Supporting eCommerce Customers During COVID-19

COVID-19 is having an unprecedented impact on communities and on our economy. As retailers close their locations and people stay home to social-distance, there has been an increase in online shopping and package deliveries.

To help keep your eCommerce business moving during these uncertain times, we’ve put together a list of strategies to support your customers and mitigate the negative effects of the outbreak on your business.

Prioritize High-Value Customers

Prioritize your stock for existing customers over new customers who are only making a single purchase, since a customer who repeatedly buys from your business will likely want to help you stay open. You can also support customers experiencing financial hardship by offering additional return options, extending payment dates, or by offering additional discounts or benefits like free delivery.

Streamline Your Returns Process

If the pandemic ends up delaying your orders, notify your customers as soon as possible, making clear the reason for the delay. If a customer decides that they no longer want the product and ask for a refund, do your best to fulfill their wish. If you don’t, you may have to deal with extra costs in relation to a product that was not accepted at the time of delivery. Even worse, you might lose that customer forever.

Stock Up On Inventory

If your supply chain hasn’t been impacted by COVID-19, now’s a good time to stock up on inventory if possible. It’s hard to know how the spread will affect factories that are now up and running in the near future. You want to make sure you have a little extra product so you can fulfill orders even if your supply chain experiences delays.

Strengthen Your Local Sales

If your online store has a large international audience, it is possible that your shipments will be more affected, since entry to regions with a high incidence of infections has been progressively restricted. Creating a new base of local consumers will be beneficial in the long run, as these people will always be able to access your products – which will reach them more quickly due to the short distance the products have to travel.

Optimize Your Website

Make sure your website is running at optimum capacity, and that it is optimized for SEO, as more customers will be searching online. Place a banner on your homepage making it clear that you accept, process and ship orders despite COVID-19 – and be sure to update the estimated fulfillment and/or delivery times to reflect expected delays. You might also consider creating an FAQ section on your site to address frequent customer concerns related to the pandemic.

Increase Your Social Media Presence

Since your customers are likely spending more time on social channels, it can be helpful to increase your posting frequency to ensure you are showing up in their news feeds.  Let your customers know how they can continue to support your business, whether through online shopping, local deliveries, or with gift cards. You can also share promotional codes to boost sales and communicate safety measures your business is following.

Communicate Honestly and Effectively

Be transparent with your customers and let them know if you might be experiencing shipment delays. Communicate any extra precautions you are taking with packaging to ensure their health and safety, and make sure you and your employees follow all procedures recommended by the CDC. Set expectations so people understand that there are extenuating factors out of your control but you’re doing your best to get them their orders as soon as you can.

Choose a Trusted Shipping Partner

Now more than ever, you need a shipping partner you can rely on. While COVID-19 has disrupted supply chains around the world, our services not been impacted, and we are taking every precaution to prevent any disruption to the delivery of customer packages. For over 15 years, a variety of industries have relied on OSM’s eCommerce shipping solutions, domestic shipping and international shipping options – and we’re committed to making sure that their packages reach their destination quickly, reliably and at a lower cost.

Contact us for a quote and find out why OSM has everything you need to provide exceptional service to your customers during these challenging times – and for many years to come.