While the holiday season has recently taken its place in today’s retail conversation, it’s already felt like Christmas for some time for many e-commerce companies.
January through July 2020 drove $434.5 billion in online spend, according to Adobe. Order volumes have gone through the roof, and package volume is at a record high, with major carriers like FedEx and UPS struggling to keep up their delivery promises. According to Quantum Metric, the situation demonstrates a shopping urgency that is typical of Cyber Mondays and the holiday season with online conversion rates increasing up to 8.8% in February.
Post-COVID, shopping behavior of customers has undergone a dramatic change. It seems that this tectonic shift may have an everlasting impact on how shoppers purchase items.
A sudden spike in e-commerce sales can be overwhelming in the current situation, especially considering supply chains and last-mile networks may be congested due to disruptions. Here are pointers for e-commerce retailers to deal with the staggering order volume:
- Since demands are increasing immensely, there’s the question of online businesses having enough commodities and items in stock. You cannot afford to run out of inventory.
- If you are unable to manage the surge in orders, you can always regulate your pricing and adjust your promotions to slow down your sales. This gives you a breather to streamline processes.
- Invest in technology to automate order management and order fulfillment processes. Mobilize open communication across departments to operate with greater efficiency.
- Revisit order delivery estimates on your shipping page. Factor in for additional delays to set the right expectation with shoppers.
- Share frequent in-transit order movement updates with shoppers. Intervene in case of delivery exceptions such as delays, lost or damaged orders to offer a superior delivery experience to customers.
- Seek order-purchase feedback from shoppers to incrementally improve the on-site shopping experience.
- Inspire customer loyalty and brand stickiness by over-delivering on your promises. Surprise giveaways or promoting discounts for repeat customers can go a long way in building brand following.
The current pandemic has proven to be an unexpected boost for e-commerce. However, the success of an online business will be defined by the ability to capitalize on opportunities and ride the wave of high demand. The key differentiator being delivering an online shopping experience that mirrors in-store retail.
Simon Perkins is a shipping cost management expert at AuditShipment.com, a real-time parcel monitoring and AI-powered audit service that provides businesses with deep shipping intelligence and actionable cost recovery insights.