How to keep hold of your e-tailer’s new customers once COVID-19 passes

Piranha Designs - Thursday, April 16, 2020

All of the time and money you have invested in your brand’s ecommerce presence so far is likely to feel well-spent right now, as you reap the benefits of heightened sales during the pandemic. This is likely to be particularly the case if your store specialises in goods that could be deemed ‘essential’, at this time when many people are unable to even stay outside of their homes for long.

But are you also taking the opportunity to cultivate loyalty among your new customers, so that they continue to treat you as their go-to source of products after the worst of the outbreak is over? If not, here are some of the best ways to cement their custom in the longer term.

Be accurate about when and if products will be available

This is a time when customers are likely to be especially unforgiving about their orders being cancelled due to lack of stock. So, keeping on top of your inventory at any one time, and communicating this accurately via your online store’s products pages, are both a must. It’s also a better idea to delay than cancel orders altogether, if possible.

If certain products aren’t immediately available amid interruptions to workforces and supply chains, it’s better to be conservative about when you expect them to be so. That way, your customers may end up being pleasantly surprised by earlier-than-anticipated deliveries.

Personalise the service you provide

A personalised shopping experience continues to be a powerful way of encouraging loyalty during COVID-19 – the current circumstances aren’t an excuse to drop your standards in this respect.

So, such steps as sending an email update whenever there is a change in the status of an order, following up with further updates and reaching out later to help shoppers to remember your store, could all be invaluable right now.

Extend the return and exchange period

With so many of your customers stuck at home at the moment, making the returns process as little hassle as possible will help to ensure they associate your brand with the right qualities once some level of normal life resumes.

Don’t be humorous or political

Not everyone considers the pandemic to be a good source of comedy or will share your politics, so now isn’t a time to be taking risks with your ecommerce store’s marketing communications. Social media memes that might’ve worked well enough in pre-COVID-19 times could be perceived as ill-judged in the current circumstances, deterring followers and shoppers.

Observe shifting buyer habits

While not everything about how people are shopping during the outbreak will last for long once life returns to normal, other habits are likely to endure. Some of the brick-and-mortar retailers that customers depended on prior to the pandemic won’t survive to reopen, and even if they do, your own ecommerce site could become a new and trusted source of goods for these shoppers.

Make the right moves now to capture customers and encourage them to continue shopping with you, and your brand is likely to be in a powerful position long after the coronavirus has ceased to dominate the news. Getting in touch with Piranha Designs about our ecommerce website design expertise could further help to ensure your business’s growth in the months and years ahead.

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