These are tough times for retail. While eCommerce sales might be up, many omnichannel brands and specific categories are taking a hit. There’s also a lot of anxiety, both personal and financial, due to Covid-19 and an impending recession. We feel it too.
We’re also having a moment of information overload from all of the articles, tips and reports being produced. To help you weed through and find information you can use to determine what modified strategies are right for your business, we thought it would be helpful to provide a roundup of and key takeaways from what we’ve found insightful. As we come across new articles and resources, we’ll continue to update this blog, so be sure to check back.
In this post
- Quick list of resources in this blog
- Financial/cash flow
- Giving merchants a break: Help to be had
- Working together towards recovery
Quick list of resources in this blog [Updated Weekly]
- Klaviyo Covid-19 Daily Insights
- Top 100 Fastest Growing & Declining Categories in E-commerce
- Cash Flow Management Strategies
- Shopify Capital
- What Is Purchase Order Financing and How Does It Work?
- Short-Term Digital Marketing Strategies to Help Online Retailers Through COVID-19
- Marketing amid coronavirus (COVID-19)
- 9 Ways to Pivot Your E-Commerce Marketing Strategy During COVID-19
- How to Adapt Your Marketing During the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- How Ecommerce Brands Are Helping Fight COVID-19 (Coronavirus) + Resources for Those in Need
- 3PL (Third Party Logistics): Select the Right Fulfillment Partner in a Pandemic
- Order Fulfillment Strategies for a COVID-19 Market
- How Gorgias is Responding to Help Online Merchants
- Introducing Loop Lite
- Arrive order tracking; Arrive & Shopify
- The next consumer recession: Preparing now
- Retail During a Recession: DTC Brands That Thrived in the 2010s
Klaviyo is tracking and releasing eCommerce shopping trends every 36 hours on their Klaviyo Covid-19 Daily Insights page through surveys with businesses and consumers. As an incentive, you can get a preview of the results – and receive a daily update email – if you take it yourself. A glimmer of hope amidst all the bad, Klaviyo’s trends tracker shows eCommerce sales beginning to rise and consumers starting to purchase more non-essentials.
Another interesting snapshot is the Top 100 Fastest Growing & Declining Categories in E-commerce that ranks as of March 2020 what product categories consumers are buying most and which categories are seeing a decline.
The Shopify blog also has some good information, such as ideas for creative Cash Flow Management Strategies, including finding ways to defer or break up payments to vendors; selling gift cards; and delaying inventory replenishments. Also, check out funding options from Shopify Capital and this ShipBob article about purchase order financing -- essentially a loan to allow you to fund your order if you’re short of cash.
You’ve likely been scrambling to tweak your marketing messaging and strategy. Check out Shopify’s blog Short-Term Digital Marketing Strategies to Help Online Retailers Through COVID-19 for some ideas to implement now such as ensuring you’re communicating clearly about business changes; marketing additional deals/offers; reallocating marketing spend; optimizing ads; and doing geo-specific marketing.
Klaviyo has a good roundup of its own, showcasing a collection of articles with case studies and best practices for marketing during coronavirus. Business2Community’s 9 Ways to Pivot Your E-Commerce Marketing Strategy During COVID-19 and marketing expert Neil Patel provide some good suggestions for how to fine-tune marketing messages to stand out and build customer trust now. Also, here’s a roundup of how some brands are trying to do their part to fight coronavirus with donations, partnerships and services.
Many retailers are facing disruptions in their supply chain and therefore fulfillment delays. Shopify has a blog post with some good considerations for how to select the right eCommerce fulfillment partner that will be able to handle crises like COVID-19. A blog from eFulfillment Service discusses strategies for fulfilling eCommerce orders when you’re facing inventory shortages.
Giving merchants a break: Help to be had
There are a number of technology companies providing services for free or discounted to help retailers out. Gorgias is offering access to its customer support platform free for six months. Loop is providing a “lite” version of its eCommerce returns solution for free. With customers feeling nervous about when their package is going to be delivered, Arrive is an easy plugin that’s free with Shopify and automatically updates customers when orders ship and are on their way. Bold Commerce has also put together a pretty good list of deals being offered to eCommerce brands during this time.
Although your immediate priority is to get through the pandemic and still have a business, some of the changes you make now will serve to protect you in the future. Deloitte has an interesting paper, The next consumer recession: Preparing now, that looks at how key learnings from the 2001 tech bust and 2008 recession that can be applied now and for future protection. A Shopify blog post also reviews which DTC brands survived and thrived after 2008 and draws some best practices from them, including looking for ways to reinvest, win market share and optimize operations during economic downturns.
Working together towards recovery
It’s heartening to see the eCommerce industry coming together to provide insights and services to help brands find ways to cut costs or tweak customer experiences to be more responsive to current challenges. We’ll continue to add information and articles we find helpful to this post. If you’ve read or viewed anything you think other merchants could benefit from, please contact us and we can share it.