommodate the changes and to arrest the spread of the virus by implementing safe delivery rules.In order to ensure that your business is in a position to sustain itself and grow in the post-COVID era, here are some handy tips to guide you:

Be Proactive: There have been rapid changes in the business environment on account of the pandemic, as more people have taken to online shopping and focusing on essentials. So, it is important that you take a proactive approach to change your ecommerce business plan and practices, to remain efficient. You need to carry out proper analysis to understand the impact of the outbreak on the demand and supply pattern of your products and services. It is important that you take a 360 degree view of the business operations and pay equal attention to various facets, including supply chain. Therefore, you should be aware of all the changes in your market segment. It is important that you communicate these changes to your teams as well, so that they can modify their procedures.

Invest in Digital Marketing: Wondering how to improve ecommerce business opportunities?Forward-thinking businesses have used the lockdown period to promote their products and services online. They have used the downtime to ensure that their digital marketing strategies work overtime to help their ventures grow. Some best practices include focusing on providing robust digital experience to the customers. Some of the factors which contribute towards such experience are fast loading time for your website, a streamlined ordering process, and smooth online payment options. Furthermore, many companies have also invested in building a robust client base online for generating bump-free revenues in the future.

Diversify: The corona-virus outbreak has also highlighted the need to diversify business practices. When conventional supply chains broke down, many businesses turned to more creative solutions. Instead of relying upon their traditional suppliers, they struck up deals with local suppliers. Similarly, the need to diversify the customer base cannot be ignored too. This means, you have to conduct fresh market research, understand your customer segments better and find out what different buyers want. The pandemic has taught businesses to ensure that they diversify enough to prosper in different circumstances. Such diversification will allow them to use alternatives when their usual processes breakdown.

Review & Analyze: The pandemic and the aftermath have forced many businesses to analyze their business practices closely. While some businesses had to adapt themselves to losses in their sales volumes, other businesses needed to revamp themselves to meet soaring demand. Generally, the latter situation prevailed in sectors which are critical for our day to day lives. However, irrespective of the impact of COVID-19 on their operations, all businesses need to change themselves for the post-COVID world. The lockdown time should be used for reviewing your marketing practices, for analyzing your supply chain, or for tweaking your digital promotion strategies. The main idea is to let your business become dynamic enough for different circumstances.

Embrace Technology: TheCOVID-19 outbreak has clearly shown the importance of technology for businesses. Digital communication has become more necessary than ever, whether you want to educate your customers about safety and hygiene rules, promote essential products, or explain how you are doing your bit to help the society cope with the pandemic. Moreover, businesses are also working on their payment solutions and shifting to online payment modes. Hence, it is important to choose an ecommerce payment gateway that is safe, efficient and supports multiple currencies too. The use of technology can also ensure that businesses are able to remain in touch with their customer base and actually work on enhancing their online presence. The use of tools such as Enterprise Resource Planning platform will further enhance the efficiency of their operations.

To conclude, COVID-19 has had a profound impact on the ways in which ecommerce businesses are functioning. However, by following the above tips, your organization can thrive and become successful during these uncertain times.

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The-Impact-of-Lockdown-on-Digital-Payments

Things in the world of business have changed drastically after the imposition of lockdown on account of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has especially impacted the way people shop and make payments. Needless to say, there has been a severe impact on digital payments as well. On one hand, digital payments, such as donations have seen a massive surge, but on the other hand, digital payments that were made for online shopping have reduced dramatically. Digital payment is a relatively new and highly dynamic payment mode. In the coming days, it is expected to see even more transformation as it strives to adjust to the new reality. Here are some of the ways things have changed and how to adapt to them.

  1. Digital payments for essential goods have increased: There has been a notable increase in the digital payments and wallet payments being made for essential goods. Earlier, people used to carry out cash transactions for everyday use items, such as vegetables, groceries, and fruits etc. However, with this pandemic, the public and businesses are now reluctant to handle currency notes and coins. This trend has led to a massive increase in the quantum of digital payments being made for daily needs fulfillment. Businesses are also more willing to accept digital payments so as to minimize the need to sanitize and contact.
  2. Ecommerce transactions have declined: While digital payments for offline transactions have increased, a significant decrease in ecommerce transactions has been noted. Due to various restrictions, the volume of ecommerce has declined drastically, as the companies are not able to carry out deliveries. Consequently, digital payments in the ecommerce segment have also declined. The impact in this segment is especially palpable as ecommerce was one of the most prominent segments for digital payments. Due to restriction on the movement of goods, people are not carrying out ecommerce transactions, and therefore, payments have been hampered like never before.
  3. Digital payments for services have increased: As more and more businesses are moving towards contactless services and social distancing, a decline in cash transactions has been observed. However, people are still required to pay for essential services such as utility bills, electricity payments and taxes. Hence, the use of digital modes for fulfilling these obligations has increased. Till date, digital payments have played an important role in keeping the economy running, as people are not able to venture outside and withdraw money from ATMs or bank branches during the lockdown. In such cases, digital payments have come to their rescue and have helped them avail essential services.
  4. Travel sector is suffering from reduced demand: The ban on movement of goods and people has wreaked havoc on the transport and travel sector. This segment has almost come to a standstill, as people have either postponed or cancelled their travel plans in the wake of the pandemic. Tourism has also hit a bad patch due to the ongoing ban on air travel and domestic and international flights. As a result, the quantum of digital payments usually made for tour and travel purposes has also declined drastically. However, it is expected that once the lockdown is revoked and people are allowed to go about their normal activities, the sector may see a swift surge. Accordingly, the momentum for digital payments will also increase considerably.
  5. Overall trend: As is evident from the points discussed above, the lockdown has had different impacts on different segments. Digital payments have played an important role in keeping the economy live and running during these difficult times. Despite the restriction on movement and contact, digital payments have made it possible to pay mandatory bills. Also, some businesses have been able to conduct regular operations while observing social distancing, due to digital payments.

All in all, digital payment systems and electronic wallets have proved their worth during these testing times. These technologies have helped in maintaining order amidst the chaos by performing some very essential services. Even after the lockdown is revoked, it is expected that digital payments will continue to be popular as people all over the world will become more cautious about possible infections and the dangers of transactions that involve contact.

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Tips-to-Prevent-Ecommerce-Fraud-during-the-COVID-19-Pandemic

COVID-19 has not only changed the way we define a normal life, but also impacted the ecommerce industry massively. Online businesses have had to change many of their usual practices to survive during these challenging times. Moreover, even the customers had to change the way they shop and the way they transact online. However, these rapid changes come with the increased risk of online frauds. Fraudulent activities like spamming, phishing and stealing of identity can be damaging to both businesses and to the shoppers. In order to safeguard your business and your customers against such cyber attacks, here are some tips for enhanced security.

  1. Beware of Trends: The most challenging aspect of online frauds is their versatility. These frauds may take place in a variety of ways, through stealing of password or the use of Trojan virus. In order to safeguard your business and your business associates, it is important that you are aware of the latest types of frauds perpetrated. Some of the most common online scams during the current crisis are retail arbitrage, reselling and account takeover. It is important to be aware of these trends so that you are not caught off-guard. It is equally vital that you spread this information among your associates, as the pandemic outbreak has made everyone more susceptible to scams and frauds.
  2. Choose the Right Payment Gateway: As more and more people are relying upon ecommerce businesses for fulfilling their requirements, there has been an unprecedented increase in online payments. In such cases, it is important for online businesses to choose reliable payment processing service providers. If your payment provider has a solid track record, you can minimize the possibility of online frauds for your own business and your associates. High quality payment processors use state of the art technologies to protect their systems against any cyber attacks. They also tweak their processes in line with the latest attack trends. This will also ensure that your system does not break down under the pressure of increased payments and transactions.
  3. Disseminate Information: As important as it is to be aware of different online scams, it is equally necessary to keep your employees and associates fully informed as well. You can conduct seminars or workshops to keep your employees updated about such scams. You can also send newsletters or pamphlets to your clients about various precautions they can take to minimize the possibility of online frauds. This exercise may help you in creating a positive rapport with your client base as well. You can enhance your goodwill while bonding with your clients and ensuring their safety at the same time. You may also apprise them of critical points to watch out for.
  4. Be Proactive: During these difficult times, it pays to be proactive. While you should keep your tools and programs updated, you should also remain aware of any uncommon or strange transactions and incidents. For example, you should carry out an extensive check if you notice a new account making significant transactions. In case of an old account making unusual purchases, it would be prudent to cross-verify the details. Such vigilance can not only save your business but may also provide extra security to your customers. Similarly, you should ask your associates to remain vigilant about any red flags.
  5. Use Common Sense: It’s true that almost all businesses are facing hard times due to the COVID outbreak. However, common sense should still prevail. So, remain as watchful as you would be during normal times, and exercise the same type of caution, if not more. Encourage your customers to change passwords regularly and make sure they are as complex as possible. Do not click on any suspicious link and never ever reveal your own passwords to anyone. You should also remain in close contact with your clients so that they know the real time status of their transactions. Such monitoring will help in reducing the possibility of any frauds or scams.

Like any uncertain or chaotic situation, the current pandemic has many hackers and spammers to become more active than usual. But by following these simple tips, you can keep your business safe and secure.

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COVID-19-Top-Tips-for-Ecommerce-Shopping-and-Feeds

The onslaught of COVID 19 has changed the shopping landscape dramatically. Its impact on e-commerce and online shopping has also been intense. However, it is important that businesses understand the overall effect and devise appropriate strategies to deal with the situation. To make sure that your business is in a position to provide the best possible services during this difficult time, there are certain guidelines you can follow. These pointers will also help you in maintaining the liquidity and profitability of your business.

  • Figure out the impact: In order to design an appropriate strategy, it is important to figure out the areas which are going to be impacted by the pandemic. Further, it is also important to quantify the impact, so that you are fully aware of the changes. Depending on the type of your business, you may experience a drop in your website traffic. However, you should endeavor to measure the drop exactly, or at least have an approximate idea. Once these areas have been identified, the next step is to take mitigating actions to minimize the negative impact. This step will also allow you to identify your critical resources and ensure their proper utilization.
  • Streamline your costs: The pandemic has stalled the pace of growth for the e-commerce landscape, and is likely to have a negative impact on revenue and profit margins. During such times, it is important that you cut down your costs to preserve your financial resources. This is also the best time to evaluate your plans such as marketing budgets etc. You may decide to suspend some of the activities until things get back to normal. In other cases, you may find some expenses to be completely superfluous, and decide to eliminate them completely. You may also want to automate various operations, leading to more efficiency and reduction in cost.
  • Manage your resources: Apart from planning your expenses, you should plan about your resources as well. Identify the assets which are most resource-incentive. For example, maintaining an inventory calls for substantial investment, and therefore, you may want to carry out ABC analysis of the items lying with you. With this analysis, you can identify the items which are most critical for your business. You may want to reduce your investment in non-critical items while focusing on the important ones. Similarly, you may want to renegotiate the terms and conditions with your debtors, so as to speed up the cash flow and boost your liquidity. You may also carry out a similar process with your creditors to renegotiate your contract.
  • Focus on revenue: The long lockdown is indeed going to have a negative impact on the revenues of most businesses. However, such a negative effect is not going to be equal for all. In fact, for some businesses, this calamity may lead to higher revenues. In this scenario, you may want to figure out alternative revenue streams for your business. You may want to expand your business into health-related areas, and by doing this, you will not only be able to seek new revenue streams, but also provide essential services to the society. For example, you may add items such as face masks, gloves etc. to your inventory.
  • Implement and track metrics: You can use this slack time to try out various marketing and analytics strategies. You can implement new metrics which may help you in tracking your business activities in an efficient manner. Most of these metrics are real time and may help you in taking timely and prompt decisions. The metrics regarding site visit and sales value are especially helpful. Additionally, you may also want to keep an eye on the competition to see how they are faring in this environment. Some of the most prominent metrics you need to look out for are Benchmark CPC and Benchmark CTR. Another important area for analysis is the price competitiveness, where metrics such as benchmark product price difference may be used.

COVID 19 has presented e-commerce businesses with an unprecedented situation. While the environment is unpredictable, you can successfully navigate through this situation with the appropriate tools and intensive planning. So, try and use this downtime for planning your future course of action.