In the year 2020, the whole world stood still.
The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world upside down.
Governments all over the world put in place various health measures. They want to safeguard both local and international populations from the deadly virus.
These protective measures included countries going into lockdown.
It also means factories are being closed indefinitely. Travel is heavily restricted, especially when it comes to the global dropshipping market.
Until today, public health and safety is still the top priority of most countries.
Economic production and commercial interest needed to take the seat.
We are literally fighting for our lives, after all!
All of these measures significantly impact the global supply chain that heavily relies on the free movement of goods.
A lot of people felt the drastic change within the eCommerce business.
Manufacturers, suppliers, logistics companies… even business development managers, market intelligence managers, national sales managers…
The point is, that they continue to suffer disruptions to their operations from the imposed measures.
What does this mean for your eCommerce business?
Your products are very likely experiencing extensive delays on their way to your customers.
As the pandemic rages on, we can tell that…
It’s A Grim And Uncertain New Reality
The major shipping hubs are in China and North America. And even as factories in these places begin to slowly reopen…
Many logistics companies slowed their operations down to a trickle.
This decision forces some cargo terminals to shut down due to the low volume of packages.
And industry participants within the land aren't the only ones affected.
Air transport also took a huge hit. Shipping services are severely affected. Passenger services that usually carry cargo came to a near-complete halt.
At that stage, no one knew for sure when manufacturers and suppliers would be able to resume normal operations.
Some key opinion leaders specializing in the industry estimated that lockdowns might need to last over a year.
Now, two years later, we still might not know the “old” normal again.
One of the World Health Organization’s top experts even revealed that COVID-19 is not likely to completely go away. Rather, it will keep resurging in smaller waves.
…But There’s Some Good News!
Here’s a silver lining for eCommerce businesses…
Packages do not pose any health risk to customers.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did not find any evidence to suggest that COVID-19 can be transmitted through imported goods and packages.
Yes, all the delays and restrictions hinder global trade and some businesses' market revenue; but whatever goods that get shipped do not present a danger of infection to the recipients.
Yes, the coronavirus can be easily transmitted from one person to another through respiratory droplets from coughs or sneezes.
But it doesn't generally survive for long on surfaces.
A recent study from UCLA suggests that the COVID-19 virus can survive for up to 24 hours on cardboard. It can stay up to two or three days on plastic and stainless steel.
This means that the risk of it spreading through the products or packaging that were shipped over several days or weeks is more or less non-existent.
As I said... All is not lost!
With the various ongoing technological developments, let me tell you…
Why This Can Actually Be The Best Time To Get Into eCommerce?
As you may already know, there are low barriers to entry when you set up a Shopify store because of its low cost.
Seasoned eCommerce brand owners have to scale back on their operations due to shipping issues.
And for many potential new entrants, this situation can be discouraging.
The fear, uncertainty, and economic anxiety surrounding this pandemic stop them from starting out.
Now, let me tell you why this can be the best time to enter eCommerce.
For the few brave entrepreneurs who are willing to take the risk of entering the business now…
The competition is going to be lower than ever.
Consider this: Many brick-and-mortar businesses had to close their doors.
People are spending their time at home more than ever. They need to comply with the necessary social distancing measures.
This means we are all spending way more time on the internet. So, they are more likely to engage in online shopping.
That opens up the market for new and exciting opportunities!
A lot of eCommerce businesses can manage to gain and/or expand their foothold in the market during the pandemic.
When this happens, they will be primed for massive success once the situation clears and lockdowns are lifted.
So, what should you be doing for your Shopify store during and perhaps after the COVID-19 crisis?
Let’s find out…
What Should Your eCommerce Business Do During The COVID-19 Pandemic?
1. Prepare For Delays
With many manufacturing and logistics facilities severely restricted or temporarily closed, you need more attention than ever to your supply chain before continuing to run paid ads and take orders.
You should know which country your dropshipping products are being shipped from, how much stock your dropshipping supplier still has remained, and whether or not they will manage to restock.
You should also know which carrier you are using, and how they are affected by the various government restrictions that are being put on transportation.
If you can, have a backup supplier in another country. Communicate with your dropshipping supplier, but work on the assumption that your products will not be shipped on time.
And that even if they are shipped promptly, there might still be delays due to disruptions to domestic shipping in the destination country. Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.
2. Nail Your Customer Service
This is the time to shine when comes to having great customer service. It’s extremely important that you stay upfront, transparent, and honest with your customers about the situation at hand.
The last thing people need now is dishonest and/or unclear promises or excuses from the businesses they deal with. Inform them to expect delays in shipping, keep them updated with whatever information you have about their products that are being shipped, and also prepare to offer refunds on their purchases.
Fortunately, now more than ever, customers are willing to understand having to endure delays because everyone knows it’s a global crisis. There’s no need to promise unrealistic delivery times you can’t fulfill.
3. Optimize Your SEO, Social Media, And Email Marketing
Focus on streamlining your digital marketing efforts. That includes your SEO strategy, social media platforms, and email marketing.
This pandemic also created a unique content marketing opportunity.
Let me explain how.
People are spending more time on their phones and computers. Use this opportunity to create content for them.
Write engaging, optimized blog posts to bring traffic to your Shopify store. Build your brand and offer added value to your customers in the form of valuable tips.
The SEO blog posts can provide you with a foundation.
You can build a strong social media marketing campaign across various channels.
The blog posts can provide shareable content to publish on these platforms.
Now is also the time to polish your email marketing. Strong email sequences can ensure that none of your visitors slip through the cracks.
And don't forget to revamp the look of your Shopify store with a sleek, attractive layout.
With the developed and emerging markets from research analysts, you can...
4. Learn New Dropshipping Skills And Knowledge
Yep, this goes for everyone... whether you're new to eCommerce or if you have been doing it for a while.
You should take this time to learn as much as you can about highly relevant topics. Look up paid advertising, social media marketing, store design, and branding.
Be updated on crucial progressive industry trends. Hone your research process.
It also does not hurt to do exhaustive secondary research after reading this blog.
Check out Debutify's guides to help you on your promising eCommerce niche.
When this is all behind us, you are set to hit the ground running.
Upskilling is always a good idea. Especially in this period when you have so much time to spare.
There are many courses, YouTube videos, articles, and eBooks available to teach you new ideas and skills.
Plus, it will also keep you distracted from the anxiety that inevitably surrounds this coronavirus pandemic.
The most important thing you need to do is...
5. Stay Safe And Healthy
Do not forget... As the primary human resource of your eCommerce business, you are its most vital and important asset.
Your health is extremely critical to the success of your eCommerce store.
Make sure you follow the prescribed measures of avoiding COVID-19. Reach out for treatment as soon as you feel any symptoms appearing.
Your mental health is extremely important, too. This is a stressful situation we are in. So, exercise regularly, eat healthily, and get enough sleep.
Let me tell you...
Everything Will Be Okay In The End!
It's okay to feel uncertain during these tumultuous times.
Just know this... Everything is gonna be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end.
So keep building on your eCommerce store to go through this tough period!
It's not going to be easy, but it's going to be worth it.
Let Debutify carry the weight off your shoulder! Because it's not your ordinary Shopify theme... it's also your Profit Optimization Partner.
Debutify has 50+ Add Ons. It's everything you need to increase conversions, AOV, and boost profits.
So go ahead and...
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