If you were asked at the turn of 2020 what you thought this year had in store, I can’t imagine you would have answered “international travel bans, national lockdowns and widespread panic”. It’s fair to say that everyone, in some way, has been affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Whether you’ve fallen ill, had to change your working pattern or know a friend who has lost their job, the chances are that you’ve witnessed, first hand, how devastating this virus has been on people’s health and the economy. Unfortunately the transmission of Covid-19 has impacted us all and has changed the way we live our lives, including the way we spend our money. Continue reading to find out how this pandemic is likely to impact online businesses and what options you have when it comes to seeking support.
For some online businesses a loss in revenue will be inevitable and for others the social distancing and lockdown laws may work in their favour, it really depends on the product they are selling. The number of ecommerce transactions have significantly increased since the advice from the health minister was shared with the nation. As people were advised to stay at home, naturally, online shopping became more popular. At this uncertain time, people turned to online shopping for their essentials while sales of luxury items declined. As Woolworths and Coles struggled to keep up with the demand, unfortunately, smaller more high end businesses couldn’t make a sale. The government launched schemes to support business owners and employees which saw jobkeeper payments, economic support payments and a moratorium on evictions being offered in the hope to ease the pressure.
It’s essential for all businesses to adapt to the changes in the current climate. Whether you’ve seen an increase in sales or you’re losing custom, making changes to the way you work will allow you to move with the times and keep up with your competitors. If you’ve seen an increase in traffic to your site during the pandemic and your products are flying off the shelf then you’ll need to take regular inventories and ensure you have enough product to fulfil the growing demand. Use data to predict what “hot ticket” items you are likely to sell out of and stock up. If you’ve seen a decline in sales then you may want to rethink your strategy. Could you offer next day delivery to stand out from your rivals or have an end of season sale to attract more customers. The changes you make should attract more people to your site and increase your revenue.
You’ll need to update policies in line with the changes you make in relation to government advice. Online businesses have to make accommodations for employees. If they aren’t able to work from home then you’ll have to make some changes regarding health and safety and infection control in the workplace. Social distancing and access to safe workspaces are essential and you’ll need to update your policies in line with this. Hand sanitiser and cleaning equipment will need to be accessible for all and your staff should feel safe at work. If you fail to adhere to the new government recommendations you could see yourself with a hefty fine for your complacency.
This global pandemic is set to impact your online business in terms of revenue. Whether you see an increase in profit or a reduced number of sales you’ll need to make changes that reflect the current climate. Adapting to overcome this challenge is the best way to thrive in difficult times.
Author | Emily Forbes
An Entrepreneur, Mother & A passionate tech writer in the technology industry!