Intuitively, stores that sell online should be making a whole lot of profit during the COVID-19 pandemic regardless of the kind of product or service you offer. After all, everyone is stuck at home — and understandably more willing to shop online instead of at a traditional retailer to avoid putting themselves and others at medical risk. But the truth is, most smaller online stores have seen better days. In this post, I will be sharing How Online Shops Can Take Advantage of the Lockdown to grow their businesses.
The primary challenge is that smaller shops often don’t have the logistics networks that companies like Amazon do. Consequently, they’re seeing substantially delayed delivery timelines, especially if they ship internationally. Customers obviously aren’t thrilled about that reality. And in many cases, they’re requesting refunds at a staggering rate.
How Online Shops Can Take Advantage of the Lockdown
If you have shopped with Jumia in the past, you’ll notice a huge increase in shopping and delivery fees. This is to curb the negative effects of the pandemic and an increase in the timeline for each delivery.
One thing to note from this Jumia use case scenario is that rather than stop operation, they strengthened their customer support and became available to almost everyone to attend to queries. Although they are a big company and most small online shops do not measure up to them in any way.
Point is, the pandemic while it has some good effects on online businesses, has also affected a whole lot more negatively. One way to retain customers is through life chats and customer support. However, for some small businesses, it could mean extra expenses they are not prepared to spend.
Thankfully Artificial Intelligence is presenting a more budget-friendly way of handling customer support tickets through the use of Chatbots. While AI poses a greater threat to the jobs of many, one cannot overlook its impact on businesses globally. Building a Chatbot for your online business is relatively cheap as compared to having human agents and the Chatbot is always available as long as the business website is up.
Businesses should, as a matter of fact, leverage on this technology to grow their online businesses and retain existing customers through effective customer support handling while the world is on lockdown.
Another way to take advantage of the lockdown as an online business owner is to partner with an existing company with a huge budget that can handle logistics such as delivery and shipping for your small business. This will save you a whole lot of time and expenses involved in setting up a new delivery and tracking system.
Finally, advertise your business regularly through social media such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. It is common math, as people are at home, they tend to spend most of their time with their phone surfing the internet and majorly on social media platforms. Creating a targeted advert on one of these social.media channels gives your business that extra push and in turn helps you take advantage of the lockdown. However, you would need to have some knowledge of digital marketing or you can hire someone to help you run your social media adverts.
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