ways to boost ecommerce sales amidst covid19
(Last Updated On: March 12, 2020)

Your customers are taking the coronavirus seriously, and that means that a lot of people will be in self-isolation, especially as the virus spreads.

Interestingly, people tend to respond to the coronavirus in one of two ways:

They’re either stocking up on products while in self-isolation, which means they’re spending way more money on eCommerce sites than they used to, or they’re completely avoiding eCommerce sites until the coronavirus panic subsides. (Well, they’re trying, anyway.)

You’re going to need to work extra hard to boost deliveries to meet the increased demands of people in self-isolation who are seeking some good old fashioned retail therapy, but you’re going to have to work even harder to attract people who are going on a self-imposed eCommerce ban.

8 Ways to Boost your sales amidst the CoVid-19 outbreak

1. Target the customers you already have

Many business owners trying to boost sales automatically think they need to increase their number of customers. But that’s not true. In fact, trying to target new customers is one of the most expensive ways to increase your sales.

The cheapest and most effective way to increase your sales is to encourage your current customers to make more purchases.

Loyal customers buy from you more often, buy more items each time they make a purchase, and are more likely to recommend your website to their friends.

Create incentives for repeat purchases and for buying more items in each purchase.

Here are some good ways to do this:

  • Create a customer rewards programme.
  • Offer discounts that become activated when a customer spends a minimum amount.
  • Offer free shipping to customers who spend a minimum amount.

2. Don’t underestimate social media

A good social media marketing campaign can ramp up enough interest in your eCommerce site to help you stay afloat during the coronavirus outbreak. If your marketing campaign is clever enough, you may even see a boost in sales.

(Don’t forget to boost deliveries to account for the boost in sales you’ll get from your social media campaign. Nothing is more annoying than delayed deliveries.)

3. Show customers that they can trust your website

Ask your web host about installing an SSL certificate. If you have an SSL certificate, your visitors’ browsers will let them know your website is secure. But you can take even more steps to show your visitors that your website is safe.

If you use popular antivirus protection software, check to see if these offer badges that you can display on your website.

If you have a secure backup strategy, don’t keep it a secret! Tell your visitors exactly what steps you’ve taken to keep your website (and their data!) secure.

4. Break barriers to buying

First-time customers who are interested in your product are always going to hesitate a little before they make a purchase.

These are some of the reasons they hesitate:

  • They’re worried your product won’t be as useful as they think
  • They don’t want to feel silly about spending lots of money on a product they end up not liking
  • They think your products are too expensive
  • They’re worried about the safety of your packaging

Here’s how you get over these hurdles:

  • Use social proof to show your customers that they’ll enjoy using your product. Include a name and a photo with each testimonial, so that your customers know that these come from real people and not from your marketing team.
  • Include a no-strings-attached moneyback guarantee, so that your customers don’t feel so much pressure surrounding the purchase. (If they don’t like it, they can always get a refund. There’s no way they can lose!)
  • If your customers are worried about the price of your product, you haven’t done enough to demonstrate value. Spend time showing your customers exactly how your product will add value to their lives.
  • Your customers are worried about the coronavirus, so take steps to assure them of the safety of your shipping and handling process. You can choose to handle this in a blog post or an email.

5. Show off your bestselling items

Not everybody who stumbles on to your website will know what to look for. Showcase your bestselling items to show customers what’s popular, so they’ll have an idea of purchases they might enjoy.

6. Create a sense of urgency

Retail therapy is all about impulse. If you want customers to buy from your eCommerce site, especially if you sell products that aren’t exactly necessities, you have to create a sense of urgency.

You can do this by creating time-sensitive discounts, or offering limited supplies, or by offering limited editions of your products.

A good sales-boosting strategy is anything that makes your customers feel like the item they want might soon be gone if they spend too long deliberating.

7. Accept a variety of payment methods

Not everybody has a credit card, and not everybody feels comfortable putting their credit card information on the internet. Make sure your eCommerce site is fully integrated with popular payment gateways like PayPal and Stripe.

8. Offer rewards for recommending the site to new customers

Your current customers are your best source for sales, but they’re also your best source for new customers. Word of mouth is still a popular sales tool. We tend to trust people we already know and like.

Tap into this powerful sales engine by offering rewards to your customers who get new customers to buy from your eCommerce site. You can do this in a number of ways, but one powerful way is to have new customers type in the email address of the customer who recommended your site to them. You can use this information to offer discounts and to incentivise your new customers to recommend your website to their friends, as well!

Wrapping up

The threat of coronavirus is scary, but it’s terrifying for an additional reason when you run an eCommerce site: It can be hard to know exactly how people will react. Will they go into complete self-isolation and avoid eCommerce sites, or will they go on a buying binge to cope with their anxiety, putting extra strain on your resources?

Our advice to people who operate eCommerce sites is the same as the general advice to everybody who’s worried about coronavirus: Be aware of the dangers, but don’t panic.

Self-isolation can go either way for your eCommerce site. It could result in a sales boom or in a sales slump. With that in mind, keep track of your sales and get ready to boost deliveries, but also keep a few customer-attracting tricks up your sleeve in case people need a bit of an extra nudge to get some retail therapy.