It is not strange. One of the speculated scenarios suggests that consumers will migrate their physical purchases to the online store, even more so as this confined situation continues over time.
And the truth is that this is already a true reality, because restrictions on mobility are driving a boom in the online home supply of food products.
Online pharmacies in countries such as Spain and the U.S. have also increased their sales between 100% and 1,500% because of the pandemic and are afraid of running out of supplies of gels, hand sanitizers, gloves and thermometers.
And although online purchases have initially shifted to basic necessities such as food and health care, many expect that the increase in free time and convenience will eventually lead to an increase in online shopping in other sectors.
The first to benefit are online services and downloading of video games, followed by other goods also linked to leisure, such as physical games, toys or books, among others.
And if the situation of isolation is prolonged, other sectors will also see their e-commerce increase their sales, as long as the consumer is able to overcome his feeling of logical stress and anxiety in the face of this crisis.
In any case, the reality of online sales will be very different depending on the sector, there is no doubt. And even regardless of the product, some experts have expressed doubts about the role of ecommerce as a retail lifeline with arguments that are based on a feeling responsible for most economic shocks: fear.
If conditions worsen, consumers could panic and contract their omnican consumption, accentuating a global economic crisis with impact on both physical and digital media.
In contrast, other experts argue that if the health crisis is prolonged, and as consumers turn to digital stores, their purchasing behavior will be affected in the long term by favoring the online environment.
This is not the first time that changes in purchasing behavior based on environmental, economic or sociological factors have had a definitive impact on future purchasing behavior.
In fact, it has been proven that consumers who switch their purchases to e-commerce and mobile devices during the vacation season will continue to do so in the future, with an increase in the percentage of digital sales after the vacation. Sometimes it’s all a matter of habit.
As a result, uncertainty and mixed opinion prevail when it comes to giving e-commerce a role in the face of the coronavirus crisis. An opportunity for some, a role of little relevance for others.
In any case, there are several pitfalls that the desirable e-commerce drive has to overcome in the face of this crisis: problems in the supply chain, logistics service and delivery times, etc.
It is true that ecommerces with suppliers in China will obviously be affected, and if there is a rise in demand for certain products the first problem we will find is a certain shortage. But we’d better leave for another time the effect that the coronavirus in China will have on the global economy, because talking about other problems such as large-scale stock-outs would be a different matter.
What e-commerce really needs to achieve right now is shorter supplies and delivery times at a time when consumers value fast delivery more than ever.
Be that as it may, it’s time for businesses to devote all their assets and energy to driving consumer demand in the online environment, which means devoting the necessary effort to designing effective digital marketing strategies.
Digital strategies for the crisis
The goal for retail in these tough times should not be to sell, but to remember their social responsibility, to support their reputation, to foster loyalty and to build loyalty.
In moments like these, never before experienced, brands must work to be remembered. And digital marketing offers the best channels to spread the right messages to be remembered.
Do you have a business and want to reinforce the image of your online store in these hard times of the coronavirus? This is what we propose:
Reinforce your branding
– It is important to offer messages of trust and to convey your values and commitment to the situation we are all living. Let your customers know that they are the most important thing for you, and that because of your responsibility to everyone (including your team) the physical stores will remain closed but not your website, where you wait for them with surprises.
– Transfer solidarity and friendship. Make your public feel that you share their fears and that you are there to tuck them in. Send messages that generate empathy and emotional bonding. In these days, we have been able to receive messages like
For you and by you . Always by your side because together we are more. (Cortefiel)
Together we will overcome it. Because we don’t know what we are capable of until we do.
Entertain, attract and connect
– Write tips with proposals, advice and suggestions for spending these days of confinement at home. Spread them through channels such as your blog, email or social networks where your audience is located.
– If you have the chance, share activities in a virtual way. You can agree on collaborations with coaches to offer personal training, or with other professionals to offer talks or other activities depending on what you want.