eCommerce Business Survival Tips During a Recession
It would be fair to say that the world is changing. People are reconsidering their priorities, changing their spending patterns and reducing their travel. Many people are choosing to work from home, and are making financial decisions about their future.
Where does this leave eCommerce based businesses though?
Yes, there will most likely be a decrease in sales., and for some, a significant decrease. Businesses which have only an eCommerce presence though, do have the advantage over a bricks and mortar store. With fewer expenses (ie, no commercial rent), they are better placed to ride out a recession by implementing some well considered strategies right now.
Strategies to Help Your eCommerce Business Through a Recession
If seeking out new customers wasn't hard enough, things just got tougher. Customers are (or are about to) tighten their belts on unnecessary expenses. This is completely understandable, and most likely you are doing the same. It doesn't make things easier though, especially when you are relying upon the income your website sales produce.
Then there's the supply issues to consider. With many products being out of stock and delays in shipping, if you are relying upon goods to create your products or for reselling, you'll also be in a difficult position.
With no control over what is happening in regards to the recession, you need to move to controlling what you can. This means taking action now to help your business continue to operate and be in a great position when the economy starts to improve.
- focus on your existing customers - even in good times, it is easier to sell to someone who knows and has a relationship with your business than someone who doesn't. Keeping in front of your customers also means that they are more likely to buy from you when they need it.
- widen your reach - consider posting overseas if you don't already. Target potential customers in different locations than you currently are.
- work on your website - consider giving your website a makeover, improving the content, appearance and usability.
- grow your product base -start investigating new products and opportunities. Is there a new problem your customers are having that you can solve for them?
- re-purpose existing content - take the time to refresh the written content you already have on your website. Is it still relevant? How can you improve it further?
- build your SEO - your website's SEO is what gets it found in search engine results. We already know that SEO requires ongoing efforts and that does not deliver instantaneous results. This makes it the ideal time to spend time on improving what you have already got to start being found on page one of Google when times get better.
- keep your website live - your website is live 24/7 meaning that customers can visit and shop all the time. Cancelling your website means you lose that ability to sell, be found by search engines and when you do go live again in the future, must start at the very bottom search rankings all over again. All of the work you have done on your website rankings is destroyed by taking your website offline. Keeping an online presence also means you remain on your customer's radars and when they do need something you have, they'll reach out because you already have that relationship with them.
- look for new marketing strategies - as well as being active on social media, adding your business to our NZ only business directory and sending out regular newsletters, look for new ways of reaching your customer base. This can mean getting creative with your marketing approaches and testing things out. For some this could mean traditional paid advertising, but for others, free or low cost methods! Take a read of this article, 32 Free Marketing Ideas to Help Your Business During Tough Times for some brilliant ones!
Finally, networking with other business owners is a great way of sharing and receiving new ideas. Come and join our free Facebook group Business Networking NZ now.