The effects of COVID-19 and its impact on business activity are still uncertain and difficult to predict. The constant evolutions and the unpredictability of events have forced companies to have a planned response that enables them to cope with any scenario.
E-commerce has become the essential vector for businesses in the midst of the health crisis. E-commerce practices have boosted traditional commerce, providing users with the products they need, easily and efficiently, with only one click. However, a year after the pandemic, B2C and B2B customers have to face new challenges. But, what are these and how do they deal with them?
Let’s take a look.
New e-commerce challenges
#1 Changing purchase habits
It is no secret that the COVID-19 health crisis affected all industries differently, thus impacting certain sectors more strongly. In this sense, how to recover/improve sales in the midst of a health crisis? What value proposition can a company offer to potential customers in order for them to buy a product or service? New purchasing models.
It is necessary to adapt and change shopping patterns to attract customers and retain them in the long term. By betting on customer-centric culture, companies can increase loyalty and drive repeat sales through personalization, which translates into a valuable input for customers. In other words, brands must respond to new customer expectations.
#2 More flexible delivery options
When it comes to buying products online, shipping options are an important factor in the customer experience, as users look for the most convenient shipping options, especially after the partial closures and store reopenings due to the pandemic.
Partial closures and store reopenings can change our perception of the shopping experience. Alternative shipping options are multiplying as customers look for the most suitable option. As e-commerce grows, many retailers are encouraging customers to consider cheaper shipping options such as BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick up In-Store) to reduce costs.
#3 Multichannel salesforce
Today, buyers want to buy on their own terms and in their own channels, and retailers are struggling to meet the pace. Whether it’s through mobile, phone, email, or social media, B2B marketers who control these channels will drive a larger share of customers.
However, multichannel is a more expansive concept. Sometimes, it refers to supporting additional experiences that customers are looking for beyond sales. Some examples include: integrating with other payment providers, offering multiple billing options, or tailored shipping services.
While companies may be facing different e-commerce challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are several technology solutions to help them overcome gaps in customer experience, serve their customers better, and increase their market profit.
Some of these solutions are:
- Workflow engines
It’s important for companies to rely on the right data when interacting with customers. A workflow automation engine can provide order information to customers or customize promotions or suggested products based on shopper interests. Look for e-commerce systems that can automate manual processes to improve sales efficiency.
- 3PL Integration
Shipping and completing orders are not manual processes. Satisfying your customers’ shipping needs relies on B2B e-commerce platforms with robust and flexible integration options. Integration within your logistics service provider and 3PL simplifies the flow of order information and additional data between your shipping partner and your back-office systems.
- ERP Integration
For many e-commerce brands, ERP ( Enterprise Resource Planning) software is their only true source. It merges warehouse inventory data with customer data, their orders, invoices, etc. A robust and flexible ERP integration not only shares crucial data with your e-commerce system but also with your CRM, WMS, 3PL, or eProcurement systems.
Addressing your needs
Any company today needs an online store to optimize the way its business works. Companies that did not have online stores were forced to adapt and migrate online. In the post-COVID-19 era, companies will not make the same mistake again.
Creating a viable website where consumers can spend as a safeguard against another potential outbreak will be crucial in determining success.
At Applaudo, we are specialists in creating a web presence that engages the users and converts your visitors to loyal and paying customers. We can help you build a reliable e-commerce platform or optimize your current one.
We’re here for you
Our fine-tuned combination of processes and tools offers you high-quality, secure, efficient, and usable e-commerce platforms. How about we start with a discovery session?