There is a health crisis raging through the world leaving no one unscathed, including business owners. Businesses are forced to close down, people are losing their jobs, and citizens' survival is threatened as the global economy dwindles further.
At this point, a lot of things are running through your mind as you struggle to keep your business afloat. Although most people are now moving their business online because it is the safest way to go, e-commerce businesses are still threatened. Why is that?
The pandemic has hit the world badly and has led to a total shut down in some countries. This has made transportation of goods quite difficult for suppliers, leading to a shortage of inventory for ecommerce businesses and struggle to complete customers’ orders.
Although a few logistic companies are still operating, there is little to no availability of goods for them to ship. The lockdown has also affected production and supply is limited.
In order to make sure that your e-commerce business keeps running smoothly regardless of the pandemic, you need to be aware of the issues that may likely arise due to the pandemic.
Therefore, we will be highlighting these issues and how you can properly manage them so that your E-commerce business thrives through this period of a pandemic.
If it isn't already the case for your business, the coming weeks or months will come with an influx of orders. The pandemic has resulted in a total lockdown in some countries, which means people will have to depend solely on online shopping till this pandemic is over.
In some places in China, online shopping has been the one serving them for the past few weeks. At present, the US has recorded the highest number of coronavirus cases in the world, increasing the likelihood of this happening in the coming weeks.
Therefore, in order to prepare for the influx of orders in the coming weeks, you need to make sure a lot of things are in place.
Firstly, ensure that your website can handle an influx of traffic without crashing. You need to have enough infrastructure to handle the serious growth that is about to hit your business.
Secondly, make sure that order records are well kept in a safe and secure database to avoid unfulfilled orders. But how do you prepare for the incoming growth if you do not have enough capital?
This is quite easy if you have a platform like Formplus that can handle the incoming traffic, data security, customer service, and other automation.
Although the production of some items has not been completely halted, a lot of people are panic-buying and have led to an increasing demand for some produce. This has affected distribution to some extent because the goods can't go round.
Therefore, in order to prepare good shortages in the future, you need to stock your inventory with enough unperishable goods. To further avoid the inability to fulfill customer orders, you may consider:
Logistic companies are still operating, but most of them are worn out. The orders are nothing like before and delivery men are on high demand even with the high rate of job loss.
There are a lot of delivery requests, but not enough infrastructure and a hands-on deck to handle them. In some places, delivery men are quitting their jobs because of fear of contracting the virus.
Hence, this is not the time to make delivery guarantees to your customers. In order to make sure your customers better understand the situation at hand, you can add a disclaimer to your website and check out page informing them of the delays due to COVID-19.
When you let customers know what to expect, it will help eliminate disappointment and dissatisfied customers because.
While trying to keep your e-commerce business afloat during the pandemic, you should not forget to take precautionary measures so that the disease doesn't spread further.
Business owners who will be making the deliveries themselves or will be having their employees make deliveries should take all the protective measures as advised by the World Health Organization. This includes sanitizing the delivery items and practicing social distancing.
If you have tested positive for the virus, you should get in touch with the right authorities and suspend any delivery until further notice. If you have employees who have not been in contact with you and can handle the deliveries, they may do that in your stead.
This Is important because COVID-19 has been said to be able to live for up to 3 days on some surfaces. So, no matter how many days it took to get to the customer, the virus may still be transmitted.
As a business owner, one of the things most people will do is to increase prices on in-demand goods. The demand is high anyway, so no matter how high the price is, people will buy it.
However, we highly advise against unreasonably increasing the prices of goods in order to make a quick profit. This may get you in trouble with the authorities, leading to a complete loss of your goods.
In fact, some countries have started arresting price routers across the country. According to news reports, a few people were arrested in California for gouging the price of the toilet. paper, hand sanitizers, and face masks.
Amazon has also added a "no price gouging" policy to its seller terms and conditions, which may result in a ban for defaulters of the agreement.
There is no certainty on how the next few weeks will look like in the US or anywhere else across the globe. But one certain thing amidst all the fear is that e-commerce businesses will be one of the busiest this period.
In order to not drown in the busyness, you need to take the steps highlighted above and also try to cut costs as much as possible. Cutting costs will help you save money and have enough capital to stock up your inventory.
One way to save costs is by centralizing the customer order collection process using an affordable tool. With the Formplus order template, there is no fear of site downtime due to the influx of customers on your website.
You can also properly manage the number of orders received and get notified whenever a new order is placed. This will help with on-time delivery of goods.
Various processes can be automated, including sending autoresponder emails, requesting for customer feedback, and logging customer orders.
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