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E-Commerce Growth During COVID-19

April 7th, 2020

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The economy is turning down amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but new data analysis shows that in the U.S., e-commerce is on the rise. Research done by Emarsys does have this disclaimer about their findings:

This data does not represent the total sales in a market or category, and it is not an economic forecasting or budgeting tool. It is designed to help businesses and brands discover signals in consumer behavior that enable them to plan and adapt to change in the global retail landscape resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. https://ccinsight.org/about/

In times of uncertainty, knowing customer behavior is valuable in planning and adapting to this new phase. We need to be in the mindset of how to control the chaos. What steps can your business take to keep moving forward without having to shutter your doors?

Interestingly enough, purely e-commerce businesses are showing a rise, with at least a 57% growth in revenue and a 45% growth in orders in the past seven days. This insight may seem obvious to some, since consumers are staying home, and many are using internet shopping as their way to get supplies they need. (Data published March 31, 2020)

For businesses that have physical stores and an online store, consider offering curbside pick up. If you can accept phone orders or internet orders, allow your local customers to pick up their orders outside your store. Implement a call-in method — when the customer arrives, they call to tell you they are there, and an employee can take the order out to their car and place it on the hood, trunk, or backseat without having to have any physical contact. For non-local orders, you can conduct business as usual with your standard shipping methods.

If you can sustain keeping your staff, this is also a time to catch up on some of those projects. Do you need to refresh displays, take inventory, or revamp your social media postings? These tasks can be handled during regular business hours if you are closed to the public. For many employees, even some work will be beneficial. Of course, maintain social distancing practices and all other Center for Disease Control guidelines.  

As a business owner, this could also be a time to disinfect and clean your workplace. Take time to clean racks, shelves, floors, and more– rather than the normal routine cleaning regimen. Many essential business retailers are shortening business hours so they can step up their disinfecting procedures. 

Finding solutions for your business will take some creative thinking and also everyone doing their part to help flatten the curve. Working together, we can come through this crisis and continue on with the new normal.

Map image from https://ccinsight.org/

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