Running Your E-Commerce Business in the Age of the Pandemic


With physical stores closed and much of our population at home indefinitely, digital is, for many, the gold channel available to business owners as a consistent revenue source.

Outside of implications to overall business, with clear impacts on physical channels, supply chain, fulfillment/logistics, there will also be many implications that vary by industry to the digital business as well. The expected sales cycle is gone and unknowns abound. The best and right response is unclear and the new normal is to be determined. However, and as Kevin Roose wrote in his piece for the NYTimes:

But if there is a silver lining in this crisis, it may be that the virus is forcing us to use the internet as it was always meant to be used — to connect with one another, share information and resources, and come up with collective solutions to urgent problems. It’s the healthy, humane version of digital culture we usually see only in schmaltzy TV commercials, where everyone is constantly using a smartphone to visit far-flung grandparents and read bedtime stories to kids

The Coronavirus Crisis Is Showing Us How to Live Online – Kevin Roose for the New York Times

First and foremost, the emphasis on customer service must extend beyond just clients and customer relationships to encompass a more humanistic approach as a whole. With that being said, thinking through a few key areas as it relates to how we partner and things that we should discuss as a team is key to moving through next steps, with success and strategy.

Lead With Empathy

In times of crisis, marketing shifts from transactional to a mastery of creative and messaging. In all that you do, look less at being consumer-centric, and more to being human.

  • How do your policies line up with your brand pillars?
  • Where do we pause, where do we keep moving?
  • How do we creatively generate content within this new reality?
  • How do we pivot the content calendar?


Strengthen Your Community

While customer acquisition may be non-existent for the time being, your current customer base is pivotal. Loyalty can be earned or broken in these times. This is the time for brand marketing, over product/transactions.

  • What are the brand pillars that we can lean into in this time?
  • How do we humanize our community, bring in personal touches?
  • Are there web features and offerings that should be prioritized to build loyalty and engagement?
  • What are the appropriate messages related to our brand versus extra noise?

Use This Time to Learn

While conversion rates will temporarily slip, and feature launches and tests may fall flat within this non-normal, how do we use time to analyze, reflect, and strategize for future scenarios.

  • What can we do to gather more information about the customer?
  • How can we start to build predictions about future behaviors?
  • What are the untapped opportunities within the digital experience?
  • What has not been working that needs to go?
  • How can we evaluate and understand stickiness on the website, especially mobile, as visits will lean even more away from desktop?

At Sweden, we are also rethinking how we manage and service our clients to be an even more strategic partner in this time and provide clearer communication and transparency around our work and results. More to come in the coming weeks, and more communication, on how we will be your partner through this challenging time, and beyond.




Leja Kress

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