During the pandemic, every e-commerce business has had their bottom line impacted. Whether online stores experienced unbelievable growth, or faced huge loss is due to changed shopping behaviours of consumers.
Stay-at-home orders and social distancing prompted sales in industries that directly support isolated living, and smart companies have successfully pivoted their business model to fit within these categories.
How do you ensure that your e-commerce business is successful post-COVID-19?
It’s important for your online business to understand why companies are thriving, and, equally as important, why companies are not.
What can you do to future-proof your e-commerce business? Here’s what you need to know:
- Essentials vs Non-essentials
- Homebody Economy
- Pandemic Context
The most successful companies prioritize insight and action, allowing them to position themselves in the best place for consumer demand. By planning ahead, you set your online business up for success.
Essentials vs Non-essentials
The COVID-19 pandemic redefined what is truly essential for consumers. Some of the most lucrative industries took major hits, while some inconspicuous ones rose to the top.
In fact, the fastest growing e-commerce product in March 2020 were disposable gloves, hitting 670% more sales than the previous year.
However, that doesn't mean you need to be in the disposable glove business.
Investing in industries hoping they qualify as an essential during a pandemic should not be your sales strategy.
Consider what you are able to offer, and why consumers would want your product during the pandemic. By staying consistent and creative, you can start, build, or grow an e-commerce business that remains successful regardless of the state of the world.
Surprisingly, despite the pandemic’s focus on safety and cleanliness, the second fastest growing e-commerce product in March 2020 were bread machines.
Up 652% (almost as much as disposable gloves), the rise of bred machines point to something more lucrative to be aware of, for any e-commerce business.
Why, during a pandemic, would so many consumers buy a pricey, non-essential product?
With so many at home, bored and restless, consumers have taken to products that offer value during the pandemic. Whether it’s working out with weights (up 307%) or making bread, people are open to investing money in e-commerce products and services that see usage, within the context of the pandemic.
The success of your e-commerce business does not depend on whether it’s essential or not. Rather, you should consider your e-commerce product/service within the COVID-19 context.
For example, Horderly, a professional organizing business lost substantial sales in just a few days. Since the service relies on in-house calls, the business had little options available to them.
However, in Horderly’s efforts to make adjustments, they noticed an opportunity. Using most of their existing resources, Horderly was able to meet the needs of customers who wanted to get organized while spending all day at home. They created a virtual organizing service with multiple packages, adapting their business quickly and efficiently.
Horderly was able to pivot their business structure to provide value to customers through e-commerce platforms, meeting a new need in the COVID-19 economy.