The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact globally - not only on healthcare, but also on the economy as the pressure on the system increases. Entrepreneurs face difficult times, while governments are offering aid packages in an attempt to protect businesses from falling apart. In that economic sense, online stores are perhaps the cork on which the world floats.
Online orders are even increasing in many industries! This is partly because people want to have fun at home with their families, or want to create a nice work space - and you only run the risk of a computer virus when shopping online. In this blog, you will read about the influence of coronavirus on e-commerce and how you can prepare for what's to come.
Parcel delivery continues, but caution is advised
In coronavirus times, yesterday's news is already outdated today. Where initially there was a strong fear that the virus could easily be transmitted via parcel delivery, that fear quickly turned out to be unfounded. While caution remains, the good news has been received with acclaim from website owners and logistics managers. In the meantime, it remains important that everyone continues to follow recommended guidelines from their government. Parcel carriers also contribute. For example, in most cases signatures are no longer required for parcels that may have otherwise been signed for receipt. Our tip? Be very clear to customers in your communication about what measures you and your carrier take and what restrictions this causes. Rarely in history will there have been so much understanding of limited service as long as you communicate well with shoppers about what to expect.
Crowds and a virus: take care of supplies
The coronavirus crisis can therefore lead to a significant growth in the number of online purchases. To be prepared for a possible influx in orders, it is crucial that webshop owners and logistics managers keep up with demand for supplies, both for employees and customers, in order to minimize the impact of any logistical restrictions imposed by the government or industry. For example, depending on local restrictions, online retailers may need provide masks and keep extra distance between workers in the warehouse, or they may need to change their inventory approach to keep their website’s stock in order during the crisis.
You win a war against the virus by anticipating
Despite the growth for online stores, there are other possible scenarios to consider. Certainly, in the long term, the crisis could lead to a massive drop in turnover for webshops. These decreases in turnover are now mainly seen in the fashion and travel industries; however, other sectors will possibly also be seriously affected in the future by reduced purchasing power as a result of the crisis. As an entrepreneur, it is therefore important to be agile and think ahead as much as possible. Various webshops are already working on this, for example, by shifting the focus to alternative products. Start thinking ahead and planning out your possible next steps now. Because, although the sales figures for some webshop owners now seem to grow to heaven, it seems just as much a certainty that this will not continue. Politicians compare the fight against the virus with a war; in times of war you have to anticipate.
Be prepared for international delays
Many international retailers quickly became concerned about significant delays in international parcel delivery, and rightly so (for some destinations). During a global pandemic, the transit times of international carriers can increase considerably, leaving webshops unable to keep to their usual delivery times. Be clear and proactive on your website if the delivery time will be slightly longer than usual. Visitors certainly understand this and appreciate being informed - before ordering - that there are possible delays. At the same time, providing this extra notice relieves your customer service reps so they do not receive unnecessary questions about the delivery time from online shoppers who were ill-informed.With the coronavirus pandemic, the situation can change every day. Therefore, keep an eye on your shipping provider’s website for current information on possible delays.
More time to delve into customs matters?
Coronavirus has turned day-to-day business upside down. You and your employees may now have time to devote to other business aspects, such as customs matters. We have already done the necessary detective work for you and are happy to offer you expert advice on customs. Interested in learning more? Download the customs report below!