eCommerce

How to get eCommerce Back to Business as Usual

April 23, 2020 5 min read

What do eCommerce businesses have to know about getting back to work as normal? We delve into some of the things for them to bear in mind.

Unlimint team
Your payment experts

eCommerce business has undergone an impressive transformation over the past few months. From being narrowly behind physical retail, lockdown conditions have taken those customers and sprung them into the digital world.

For businesses that have managed to pivot over to a digital focus, the results are incredible. When it comes to digital traffic, some of the biggest winners include:

  • Supermarkets – +251%
  • Retail Tech – +78%
  • Media – +56%
  • Telecom – +29%

Supermarkets/Grocery stores and Retail tech have also seen this traffic convert to a massive uptick in transactions; 76 and 62% increases, consecutively.

Overall, order values as of April 15th have reached $140 million, with lockdown conditions playing a critical role in this rise.


Online sales for Grocery stores rose by 220% in the UK alone, showcasing the power of eCommerce

For businesses with a growing or already strong eCommerce/Digital arm, expectations and reality have been pleasantly surprised, but it does come with its share of challenges.

While Cart abandonment has, for example, seen a slight drop across a broad scope of industries, it remains an issue for everyone; as it still ranges from 67-97%, even while eCommerce became the focal point of shopping.

But, as governments worldwide have made clear: lockdown conditions won’t go on forever. Meaning that businesses need to think about how to get back to work while retaining and applying all they’ve learned.

From the outset, however, there are serious issues that they face: there’s no handbook for getting back to business, and that economic recovery requires companies to work smarter and harder.

No Handbook on Getting Back to Normal



One of the most glaring challenges is the fact that no country has a distinct plan on how to return to normal after lockdown.

According to reports from the USA, UK, India and Italy, as just some examples. Policies fluctuate from a steady phasing in of certain industries and institutions, to more vague re-opening dates for regions.

For physical retailers, the vagueness, coupled with public anxiety will likely spell a sluggish return to normal. All while costs and diminishing returns rack up.

For eCommerce

One of the most glaring challenges is the fact that no country has a clear plan on how to return to normal after lockdown.

According to reports from the USA, UKIndia and Italy, as just some examples. Policies fluctuate from a steady phasing in of specific industries and institutions, to more vague re-opening dates for regions.

For physical retailers, the vagueness, coupled with public anxiety, will likely spell a sluggish return to normal. All while costs and diminishing profits rack up.


Fashion retail is among one of the worst-hit industries due to mass store closures.

Online promotions, then, such as discounts through social media and email newsletters continue to be incredibly important even after lockdown relaxes.

Online advertising can be especially useful when keeping a close watch on the regions where your customers come from. International eCommerce should do this to ensure relevance in timing, but also regionally.

Besides, collaboration with other eCommerce businesses and domestic payment methods will be crucial in offering your business a balance of high exposure and relevance to the circumstances as they develop.

Lockdown Economy

While there’s no clear understanding of how to return to normal, it’s also not sure just how the economy will be able to recover as business attempts to get back to normal.

According to a report by JPMorgan, there are three scenarios which are seen as the most likely paths going forward; outlined as ‘V’, ‘U’, and ‘L’ shaped recovery.

While this relates to the global economy, as a whole, it has repercussions at every level. For businesses, one of the certainties would align the first weeks of with ‘U’ shaped recovery. 


75% of Americans involved in shopping online have said they’re avoiding physical retail even after lockdown

While this relates to the global economy, as a whole, it has repercussions at every level. For businesses, one of the certainties would align the first weeks of with ‘U’ shaped recovery. 

Specifically, the first weeks will likely bring an initial feeling of hesitation and anxiety.

According to eMarketer, more than 75% of US internet users have said that they’ll be avoiding physical stores for the foreseeable future; citing continued concerns over Coronavirus as the main reason.

So, what does this mean? For eCommerce businesses, much like we’ve addressed before, it means that the current lockdown levels of digital retail will continue, and potentially grow.

For eCommerce

Even with the end of lockdown now in sight for some, physical retailers are still going to face the sharp sting of declining revenues and continued expense. It makes perfect sense then to know that it’s never too late to create and scale up your eCommerce arm.

How long does it take to establish an eCommerce arm? Not as long as you’d think. Payment systems like Unlimint, for example, only take a matter of a day or two to implement, while eCommerce website builders are just as fast. The importance then turns to ensure adaptability with your customers.


Demand isn’t going to suddenly change in the first weeks after lockdown.

Some of the biggest points to consider include payment methods, your supply-chain and customer confidence.

Companies like Ocado, for example, have had to deal with a storm of public dissatisfaction on social media due to their struggles with maintaining reliable delivery and robust supply lines.

As local methods become impossible for many, during this time, they turn to digital, often international eCommerce businesses for solutions.

Consequently, using social media to provide much-needed reassurance for customers (wherever they are), guaranteeing a reliable supply chain and uninterrupted, free delivery will be ways to ensure your business can blaze through this lockdown and beyond.

Conclusion

The smarter your company operates online, the more likely it is to emerge from lockdown with a renewed potential for success.

While brick and mortar retailers do and will, face a proverbial bloodbath of cuts to revenues, they still carry importance to a large proportion of online customers with Buy Online, Pick-up In-Store (BOPIS) among other digital to physical methods.

The current streamlined state of creating, maintaining and building up your eCommerce business, in conjunction with easy to implement, all-in-one payment solutions like Unlimint, means that it’s never too late to create a powerful contender of a digital business platform.

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