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Coronavirus: The ongoing impact for eCommerce – Part 3

As we slowly get to grips with the reality of this virus, we sadly hear of retailers who have taken the burden of closing down all stores, hard.

Debenhams made the announcement last week that 22,000 jobs could be at risk due the pandemic. It’s unfortunately no secret that Debenhams was, and remains, very late adopters of digital and online commerce. 

Their competitors, namely;  House of Fraser and John Lewis, were always two steps ahead in terms of securing a strong digital presence. They were much quicker to respond to the opportunities online presents; building content-driven social channels, gaining traction and following, that subsequently drives traffic to more enjoyable eCommerce experiences. The need for such online experiences has become more apparent during this pandemic. Maintaining a strong brand presence online becomes even more imperative when we consider Klaviyo’s COVID-19 findings from last week, that shoppers are opting to purchase apparel and accessories from independent retailers over Amazon.

This will come as good news for many online merchants. Better news still; Klaviyo also reported that there is now a ‘strong’ move towards consumers purchasing “new essentials”, a prediction made a couple of weeks back at the beginning of this crisis. 

30% of apparel and accessories businesses are now seeing an increase in sales above figures reported over the last 2 weeks. There does however seem to be a trend amongst these retailers of them quickly adapting their advertising to promote specific products, such as leisurewear and ‘Working From Home’ stylebooks. 

“Shoppers seem to prefer buying apparel and accessories from independent retailers over Amazon.

Klayiyo, 2020

If your eCommerce store falls into the health, beauty or fitness category; you should also be expecting to see a significant rise in sales and traffic over this coming week. This comes as shoppers look to replenish beauty products and invest in their health and fitness whilst at home; potentially bulk purchasing. 

Our advice to these merchants during this time is to continue to invest in social ad spend, considering product lines that fall within the current consumer buying habits and depicting messages that show your loyal customers you understand their change of lifestyle.

Last week ASOS ran a great campaign through push notification and email newsletter; promoting a ‘work from home’ collection and pushing leisurewear and basics as a key offering. 

If you’re a merchant currently still struggling with achieving those uplifts, we encourage you to reach out to eCommerce experts, many of whom are offering free and confidential advice. If you would like to speak with someone at JH, please feel free to get in touch.

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