[COVID-19] How to Boost eCommerce Sales and Overcome Operational Challenges9 min read

As lockdown restrictions are lifted in various parts of the world, people are showing increased enthusiasm toward coming out and spending their money, which is good for the global economy. This is particularly true in the case of Europe, where even the worst-hit countries like Italy and Spain are gradually easing restrictions.

 

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has not gone away for good, according to the latest report released by the Commerce Department, retail sales, comprising sales at stores, restaurants, and online shopping, has increased by a seasonally adjusted 17.7% in May. 

 

The increase in retail sales is compared with the sales of 1992, considered as one of the highest on record. 

 

Though the numbers paint a hopeful picture, the reality is that sales remain sluggish and below pre-pandemic levels.

 

Also, with warnings from scientists about a possible “Second Wave” coming and no sign of an effective vaccine for COVID-19, we are sure to be in a recession for a while.

Amp Up Sales in the Recession

All things considered, from an eCommerce perspective, it makes sense to leverage the increased online engagement of the present times to increase sales. Here’s what you can do to amplify sales:

1. Focus on your loyal customers​

One of the most valuable assets that you have right now to increase sales is your existing customers. For most eCommerce stores, the top 20% of customers are responsible for 50% of overall revenue. 

 

Make sure to align your marketing efforts and investments with this segment of customers to improve your bottom line.

 

Rather than merely providing discounts and deals, provide additional value. Provide free shipping, offer great customer service and highly personalized recommendations, interact with customers on social channels, and keep your messaging relevant to impress your existing customers.

2. Tighten your marketing game​

It’s natural to be wary of spending your money on advertising at a time like this Obviously, you want to minimize operational expenses. 

 

However, totally ignoring marketing will hurt your business in the long run. Totally cutting down on your ad spend now will force you to spend an increased amount to get back on track and amplify your brand recognition later. 

Continuing to invest in marketing now, albeit at a smaller scale, has the advantage of leveraging cheaper ads at a time when your competitors might also be cutting their marketing spend. 

Beyond spending money on advertising, there are other ways to amplify sales. Here are some of them:

  • Get reviews from your existing customers: With more people shopping online now, your business will get new visits from potential buyers. Since seeking validation to make a decision is core human nature, reviews from your existing customers will help a great deal.
  • Connect with your audience on Instagram: Many brands have successfully leveraged the power of Instagram during this lockdown to stay relevant and connected to their customers. The world’s second largest social media channel is particularly useful for shoring up the brand reputation of eCommerce-based businesses.
  • Make use of Referral Marketing: Nothing can compare to peer-to-peer marketing. At times like this when shoppers are calculative about their choices, a little nudge from a peer can help them make that all-important purchase from your brand. So, use a referral marketing campaign now.