2020 is a challenging year, especially for businesses. Both online and offline retailers faced with tough decisions like closing their stores, fluctuating supply chains, protecting employees, etc. Since offline ones getting an online presence built is the best way out, for online retailers, we are here with some practical tips that can help them navigate their online business through the COVID-19.
With Coronavirus still causing disruptions in our life, getting prepared for the future is the only thing we can do right now as nobody has an answer when it is going to end. There is complete uncertainty about the future and hence, you need to take steps to gear up your online store by all means. While the completion was already fierce in online business, now with COVID-19, many offline retailers are shifting towards online, which means, the online market will be soon turning into a battleground. Therefore, to make people notice your online store, you need to do the following.
1. Re-plan your business
We know you might be wondering why? Well, COVID-19 has changed the way of doing business because of the changed consumer behavior; hence, to keep going, you need a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) defining processes and systems that can help you prevent and recover from potential threats to your business. Your crisis plan should be such that it ensures your employees and assets are protected and will be able to recover quickly in the event of a disaster. You will need a post-Coronavirus strategy to continue your business that adheres to the government’s recommendations. In short, you must;
- regularly monitor the health of your employees
- take measures to minimize the risk of spreading the disease
- prepare a backup plan in case any of your employees are quarantined or infected
- make alternative arrangements with your customers, suppliers, and any other relevant parties so that nothing hinders your business operations
- review health insurance policies
- Educate the importance of practicing good personal hygiene and taking measures for infection prevention/control to employees
- go through your entire processes and business functions
- amp up your internal and external communications
- keep track of health and travel declarations from employees who traveled to China/South Korea/Japan/Northern Italy/Iran/the Middle East in the past 14 days
- ensure the supply of disinfectant, hand sanitizer, masks are done timely and without fail
- follow coronavirus (COVID-19) development and directives from the government
- maintain regular cleaning and disinfecting of your warehouse if it’s exposed to suspected or confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19)
- ensure that employees know their roles and responsibilities to handle any type of crisis
- set up a communication channel so employees can ask questions/report their status
2. Stay informed
COVID-19 is totally unpredictable. It keeps on changing due to which the government too has to revise their action plan as per the situation to curb the spread of the deadly virus; which means, anything can happen from a lockdown to restrictions anytime for which you have to stay updated. Keep on checking with the status of the delivery and logistics solutions you use for any changes as per the government.
3. Be transparent and communicate well
The fear of Coronavirus is not something to be taken lightly. To maintain trust in you and your business, you must be open to your customers about how you are taking COVID-19 seriously. Share with them how you are practicing hygiene and taking measures for the safety of employees and customers. Also, make your communication game strong. Inform about your re-opening or temporary closure (if any), hours of operation, how you are contributing to the society, delay in shipping, or any other such important information to the customers on-time to maintain their faith in you. Communicate and keep them informed by updating information on your homepage, your social networks, blogs or forums, or any other platforms, and do not forget to update your terms and conditions.
4. Use new alternatives
Social distancing is a must to prevent the spread of COVID-19, therefore, you must start accepting new alternatives instead of making human contact like, conduct meeting via video calls with your suppliers, initiate contactless or drone deliveries, make use of latest technologies like Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality, etc.
5. Update your store
If you haven’t yet, you must update your store to survive the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to increased online purchase, you must
- improve the performance as well as the appearance of your store
- update your product page
- optimize your keywords
- simply the shopping journey with an easy checkout process, guest login, multiple payment options, etc.
- run promotions and a customer loyalty program
- make your branding and social media game strong
- update relevant content
- Include the sale of essential items like sanitizers, masks, disinfectants, etc.
- Highlight coronavirus (COVID-19) relief efforts or government organizations that you’ve supported and so on.
Coronavirus has created a new challenge for businesses around the world. Due to the major shift in consumer behavior, you need to offer a high-performing webshop, a progressive web app or mobile solution of your online store to survive the competitive market. Thus, if you are an online retailer sweating how to keep going amidst the Covid-19 disaster, then approach the best progressive web app development company in the Middle East to overcome the challenging time.