The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic caught eCommerce businesses on the wrong foot when it hit. While most businesses have, unsurprisingly, struggled under these extraordinarily challenging circumstances, some have managed to step up to the situation and stay relevant. The efforts of these resilient companies that have navigated the crisis well have key learnings for your business. Let’s explore these!
Hang on till the end for a great way to engage customers in the last mile!
1. Quickly Adapt to the Situation
The sudden impact of the pandemic caught businesses unaware. With shop closures being the norm in most parts of the world, and with social distancing no longer an option but a mandate, the fear of losing business has been at an all-time high. And yet, even in this situation, some businesses have managed to adapt. Nike is a case-in-point.
Nike’s Digital Push
Nike outperformed its peers with its quick move to leverage the digital ecosystem to help its customers maintain their physical and mental health while at home. According to their CEO, John Donahoe, this course of action was derived from their China Playbook.
The China Playbook: Nike Training Platform
In China, one of Nike’s key markets, when the pandemic broke, it had to shut more than 5000 of its physical stores. With most of the brand’s physical stores shut, the emphasis shifted online.
While reaching out to their customers through their digital platforms, they didn’t just push products but also came up with creative ways of connecting and engaging with customers.
Since, in this period, people are confined at home with limited opportunity for physical exercise, Nike opened their online Nike Training Platform to anyone interested and encouraged all site visitors to workout daily.
This increased Nike’s weekly sign-ups by 80% across all their activity apps and translated into a 30% growth in online sales.
The Living Room Challenge
The brand collaborated with popular athletes, including Cristiano Ronaldo, for a ”Living Room Cup” campaign in which participants were given a challenge to complete and were asked to post their videos online with the hashtags #playinside and #thelivingroomcup.
Nike’s example proves that though people are cautious now about spending their money on “non-essential” items and activities, there are still ways to connect and engage with them.
While adapting to a situation can help a business under extraordinary circumstances, being innovative is always beneficial.
2. Be Prepared to Innovate
Innovations often develop out of an intense desire to help others and find a solution when things get hard. When the present pandemic broke, retail outlets downed shutters and customers became reluctant to spend money online on non-essential goods.
Many brands were forced to bring innovation to their regular strategies and products. And according to some experts, some innovations that have come about as a result of the present situation are valuable and will last.
KREWE: Blue Light Filtering Lenses
KREWE is a fashion eyewear brand. With so many people working from home and staring at screens all day, They saw an opportunity to provide customers with something that would be relevant and useful to them at this time. So, they launched a segment of blue-light lenses to help protect themselves from digital eye strain.
Hawaiian Tropic: Aromatic Candles
Hawaiian Tropic is a skincare brand specializing in suncare products. With people staying at home and beach vacations a no-go for quite some time this year, they launched a limited edition aromatic candle featuring their trademark coconut scent. This was done to shine a light on their beachside businesses as well as to give people a sense of being on the beach inside their homes!
Hanifa: Virtual Catwalk Show on Instagram
Hanifa is a US contemporary fashion brand. With several fashion shows getting canceled due to the Coronavirus pandemic, they put on a virtual catwalk fashion show using 3D models on Instagram.
Users were allowed to tune in live and watch the show, which displayed the brand’s Pink Congo Label Collection. This show was a huge success and was applauded as “groundbreaking” for giving insights into “the future of fashion.”
3. Leverage Social Media
Before the pandemic struck, social media usage for most of January, February, and early March remained relatively flat at about 20% of overall mobile app usage.
But in the middle of March, when lockdowns in different countries started, social media usage increased markedly to 25% of overall mobile app usage.
With many people spending more time on social media, brands are using this opportunity to deliver relevant messages and to engage with their customers creatively.
Kora Organics: Hosting Master Classes
Kora Organics is a beauty brand. The CEO, Miranda Kerr, has been hosting masterclasses on makeup on Instagram Live. Every week, they feature a new guest and give wellness tips that can be implemented at home. These masterclasses have increased their engagement on social media.
Lucky Brand: #WinFromHome Challenge
Lucky Brand is a denim and lifestyle brand from Los Angeles. It ran an Instagram campaign, #WinFromHome, which urged its users to participate in daily challenges to win prizes.
Each day they would post an offbeat challenge on a richly illustrated retro-themed play card. Participants were required to post a photo of themselves completing that challenge tagging Lucky Brand and the hashtag #WinFromHome.
Rewards included gift cards, promo codes, and charitable donations on the player’s behalf. This campaign helped Lucky Brand both engage with their customers and well as gain followers.
4. Help Others Selflessly
This pandemic has seen many brands step forward to donate and provide aid to communities to help them weather the storm of Coronavirus. This has both helped brands capture the hearts of customers and also paved the way for customers to use their buying power to give back to society.
Corkcicle: #SupportLocal Campaign
Corkcicle is a retail brand that specializes in drinkware. When many of Corkcicle’s retail partners had to close their doors on account of COVID-19, this affected the livelihoods of their employees.
As a response to this, Corkcicle started the #SupportLocal campaign, which aimed at supporting local retailers who sell their products.
They added a section on their checkout page where customers could select the retailer of their choice from a list of Corkcicle’s 500 retail partners.
After the purchase, Corkcicle credited the purchased amount directly to the selected retailer as if the purchase had happened directly from them.
The Frye Company: #AtHomeWithFrye Campaign
Frye is a leading American footwear brand. Like with almost every retail brand, Due to the pandemic, they had to shutter their brick & mortar stores, with sales only taking place through their website.
They launched a charity campaign in which their customers were given a coupon code, FIGHTHUNGER, which when applied would give them flat 20% off on all their purchases and also automatically donate $10 to Frye’s charity partner, Feeding America.
To enhance their campaign efforts on their social media channels, they launched the #AtHomeWithFyre hashtag. They asked their users to post a picture of them wearing a pair of Fryes on social media, tagging them with the hashtag. For every picture posted, they donated $1 to Feeding America.
This not only helped Frye build brand exposure but also gave their customers a sense of giving back to society.
Ready to Show Customers You Have Their Back?
In these uncertain times, what can help your business moving forward is demonstrating to customers that you care about their experience with you. A quality Delivery Experience Management platform can help you do that.
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Some of our high-impact offerings are :
- Save up to 20% on Shipping – Automatically audit your shipping carriers’ invoices and recover refunds for 50+ service failures & billing errors including late deliveries.
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- Critical Delivery Alerts – Pay attention to daily deliveries with predictive delay alerts and more on a purpose-built dashboard for support reps.
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- Custom Delivery Notifications – Send custom or automated delivery status notifications for events like “shipped,” “attempted,” & “delivered.”
- Branded Tracking Pages – Build fully-customizable order tracking pages for your customers to improve brand recall and sales.
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COVID-19 Note: To help tide over the current crisis, we are giving all businesses full and free access to our LateShipment.comPlatform till June 30, 2020.
The value we add to businesses is most evident when experienced first-hand.