Modern Retail

Overcome COVID-19 Challenges With Ecommerce

COVID-19 Challenges

While COVID-19 is bringing new challenges to businesses around the world, it also brings plenty of opportunities for retailers.

A shift in consumer habits means less people are now shopping instore, making ecommerce and online stores more important than ever before. This shift in consumer habits will enable retailers to thrive and overtake competitors when done correctly.

However, to capture the attention of those at home and shopping online, you must make sure your business and website’s functionality is set up to attract and retain these customers.

Lightspeed has put together a fantastic list of resources to help retailers to stay safe, informed and productive throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to find this.

Here are some of the ways you can rethink your website’s design and features, to convert customers and grow the ecommerce side of your business:

1. Offer checkout as a guest

Capturing a potential customer’s data is a great way to send future marketing content, however 23% of purchases are abandoned when customers are made to create a user account. To avoid losing out on potential business, offer the option of completing a purchase without creating a customer account.

2. Consider reducing delivery costs

With 93% of frequent online shoppers being encouraged to make more purchases if the shipping is free, reducing or removing delivery costs could make all the difference when it comes to making sales. If this is not possible due to margins, consider adding value, offering discounted delivery on orders over a certain value.

3. Highlight the remaining steps

Customers like to know what to expect, so make it clear. An enormous 27% of people leave their shopping carts because they don’t have enough time to complete the transaction. This creates an opportunity to stand out with a transparent purchasing process, so number the steps remaining until the end of the purchasing process and keep customers engaged.

4. Be honest with fees

Now is a time where customer loyalty is vital. People are taking to social media to share their positive experiences, and similarly, their disappointments. Avoid hiding additional fees or information which may come as an unpleasant surprise further into customers’ purchase. Show transparency from the start to keep customers happy and loyal.

5. Outline your shipping and returns policy

With a degree of uncertainty in every industry, customers want to know where they stand if they make a purchase. Some retailers are offering extended returns policies and keeping customers updated with the whereabouts of their order. By doing this, customers remain informed, reducing customer service enquiries while giving confidence in your brand.

6. Optimise your website

Make sure your website is responsive and optimised for use on different devices. Speed up your website wherever possible and make sure it is user-friendly, however a customer is viewing your site. 42% of the population claim that their mobile devices are most important for finding information while shopping. In addition to this, 47% of online shoppers expect a page load time to be less than two seconds. Create a site that enhances users’ experiences, to avoid sending customers to competitors.

7. Introduce live chat

When a customer has a question, they expect the answer there and then. If they can’t find the answer, they are likely to abandon their purchase. Live chat brings the benefits of human interaction and is a close match for instore customer service, however this can be done remotely and adds a personal touch to online shopping.

Click here to see Lightspeed’s ‘14 tips to preventing shopping cart abandonment’ guide.

Holly Worthington

Holly Worthington

Holly brings a wealth of experience in both print and digital publishing. As Modern Retail's Content Editor, Holly is passionate about helping independent retailers to thrive in today's ever-changing market.