E-commerce – Take the Plunge Now

With COVID19 unleashing its terror at unheard of speed and scale, corporates and countries are racing against time to fight the pandemic, and at the same time to ensure that the economy does not suffer due to lockdowns and social distancing. Maintaining this delicate balance will be a new challenge for governments across the globe in the coming months.

It does not take a genius to see that at a time when transportation and physical movement is hampered, E-commerce is the way to go. Rather than go to the local stores, which could be a hub for spreading infection, people would instead place their orders online and get their requirements delivered home. Rather than going out to restaurants, they would like to order online and get food delivered at their residence or office. 

You can learn from your local Kirana stores, which is doubling and tripling its business right now by offering door-to-door or society-to-society delivery. So is the case with every industry. While during the lockdown, people don’t have an alternative to the Kirana stores; once the lockdown is lifted, they will undoubtedly be looking for cheaper and better options. That’s where you come in.

So if you have been hesitant to join the e-commerce bandwagon for some time, this is the time to take the plunge. Here are some ideas you can consider to help you along the path.

  • Look at your client base more closely. If they are more likely to visit your website, turn it into a marketplace immediately, and start selling online. Tie up with a reliable logistics company to deliver your products quickly to customers.
  • If you think more people would prefer ordering from mobile applications, then immediately invest in building an app for your company from where people can place orders.
  • Sometimes building an app or website takes time. So if you want to take the plunge immediately, there are plenty of established online market places such as Amazon and Flipkart where you can set up your shop or webpage or add your products to their existing list.
  • If you have a budget, offer first-time discounts and freebies so that customers are enticed to sample your products rather than buy from the brands they are used to.
  • Tell the online audience how your product is different and better than the existing products available in the market. Invest in online advertising. Invest in youtube videos and social media marketing, which showcases the unique qualities of your products or services.
  • At this time of crisis, customers will move towards reliable companies and relevant products, so showcase how they can depend on you for delivery at the worst of times, and how you emphasize on maintaining the hygiene and quality of the product at all times.
  • Many corporates are going out of their way to help their clientele in some way or the other during this time. So try to think of contributing to society so that your customers will realize that you are not only thinking of profits. This will build brand loyalty. Announcing that some percentage of your revenue will go towards helping migrant workers could be an excellent way to contribute to society at this stage since everyone is sympathetic to their plight. Or offer free masks for orders above a thousand rupees, since people will need these regularly.
  • Scan the response and feedback you are getting online so that you can address customer grievances. This is the best way to better your product or service since this is direct feedback.
  • Going digital will immediately increase your market from the local to the international arena. So maintain international quality and make arrangements to ensure that you have your delivery module in place no matter where the customer is based. Offer the customer a premium and super fast delivery at a nominal extra cost if possible.
  • Check out what the competition is doing. If you think they are doing something wrong, offer a better service on your website. Your competitors’ customers will shift to you immediately.
  • Update the content on your e-commerce section regularly to avoid old links and outdated products. Online customers are quite discerning as they have a vast choice available. If they find it challenging to navigate your website or mobile application, they will immediately shift to a better one. So speed is of the essence.

Thank you for reading this post, should you have any suggestions or feedback, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

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