How Online Stores Stayed Afloat During the Pandemic

The pandemic changed the way business was done for everyone. Even eCommerce stores found themselves having to adapt, both to supply chain differences and a different way of doing business, along with a much higher consumer demand. The result was a bit rocky to begin with but resulted in stunning numbers that today are shocking even the most studied market pros. 

Even despite the job loss, the layoffs, mass closures, and other financial devastation, eCommerce sales hit $26.7 trillion and are still on the rise. So, how have companies managed to stay on top amid the rapidly sinking ship of an unstable and unreliable economy? There are several strategies at play here, and every company will tell you their own tale of how they got through the toughest times, but the main focus is on two key elements:

  • Adaptability
  • Agility

Moreover, the pandemic taught us that business is not about who has the best idea; or who even has the most money for marketing. Instead, this pandemic showed that business is about who can deliver in the face of adversity! Who can stand up and roll with the punches? Or who can sit down and take a hit and even make a swinging come-back?

Brands that can adapt to any unfortunate event while taking an agile approach to improvement are going to be successful; even outside of the pandemic. Moreover, flexibility is often what separates the success of the brands that had to close their doors. 

Pandemic Interruptions to Supply Chain and Other Factors

Bear in mind that, in this article, we are referring to the businesses that did not have favorable odds; or that had to experience any extreme effects of the COVID-19 shutdown.

There were many businesses and online stores that were forced out by many conflicts. From supply chain issues to the inability to ship orders. In addition, receiving stock, or a lack of income due to slow business also made an impact.  

Almost every business saw a downturn during the pandemic. Profits fell at first as the world became very uncertain. Nonetheless, as more time went on, the more brands learned to adapt and started to recover those profits. Also, the help of government stimulus funds and loan programs helped many businesses. However, there were a ton of factors at play; which is what makes it such a tricky road to navigate for some. 

Small businesses especially suffered as a result of the pandemic. Businesses that were already working with limited resources were pushed further to the edge as people dialed back their niche shopping; while shoppers shifted their focus to buying essentials. In this vein, some brands thrived because they did have the essentials that people sought—paper products, cleaning supplies, masks—all of the items that were in high demand saw good business throughout the pandemic. 

Adapt to Your Audience

The most successful online retailers in the pandemic were the ones that were able to see the changing needs of their shoppers; as well as and respond in a timely manner.

If your store were able to adapt to the new way of online shopping, your chances were better. Nonetheless, analytics aren’t showing a lot of results just yet, but you can nearly guarantee that when you adapt to your audience and their behavior, you’ll be able to continue to thrive as many brands did throughout the pandemics. 

Take Advantage of the Market Craze

Even though people are short on cash these days, in general, some people are in a better place than before. They’re spending less on commuting and going out, so they’ve got more disposable income and they are looking to spend, spend, spend. Take advantage of this and make sure that you embrace it for all that it’s worth. 

This could be a great time to test new products, test new ad markets, and even engage with your existing customer base to see what they want and what they perceive as the future of eCommerce. The best way to do this is through the use of social media, which can help you connect with people in a forum that works for them. 

Brands will tell you that even in the worst of times if you’re agile enough to deliver something that people want, you’ll find the buyers coming in droves. 

Use the Downtime Wisely

Taking the time during the pandemic to improve the business was on a lot of agendas. Several companies went out of their way to plan renovations at the last minute or move up projects so that they could handle things while business was slow, creating a win-win. This allows them to use organically low-traffic times to do things throughout the business and then be on point when there are a lot of customers who need their assistance. 

In the vein of being adaptable and agile, now is a great time to update your website, improve your SEO, revamp your landing pages, and come up with changes that will design a better user experience and help you deliver the next level of online solutions as we go into the future uncertain about where it will take us, but certain that online shopping has become the norm. 

Use Resources Wisely, Too 

In being adaptable, many brands have started looking for a better way to deliver their service to their audience. In this, people are finding that they can connect with 3PL providers to handle all of the logistics and shipping for their ecommerce store. This helps cut down on overhead and operating costs, avoids the hassles of dealing with shippers directly, and allows everyone to have a better experience. 

A third-party logistics provider will be able to walk you through the entire process from start to finish and take care of everything from picking, packing, and inventory management to shipping, returns, and more. It’ll cut your logistics costs significantly, and save you a lot of time and hassle. While 3PL might not guarantee that your business stays afloat, it will definitely improve your odds by slashing your budget and your to-do list.