Sustaining growth during COVID-19
“As patterns begin to emerge in response to news events of this nature, it will be imperative for companies to learn from these scenarios so they can sustain growth even in times where COVID-19 has uprooted people’s lives. These patterns will help provide leading and trailing indicators to those trying to understand how people will respond as developments continue to play out at different times in different countries.”
— Scott McKenzie, Nielsen’s Global Intelligence Leader
In a time of economic uncertainty, any company with an online presence needs to ensure that its website is as pandemic-primed as possible. In this article, we will cover how best to allay website visitors’ concerns regarding ordering products online or requesting remote or in-person services.
The main questions and concerns to address include:
- Are you open and operating over the usual business hours?
- Are you still offering the same services?
- Have your services changed or adapted and, if so, how are you currently carrying out your services? Are they compliant with current government guidelines? For example, do your customers need to wear masks?
For eCommerce companies, it is imperative to address the below FAQs:
- Are your products still in stock or are you experiencing any shortages?
- If you’re struggling with fulfilment issues, when do you expect your next delivery to arrive and will products be ready for dispatch immediately?
- Is your delivery service provider experiencing any delays or disruptions? Are you able to offer free or discounted delivery if so?
- Do you offer discounts for key workers?
We have tested several ways to update website visitors on changes to services during the coronavirus crisis across our clients’ websites and have found the following to be the most effective:
1. Add an announcement bar to your homepage and/or throughout the website
Inform the visitor of any major changes to your services or product availability. This can be a simple short sentence.
For questions about how the coronavirus Covid-19 will effect our services and your move please click here.
COVID-19 Update. We are still open for business and taking orders. Some delivery options may have changed. if you require information about our current delivery please contact us on 0203 411 2680
Tip: add an announcement bar to the top of the website with an exit functionality in the form of an ‘X’. Pop-up boxes can be quite intrusive and increase your bounce rate, so try to avoid these if possible.
2. Add full coronavirus COVID-19 information to your ‘Contact Us’ or ‘Delivery and Returns’ page
You can highlight this by providing a link to the relevant page via your announcement bar/coronavirus update:
ASOS.com has addressed every conceivable concern a prospective or recent customer may have with regard to any changes of service: delivery, returns and refunds, and product and stock availability.
Be as thorough as possible and provide information in a sensical and easy-to-navigate manner when adding or editing your product and service changes.
3. Address out-of-stock availability and add a ‘pre-order’ option if possible
If products are due back in stock within a reasonable time frame then you could offer a pre-order purchase option.
Remember to inform the customer of your lead time:
If you are unable to process pre-order transactions on your site, you could still capture prospective customers’ contact details via a ‘Back in stock notification’ email field. Again, provide a lead time if known and possible.
4. For bonus points – offer discounts or promotions
Special offers and promotions could be made available to the general public, or just key workers, in order to support the community during the crisis.
We’ve observed the following discounts and offers in light of the coronavirus lockdown:
- Free delivery
- Percentage discounts, 10% or higher, for key/NHS workers
- Extended returns policies of up to 90 days
These make great USPs and can be highlighted across your website in order to boost conversion rate.
Our clients’ results
We’ve analysed changes to our clients’ website performance using Google Analytics and Google Ads (Google Adwords) since the above changes were carried out…
Security post provider
- Average session duration: 12% increase
- Ecommerce conversion rate: 445% increase
- Transactions: 400% increase
- Revenue: 3,044% increase
- ROI: 260% increase
Apr 20, 2020-Apr 24, 2020 compared to: Apr 15, 2020-Apr 19, 2020
Independent online butchers
- Average session duration:
- Ecommerce conversion rate: 42% increase
- Transactions: 52% increase
- Revenue: 55% increase
- ROI: 81% increase
Apr 21, 2020-Apr 23, 2020 compared to: Apr 18, 2020-Apr 20, 2020
Reassurance = increased conversion rate
You can see that our clients’ data above shows noticeable performance improvement over a short period of time. Total clarity and certainty will provide a more positive user experience for your website visitors, so be sure to carry out our suggested steps if you have not updated your website already.
Are you maximising your return-on-investment online?
A large number of online retailers are managing to thrive during this lockdown, with a nation heading online to shop for essentials (and non-essentials) to establish some sort of sense of normality.
Retail and FMCG are among some of the fastest-growing e-commerce categories at present. If you currently sell products online, or would like to take your business online, then we can help. Get in touch with us by scheduling a call with one of our experts or calling us on 0203 411 2680.