While it is the only option for many retailers, eCommerce is running into its own limitations under the pressure of the COVID-19 crisis. And as those limits become evident, some strategies to navigate them are also coming to the fore.

The most concerning news about those limitations comes as retailers get a handle on how and why eCommerce orders have spiked since stores started closing at the end of February.

HANDLING THE SITUATION
Mounting concern over the COVID-19 outbreak in South Africa is having an impact on online shopping behavior, according to data from Adobe Analytics, which monitors the eCommerce transactions. While COVID-19 is hurting in-store traffic for some retailers, others have seen surges in online shopping, as anxiety over the virus increases.

These are trying times for South Africa business but especially tough on those in the retail sector as the COVID-19 pandemic is something that’s not been dealt with in a century and back then retail wasn’t what it is today. The challenge to the smaller retailers is much more intense given lower revenue, consumer base, and less negotiating power when it comes to product production needs. Retailers are making some hard decisions (closing stores temporarily, laying off staff) in light of COVID-19.

FINDING PRODUCTS THAT YOU NEED
As we continue to navigate the uncertainty of the Coronavirus and work to lower the curve, we understand that many of our customers and brands are struggling to find ways to stay active and in touch with their communities. In an effort to help out, we’ve compiled some creative strategies for keeping customers engaged and connected during this time. Even though many different sites will experience different effects from the changes in consumer behavior.

What is clear though is that user behavior is definitely changing online, and sometimes quite dramatically. As you start thinking about how you can best use these, it’s important to remember that while your business stability may be front of mind for you, many people are facing physical, emotional, and financial strain at this time. Communicate with care, consider how you can help your audience feel valued, and be intentional in your approach.

HELPING WHERE YOU CAN
Show your customers that you’re still here for them. Schedule a block of time where customers can chat and ask you questions about products and services. Select a charity helping those affected by the virus, then add an option to donate as a product in your catalog. When customers “purchase” the donation, you can reward them with exclusive loyalty program perks.

Give your customers some face-time. Show them around the store, do live videos of your products, and answer questions in real-time. This can help create an in-store feeling and build trust and assurance during what may feel like an isolated time.

SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS AFTER COVID 19
While there is a lot of uncertainty around the economic impact of the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, one thing that is certain is that it will change the way we do business in the long-term. People are moving from offline shopping to online, and the habit is unlikely to disappear when the pandemic is over. Implementing eCommerce technology could be the key to retaining customers and leveraging changing consumer behavior moving forward.

There’s no doubt that the crisis caused by the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created an incredibly difficult business climate. Businesses are being presented with many new challenges as international borders close, bricks-and-mortar businesses shut their doors, and people are told to isolate at home. Many companies face temporary or even permanent closures, with staff facing months of financial uncertainty and worry.