As the crisis of coronavirus (COVID-19) escalates, many of the e-commerce brands are having a hard time running the show and fighting the pandemic. The closing of manufacturing units across the globe and the logistical restrictions are impacting e-sales. In the short-term, e-commerce brands selling supplies such as face masks, medicines, groceries, toilet papers, and essentials, are witnessing a whopping rise in sales due to the coronavirus. However, these brands are concerned that the pandemic will negatively impact their revenue in the long run.
According to a survey conducted by Digital Commerce 360, 47 percent of e-commerce brands expect a dip in revenue due to the outbreak. Just over 30 percent of brands have a difference of opinion and state that it is too early to comment. However, a large chunk of the e-commerce key players, agree to the fact that the virus will significantly impact consumer confidence, thereby, having a domino effect on online sales.
Let us have a look at how some of the e-commerce brands are combatting the coronavirus.
The coronavirus outbreak has led to shutting down of brick-and-mortar stores. As a result, Amazon is being flooded with customers for both essential and non-essential items. The e-commerce giant Amazon has been constantly battling price-gouging by third-party sellers who are taking advantage of the coronavirus fear and capitalising on masks and hand sanitisers. Amazon has removed tens of thousands of listings and has been monitoring the postings constantly to eradicate fraudulent high mark-up prices. Another challenge that Amazon has been facing after the virus outbreak is flooding in of plagiarised guidebooks stating measures of combating the virus. The company is closely evaluating its catalogs and are removing the publishers right away who are violating their policies. In addition, it is providing relevant and authentic information to the customers who can learn more about the virus and its protective measures. In its battle against coronavirus, the e-commerce leaders has had talks with the Gates Foundation for the purpose of delivering virus test kits to people’s homes.
As a result of the pandemic, Walmart is encouraging its customers to shop at its online store and not the physical stores. Many of the customers are already benefiting from these services although it is not easy for the company to cope up with the rising demand due to logistical constraints. Walmart has powered its online delivery system and is suggesting the customers to make use of the Walmart Pay feature on its app. In fact, Walmart Grocery (app) witnessed a steep growth in app downloads after the outbreak. In addition, with the help of its strong global supply chain, the company is increasing the supply of essential items to serve their customer needs constantly. It has also been offering financial support for managing, detecting, and fighting COVID-19.
To meet the e-commerce customer demands, Amerex Group has started sourcing from new areas as China is not an option currently. The company is trying out domestic manufacturers and other countries for supply. To be in the safe zone and be able to cater to online customers without harming their market reputation, the company is only shipping out products according to their inventory. In this manner, the Amerex Group is avoiding delayed deliveries. In addition, the company is giving priority to the delivery of medical products and essentials.
While most of the e-commerce brands are educating their customers with precautionary measures related to coronavirus, Bite Squad is one brand that has its messaging focused on making this time of crisis and unrest as comfy as possible for their customer. The spirit of – “We are in this together”, truly reflects their business approach. The company is providing the option for a contactless delivery. By doing this, Bite Squad is making quarantine seem as normal as possible. What’s more, keeping in mind the concept of social-distancing, they have strengthened and streamlined their online ordering system for making life easy for the customers.
Some of the e-commerce brands such as Dagne Dover haven’t lost focus of their salesy emails but have coupled it with inspirational and comforting messaging. Their marketing emails are product-heavy but with encouraging and uplifting messages that shout out loud about how we can together combat the ongoing pandemic. Dange Dover is building a feeling of unity, oneness, and community which is something the world is in dire need in the present crisis. It is a great way to cushion the shock business and people are going through.
Contact-free delivery options is doing the trick for Target. The US online retail giant has seen a massive increase in its mobile app downloads. The online shoppers have been rampantly ordering essentials to their homes from the Target online store. Call it social responsibility or call it return of favour, the company is tirelessly helping people fight the pandemic by providing them the medicines, food, baby products, and other essentials. The company is spending large sums of money for the impacted team members, local communities, and national relief organisations. In addition, the e-commerce big player is offering added wages, running a novel paid leave program, giving away bonus payouts, and making contributions to relief funds.
After the pandemic engulfed China, Alibaba saw a fall in e-commerce revenues due to disruptive supply chains and deliveries. Overcoming the challenges with all positivity, the company is ensuring the supply of day-to-day necessities, remaining stocked with the necessary supplies, not raising prices, and taking up relief steps for its merchants. What’s more, the company has taken an initiative of quick and safe delivery of medical supplies to the affected areas. By the same token, Alibaba has sent masks and coronavirus kits to the US.
A drastic change in consumer behaviour in the first quarter of 2020 due to the pandemic can massively impact the upcoming quarters. As the consumer finds increased comfort while shopping online, and technology enhances his comfort zone, e-commerce might grow manifolds in times to come. However, currently, what every e-commerce brand and everyone is focusing on is – Battling the COVID-19!