How is the coronavirus impact on ecommerce retailers? Retailers that sell essential products during this pandemic such as food, toilet paper, face masks, and cleaning supplies are gaining sales, while many others are negatively impacted. As the virus called coronavirus continues to spread across the world, how will online retailers do?
The long-term impact by the coronavirus is hard to determine. A vast number of retailers are lowering their sales expectations for the year. Furthermore, retailers that manufacture goods overseas in China, will most likely experience an interruption in their supply chain. Delays should be expected with manufacturing timelines and processes. Any retail brand that manufacturers in China and receives ingredients, parts, or finished product from there will most likely be more negatively impacted.
Overall, retailers are becoming aware of potential downside in revenue due to the virus outbreak. The biggest concern with ecommerce retailers is that consumer confidence will be negatively impact and low. As the economy further undergoes stress, consumer behavior is hard to predict. Most ecommerce retailers have changed their outlook from positive to negative for 2020.
Currently, many online orders are related to food, medicine, toiletry, cleaning supplies, disinfectant solutions, and safety gear such as masks. Those retailers are experiencing a boost in sales and in some cases have doubled their monthly orders. Other online retailers are seeing the opposite happening to their online sales. They are dropping as consumers are reacting to the coronavirus outbreak.
The next couple months will be difficult to navigate for some companies as they closely will have to monitor the consumer trends and situation. We have never been in this kind of situation before. Startups and established companies are caught of guard by the current circumstances. Larger companies will be able to buckle down and withstand the challenging times, while smaller online retailers may not. Hard to tell what the coronavirus impact on ecommerce retailers will be.
Some Positive Impact for Ecommerce Retailers
According to a study, U.S. located retailers with both brick-and-mortar and e-commerce channels have experienced over 50% revenue growth online starting end of January until end of February 2020 — the time period when the virus began its spread worldwide. Consumers started buying much more in stores as they still could and online.
Furthermore, conversion rates have drastically increased on ecommerce websites from previous years. Retailers are noticing record high conversion rates by consumers shopping online. In some cases, it is over 8%. This is significantly higher than the average percentage of ecommerce website conversion rates.
Online retailers that wish to increase online sales must have the visibility on social media channels and in search results. This is where the majority of consumers look for products and purchase opportunities. Brands that wish to sell more online must have a presence on social media, and also appear in search results organically and through paid ads if possible, for best results. Marketing services by experienced ecommerce marketing companies can help retailers with online exposure, website traffic, sales, and market share gain.