The behavior of customers in the past few weeks has changed drastically. All the previous research and analysis have suddenly become unreliable. The customer’s priority has gone through unexpected shifts throwing the entire business world off-balance.

As the number of people affected by CoronaVirus increases daily, we cannot deny the blatant truth that’s staring at us. Many businesses have been severely hit, with their sales reducing by 50% or more. However, all bad things come with a silver lining, and this silver lining happens to be for e-commerce businesses and digital marketing agencies. 

Here is how e-commerce businesses and digital marketing agencies are faring due to the shifts in customer behavior.

What Are the Noticeable Changes in E-Commerce Businesses due to the COVID-19 Pandemic?

During the CoronaVirus scare that’s taking over the world, more and more e-commerce businesses have registered noticeable differences since the pandemic has set in.

1. Increasing Activity of Digital Grocery Shopping

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According to a recently conducted survey about consumer activity in shopping for groceries digitally, there has been a noticeable spike in the last month. You can see that in the first week of March, 11% of US adults shopped online more, while it increased to 16% in the second week, 30% in the third week, and ended with a 37% increase in the fourth week of March.

Since many countries are under total lockdown and the number of CoronaVirus victims is increasing, there is a common fear of getting infected with the virus. This makes people look for alternate options to get the essential things they need without stepping outside their homes. 

E-commerce companies selling groceries online have registered a massive surge in orders, so much so that many have to shut down accepting orders for a few days to get back on track. So, as far as the e-commerce websites selling groceries are concerned, these past few weeks have brought in unimaginably more sales and an increased number of new users.

2. Supply Chains Getting Strained

While on the one hand, the orders are pouring in for e-commerce businesses, they are struggling to keep their supply chain adequate to meet the increase in demand. Since people’s movements are restricted due to the lockdown and many employees working in the field are reluctant to put their lives in danger, there is a huge deficiency of qualified employees.

There is a shortage of people manning the warehouses, carrying out orders, and delivering products. This leads to a wide gap in the supply chain.

3. Delays in Deliveries and Transport Issues

Another problem that is becoming quite common among e-commerce businesses is delayed shipping. Some e-commerce service providers, like Amazon, are turning down orders that don’t come under essential goods to ensure they put the entire workforce they have to use properly.

Even with e-commerce service providers trying their best to offer fast turnaround times, there is a significant delay in deliveries. With consumers getting accustomed to Amazon Prime’s two-day delivery services, this delay in delivery is causing unrest among customers waiting for the orders to arrive.

4. Increase in Customer Service Interactions

When people depend on e-commerce companies to deliver essential items and add to it the delays in deliveries, the calls to customer service will increase. 42% of companies are afraid that customer confidence in their services may decrease, which could impact their revenue, according to a recent survey of US retailers by Digital Commerce 360.

Many people get anxious when they don’t get their order delivered on the expected date as they aren’t left with many alternate options. Therefore, customer service channels are filled with many customers inquiring about orders, creating massive backlogs in customer service responses. Many e-commerce websites of small businesses are crashing due to the sudden increase in traffic. During such times, it’s important to have a strong e-commerce website design running on a robust platform to prevent these headaches for you and your customers. You can talk to our e-commerce experts at YellowFin Digital to strengthen your e-commerce website design to prevent these problems.

How Has the CoronaVirus Influenced Digital Marketing?

With the approach of people toward businesses changing, companies are more aware than ever of the marketing strategies they employ. COVID-19 has profoundly impacted digital marketing across numerous industries and is forcing marketers to reconsider their existing strategies. Let’s have a look:

1. Businesses Getting a Wakeup Call Towards Digital Marketing 

Since the traditional form of marketing is taking a hit, there is no other way but to turn towards digital marketing to connect with current and potential customers. Companies that previously didn’t give thought to digital marketing are now taking a hard look at it. 

Many businesses are leaning towards different innovative strategies of digital marketing. You can see significant growth in the efforts to increase organic traffic by offering innovative content to stay in front of potential customers.

2. Reconsidering Online Ad Expenditure

In a recent survey conducted by Digiday towards the end of March 2020, 73% of companies are pausing their marketing spend in the wake of the coronavirus.

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Digital ad spending is down by 33%, according to a survey published by IAB on March 27, 2020. This is attributed to the reduction in marketing expenditure, which is again affected by the company’s revenue. Another reason is that businesses are unsure of how customers think. Advertisements are generally for promoting products or services, and with our world in an uncertain state, marketing products outright may bring negative responses from customers.

So, companies are sticking to the good old organic content, which gives more space to innovate and create better pieces that show the business in the best light.

3. Changes in the Messages Sent Through Digital Marketing

As discussed in the previous point, companies are in no position to toot their own horn about their products. They must be caused and take a more sensitive approach when people are worried about many of the basics of life. 

This is why many marketers have changed the messages conveyed through their marketing. According to a recent IAB survey, there is a 42% increase in mission-based marketing and a 41% increase in cause-based marketing.

Businesses are more careful than ever in how they are perceived and show their support towards the community in these hard times through their well-thought-out marketing strategies. 

4. Increase in Social Media Marketing

According to a survey conducted by the Global Web Index in March 2020, almost 45% of people spend more time on social media. Since many are working from home or taking a break from work to stay safe at home, they tend to spend more time on their social media accounts. So, many companies focus more on social media marketing to interact with their audience directly. 

There is also a jump in influencer marketing on social media. Companies that are investing in social media marketing are now particular about the image they are portraying to their target customers. Creative and user-centric content is what people prefer right now, and businesses are concentrating more on creating non-promotional content. 

The world of e-commerce business and digital marketing is going through a major change in the wake of the CoronaVirus. Companies must adapt to a customer-focused approach and keep in mind that this will pass. But the behavior of the companies during this period won’t be forgotten. So, be it a digital marketing agency or an e-commerce business, companies must tread carefully by keeping sensitive to the current mindset of their customers.