What We’re Reading: 5 Stories on How the Coronavirus is Impacting Ecommerce | Coronavirus Series
Editor’s Note: This article is part of a series that explores the impact the coronavirus crisis is having on the world of ecommerce. Explore daily insights surrounding the coronavirus crisis or check out these additional resources to help you navigate your marketing strategy during this time.
The coronavirus is having a widespread impact on the world of ecommerce. Now more than ever, brands are relying on their online businesses to keep them afloat while they’ve temporarily shuttered physical locations and come to terms with working amid this new normal.
Here a few stories we recently read that may provide you with some helpful insight about what’s happening across the broader world of ecommerce.
Source: Retail Dive
With millions of people staying home and practicing social distancing to help flatten the curve and slow the spread of the coronavirus, consumers are increasingly shopping online.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a boon in store for online businesses.
As consumer shopping habits shift and brands continue to grapple with supply chain issues, the impact of the coronavirus is being felt across many sectors in the world of ecommerce.
“In the past several weeks, over 100 retailers — both legacy and DTC — have temporarily shuttered their doors or reduced hours to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. For digitally native brands, which operate few stores relative to more traditional players, the move to operating exclusively online, in theory, should have come with little disruption to business. But that hasn’t been the case.”
As brands deal with shifting consumer spending habits, many are realizing that building a community of brand loyalists and creating engaging content can help to keep their brand top of mind, even when people may not be spending as they normally would.
Many online businesses can take a page of out the playbook of fashion brands worldwide.
Long-known for creating in-person experiential events, fashion brands have been evolving these in-person events to virtual gatherings, which will likely have a place in their playbooks after the crisis passes.
“Fashion brands have increasingly looked to events to build a community, but in the days of coronavirus, when gatherings are impossible, many are taking those in-person events online. From workout classes to coffee meet-ups, brands are finding that doing events online isn’t just a stopgap replacement for hosting live events, but they can also improve on their former event model since they allow for more opportunities for data gathering and scale.”
Source: Marketing Dive
Consumers seems to be feeling like business-as-usual marketing messages are tone deaf. People are increasingly tuned into brands that communicate how they’re taking care of their people, how they’re ethically handling the crisis, and how they’re doing their part to give back to their communities and those on the front lines.
“Edelman’s trust barometer has previously identified a shift in consumer sentiment where more people are valuing the actions of brands over institutions like the media and government. That trend has jumped to the forefront of the conversation in a more significant way as countries around the world scramble to respond to a pandemic that has resulted in a climbing human toll and upturned industries.”
Source: Modern Retail
With more than 90 percent of Americans under stay-at-home orders, many states have made exemptions and deemed warehouse workers as essential personnel, which raises the question—how are online businesses protecting their warehouse workers during these unsettling times?
“As the coronavirus outbreak drags on and more Americans do their shopping online, there’s been a greater focus on the working conditions in warehouses, and whether or not companies are doing enough to protect their workers from contacting the coronavirus.”
Source: Business Insider
And now, some good news.
We continue to hear stories about businesses across the country that have pivoted from their normal operations and are now using their supplies, equipment, and resources to manufacture goods, like face shields, to help frontline workers who are dealing with shortages of personal protective equipment.
Here’s the story of one brand, Flowfold, that’s doing just that.
“The Maine-based company Flowfold got its start roughly a decade ago, when its three co-founders started selling wallets out of a car trunk for beer money…Now, they’re one of the many small and large American companies that have pivoted entire factories to producing vital medical supplies and personal protective equipment in the fight against the novel coronavirus.”
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