The world is witnessing challenges that have shown us that crises are bound to happen at any time. And whenever they happen, the world may not be well prepared to deal with them. Hence, just like in the case of COVID-19, millions of retail shops may be forced to close down and many more will have no other option than to take their businesses online.
While this increases the availability of products and services for the customers online, the competition for the product or service providers will increase more than ever before. In addition to this, the crisis may change the shopping habit of many consumers. Supply, demand, and pricing may also experience some unexpected changes. Hence, business owners need to deal with all the challenges associated with these changes.
In view of these changes and challenges, if you are a retailer, there is a need for you to learn how to survive any crisis with your online e-commerce shop and social media marketing. Even when there is a crisis, people are still going to use social media and shop online for some products. Therefore, if online e-commerce shops and social media marketing are used properly, these tools are powerful enough to make your business stay afloat regardless of the effects of a crisis.
Issues facing e-commerce market due to crises
- Changes in consumer behavior
Whenever there are crises, it is expected that consumer behavior will experience some significant changes. For instance, as the coronavirus crisis continues, there has been a great alteration in the purchasing habits of the consumers. The popularity and sales of online pharmacy and grocery have increased quickly and tremendously. On the other hand, in comparison to sales one year ago, online shops that sell apparel, fashion, and other non-essential items are witnessing a significant 40% decrease in their sales.
Therefore, if you have an online e-commerce shop that deals with essential goods, you need to make sure that you have the products the customers need. This is perhaps one of the best times to sell essential products online. However, if you are into non-essential goods, you need to look for efficient marketing strategies that can change the face of your business and bring more clients to your online shop. Also, during the crisis, don’t launch any new non-essential products.
- Cost-saving challenges
Another issue that several businesses will have to face during any crisis is about the cost-saving initiative. Online marketers need to deal with the challenges of underfunding because many businesses will lose lots of money. Resultantly, the day-to-day running of the businesses will become problematic because they may not be making enough to operate smoothly. Currently, we are witnessing this problem during this ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Notably, the same thing happened during the recession that took place in the past decades.
Due to these cost-saving challenges, the budget for online e-commerce shops may have to reduce. Financial commitments to advertising campaigns, media presence, and lots more may fall dramatically. Also, salary reductions and layoffs may become common because of the crisis.
How to use online e-commerce shop and social media marketing to deal with the challenges of any crisis
While we cannot avoid some of these problems, we are still in total control of a few of the things that will happen to our businesses. We can take advantage of online e-commerce shop and social media marketing to improve our business to ensure survival irrespective of the challenges that come with any crisis.
Here are the things you can do to survive any crisis:
- Adapt your business model to suit the current changes
Regardless of the efforts of government, business owners, and others, crises will usher in some unwanted changes. So, any business that wants to survive must adapt their business model.
In some cases, you may have to add an online e-commerce shop to your business model, if you are not using it already. Even if you have an online shop, you may have to optimize it to make sure that it is easy for your customers to purchase what they want from you. Also, you will have to focus on search engine optimization, social media marketing, and lots more.
Furthermore, surviving any crisis with the help of online e-commerce shop and social media marketing may mean that you have to improve your Google My Business. Let prospective consumers know that you are open to business.
- Invest heavily in e-commerce
Is your business only operating offline? Do you have a thriving e-commerce shop? Whatever the case may be, this is the right time for you to take your business online and invest heavily in it. If you are yet to operate online, you need to learn the most important strategies of online marketing so that you can compete favorably with others that are already online.
For those that are already online, you need more and better investment in e-commerce. More people are coming online to buy your product or hire your services. Also, people cannot go to parties, visit offline shops, or spend time at the parks during many crises. Hence, they come online to learn, have fun, and so on. If you position your business to help people during the trying times, they are likely going to come back to your business during and after the crisis. Any crisis offers you the perfect opportunity to convince more consumers that your business is trustworthy.
- Use social media marketing
Nowadays, there are billions of people on different social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and so on. The coronavirus pandemic and other crises have shown the potency to increase the number of people using these social media sites. This is mainly because many people are locked down; hence, staying online plays a key role in getting information and having fun.
As an online e-commerce shop owner, your focus should be leveraging the power of social media marketing to let more customers know about your offers. Of course, over time, this will translate into an increase in the number of consumers that will be willing to part ways with their hard-earned money to purchase your products. Any crisis provides you with the ideal opportunity to intensify your social media efforts. Commit more money and time into social media. Create exceptional social media marketing strategies that will draw more customers to your shop.
Besides, you need to stay active online. You cannot afford to show up for a few weeks and then disappear for an extended period. Consumers want a brand that is always available on social media. They want businesses that will deal with their requests, answer their questions, engage them in conversations, etc. Therefore, you need to keep your social media marketing alive every time.
- Manage your online reputation
Generally, people can walk into a brick-and-mortar shop, check different products, and buy without having any previous knowledge about the business. However, this is hardly the case with online e-commerce shops. This is because numerous individuals are still skeptical about buying products or hiring services online. As a result of this, they take the time to confirm the authenticity and credibility of an online business before purchasing anything.
Therefore, if your online reputation is bad, prospective buyers will likely know and avoid your business like the plague. Consequently, your online e-commerce shop will not provide the level of sales that you want. Also, your social media marketing and other advertising efforts will be futile. So, you must learn to manage your online reputation. Make sure your business has an impeccable reputation that will convince customers to buy your products.
Social media marketing can come in handy to manage your online reputation. Create a voice that is suitable for your business. Ensure you have a unique tone that your customers will like to hear. Also, let your customers know that you care about them during any crisis. Such a gesture is endearing and can make some consumers see themselves as an essential part of your business.
- Integrate new ideas into your online e-commerce shop and social media marketing
If you stick to the same strategies for your online e-commerce and social media marketing, it is just a matter of time before they will become archaic and ineffective. So, you need to add new amazing ideas to your online e-commerce and social media marketing to retain the interest of your customers.
You can use social media to start a podcast, YouTube channel, etc. This allows you to talk about your business, share some useful tips on your niche and sector, and show yourself as a thought-leader in your industry. Let interested people subscribe to your email newsletter. Share articles on your social media, blog, and website. Publish articles on other platforms as a guest-blogger.
In addition, you should work with social media influencers that can improve the reach of your business.
Despite the rampaging forces of any crisis, there will always be an end to it. However, you don’t have to wait until the end of any crisis before you continue your business. Take advantage of your online e-commerce shop and social media marketing to survive any crisis.