While the coronavirus pandemic has caused the shutdown and bankruptcy of many businesses, it has also ushered fresh opportunities for many e-commerce sellers. As people dabble on the latest WHO counts, their behavior and preferences are also changing to align with the set precautionary measures.
With this changing consumer behavior, businesses are also revamping their systems and operations to stay relevant. That applies to e-commerce platforms as well. From the supply chain to e-commerce expansion or adoption, changes have to occur to stay ahead of the game.
In this article, we’ll show you some of the trends to know as a seller to keep you going with your business and to boost higher sales despite the impacts of Covid19.
Impact of Covid19 on Customer Behavior
The latest reports show that more than 52% of customers are observing social distancing and trying to avoid crowded markets and shopping stores. As a result, more and more are finding themselves online to shop for their daily needs and wants, regardless of the category. But here is the catch. It is not only about the surging orders online but also the nature of the purchase or demand.
Many of the most prominent online retail players have shared their plans to boost their sales in e-commerce. However, the pandemic hastened the process, and these plans came spiraling out of control for some players. Sure. There are e-commerce sites that were prepared to deal with unexpected circumstances, but many were trapped without backup.
As customers suddenly began purchasing products from categories that were not foreseen to go trending at such a short period. That shows us that consumer behavior is mostly correlated with user behavior at the time of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Impacts of ovid19 by Major Industries
Given that we’re facing a pandemic, many of you may think that the Health sector would see the most significant share in the search results. For instance, pharmaceutical companies are supposed to see the highest spikes in the stock market or on online platforms. But that is not entirely true.
That is because people are only focused on worrying about their health nowadays but also on matters relating to how they can cope and make the most out of the situation. In other words, they are always thinking about how to get through the crisis while meeting their needs, including finances and emotional support.
With more people adopting the “new normal,” the categories seeing the highest spikes to date are related to hobbies or leisure.
In the latest SEMrush volatility report, books and literature showed the highest change, followed by hobbies-leisure, people-society, health, pets-animals, and science. While health remains at the top five, the higher ranking categories show customers’ pressing demands for the moment.
During the outbreak of the Covid19, consumers were mostly searching about health-related products and services to protect themselves. But with the lockdowns in place, people are now searching for ways to protect themselves while living in a limited social space and how to augment their daily needs.
Now, let us have a breakdown in every industry showing the highest increase in traffic to give you better insights while revamping your e-commerce site.
Impact of Covid19 on Consumer Goods Demand
Image Credit: William Potter | Shutterstock.com
The data and information presented here are based on the latest findings of SEMrush. Even other agencies provide similar results. Presenting these will help businesses implement new measures to cope with the new normal while ensuring customer appeal and relevance.
Books and Literature
Although books and literature have been ranking high even before the pandemic, data shows that they have the highest spikes in search volume at more than 16%. Audiobooks such as Audible and Scribd have also surged in rankings, and the trend continues until today. Websites such as Chegg and Scholastic have also seen increasing traffic, especially since students are forced to stay and study from home.
With a traffic increase of 9%, the health e-commerce sector is taking the web by storm. That comes as no surprise as people tend to be health-conscious and are aggressively searching for ways to boost their immune system. Among the leading pharmaceutical players with the highest growth are Riteaid, CVS, and Walgreens. Smaller companies have also made it to the list. Goodrx, a telemedicine startup, has now become the third most visited health site. Through this site, users can access the rates of drugs, including discounts.
As authorities implement stay-at-home policies, your house turns into a multipurpose structure- a learning center, an office, a restaurant, or a gym. Some can’t help it but search for home décor to enhance their homes and make it as conducive and convenient. The same home décor brands which have been on the top list even before Covid19 remain the most frequented websites. Among these are Pottery Barn, HomeDepot, and IKEA. Growth for this category stands at 7%.
Although retail’s 5% traffic increase may seem pale compared to the above industries, that’s still a massive surge since it has over 14 billion monthly traffic. That means it gained more than 2.5 billion new traffic within just three months. The figure is staggering, and it’s no surprise given that many brick-and-mortar retail has been closed or regulated. That compels consumers to browse online for almost everything they want and need.
With a few taps on the screen, they can now order necessities, from food to gadgets. That is why many of the top e-commerce companies remain on top of listings while others have seen an increase in ranking.
Ask Amazon, the biggest e-commerce player out there. Since the Covid19 outbreak, it has seen a surge in its Amazon referral fees and other monetization drives.
Despite the stay-at-home policy, many consumers still dabble on fashion. That’s understandable as the pandemic is just temporary, and after it, people will inevitably start trooping to public areas. Adding to the fashion’s appeal is the fact the many brands market their product via discounts and other perks. These past three months alone saw more than 2.6 billion people visiting sites such as H&M, Nike, Wildberries, and Macy’s.
What Should e-commerce Sellers Do Now?
Now that we’ve covered which industries have the highest spike in terms of traffic, let’s now see the concrete practices e-commerce sellers should implement. One thing is clear here- the Covid19 boosted the e-commerce industry, and the new normal will surely sustain that condition.
Still, consumer behaviors will continue to adjust depending on the policies in place and their preferences. As more people go online, e-commerce habits will become stickier. That means that you might not feel your business growing the way you projected in the short term. But in the long run, your e-commerce site will most likely double or triple in sales.
For existing online sellers
- Immediate Action: Incorporate the latest information about your business on your Google My Business page. This is also a critical strategy in SEO as search engines prefer to rank sites that are continuously updated.
- Implement efficient and consistent practices to increase your pages’ rankings, drive more traffic, and improve customer experience. That leads to higher conversions and sales. Again, it’s imperative to create an effective plan to boost the customer experience and then smoothly implement it to make the most out of the trend.
- Be present on various channels. E-commerce optimization involves a robust presence across different platforms and marketplaces such as Google Shopping, Amazon, Facebook e-commerce, Aliexpress, and eBay. Moreover, you should remain active on social media and various review forums. In that way, you can enjoy the perks and benefits of these multiple channels and platforms. This strategy will also make it easier for you to scale your business and reach your customers.
For those who’re still to sell online
- Put up an online store, especially if your business is a brick-and-mortar setup. Think about this. Covid19 radically changed and spurred the shopping behavior of consumers. In the future, they will more likely source their needs online, so they no longer have to endure the queues and risks of malls. Even Walmart, the world’s biggest brick-and-mortar business, developed its online platform.
For startups, you can introduce in your social media marketing some online contests or promotional vouchers to drive users to your site. With an online presence, you will not only sustain your existing customers but also get access to new traffic who will spur your business growth. So what are you waiting for? Get online right away, and as you gradually establish your authority, you’ll soon see dramatic results.
- Take advantage of existing buyers’ demand to get a slice of the market pie. How? Promote your products or services on the most active marketplaces related to your