Realign Your E-commerce Store For Business Continuity In The Pandemic
As the pandemic first hit the world, retail businesses suddenly had to close down and e-commerce came forth as the best survival strategy. E-commerce, in fact, has become essential in the era of social distancing. Gradually with time, selling online too has become challenging because the shopping behavior on this channel has changed. To make things worse, the overall economic tightness in the market has made buyers give up on nonessential spending. In this crisis situation, realigning their websites seems to be the best move for both old and new e-commerce sellers. If you have been struggling with traffic and sales in the last few months, it is time to rework on your website sooner rather than later. Here are some measures you can take to realign your website for business continuity in the pandemic.
Update product pages
Amid all the uncertainty, you should go the extra mile to be in touch with the customers. Essentially, they should know about the measures you would implement to ensure safety with your products and delivery practices. Further, ensure that they know if your services will be changing and when you would be reopening your business. This is best done by updating the product pages on your e-commerce website. Share product-related information- such as the product would be out of stock for a specific time span or if shipments would take longer to reach specific destinations. You may even have a COVID-specific page on the store or consider putting up all the vital information on the store’s home page.
Focus on usability over design
The outbreak has exerted an unprecedented strain on online experiences. This is probably because of the increasing use of the internet and mobile networks. Right now, you need to focus on enhancing the overall site performance and usability. It makes sense to stick to the basics and cut back on high-resolution images and banners. These simple measures can go a long way in boosting the loading speed. Also, prioritize mobile responsiveness because there is a surge in e-commerce mobile traffic these days. So you cannot risk losing these customers due to slow and erratic experiences across mobile devices.
Be quick to resolve issues
Needless to say, online buyers expect instant gratification and are quick to switch to another seller if they aren’t happy enough with the experience on your website. While you need to go the extra mile with conversion optimization, there is also a need to resolve issues instantly. Make sure that you have support at hand to deal with issues related to speed, security, and downtime. Outsourcing IT support that scales with you is your best bet because they have you covered for issues related to sudden traffic spikes. The best part about embracing this support model for your e-commerce store is that they are available instantly but do not cost a fortune.
Offer alternative modes of payments
In this crisis situation, making the buying journey as easy as possible can make all the difference to your e-commerce sales. Providing alternative payment modes can help a lot, particularly for people who have just moved to online buying. Supporting cash-based transaction alternatives is a good way to entice the underbanked segment of the audience. Further, you can offer payment plan options so that customers have the option to buy now and pay later. Obviously, this is the only way you can convince them to buy nonessential goods during financially tough times.
Read also: Review of Anonymous Payment Methods
Scale customer support
If you sell essentials, you are likely to experience an increase in traffic and order volumes at this time. At the same time, there could be a surge in service requests too. Managing them can be increasingly challenging if you are not well prepared. Whether you have an in-house customer support team or outsource call center services, it is time to scale customer support. You may also consider integrating chat functionality in your e-commerce store. While there must be people available to deal with the support queries, the quality of interactions should also be good enough. The better you are with customer interactions right now, the stronger your relationships become. And this is something that can benefit your business in the long run.
Making your e-commerce website pandemic-safe is all about going the extra mile with the experiences it offers. If you are able to win your customers with good ones today, they are more likely to stay with your business in the future. So these efforts are surely worthwhile even if they require spending time and money.
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