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Post-Pandemic Ecommerce Strategy: Is Your Brand Ready?

Angie Tran

Content Marketing Manager @ AdRoll

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With COVID-19 vaccines making their way to communities around the world, there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel after one of the most singularly disruptive events in recent memory. Already, companies have begun crafting their post-pandemic ecommerce strategy ideas — one of the clearest signs yet that life may be heading back to some semblance of normalcy.

But if there is one lesson we learned from this era, it’s that the pressures of the pandemic were spread unequally throughout the country and industries. Businesses native to ecommerce or with robust omnichannel services were a part of a massive increase in online sales growth in 2020, up 32.4% from 2019.

Whether this was something that directly benefited your company or not, it’s important to prepare for life after the pandemic ecommerce boom. As businesses make their post-pandemic bets, here are the best post-pandemic ecommerce strategy ideas to ensure your company stays on top:

1. Prepare Your Business for an Increase in Offline Interaction

Before the pandemic, it was conventional wisdom that shoppers spend more in stores than online. According to a 2019 First Insight Report, 71% of consumers spend over $50 when shopping in-store, on average. Compare that to the 54% who said they spend that amount online, and you’ll understand why Target announced its plan to invest $4 billion in a store remodeling program.

If you don’t have any physical stores to take advantage of the expected increase in offline retail interactions, now is the time to differentiate your business from your competitors. Online channels are well-suited for product discovery, but some consumers prefer to make their actual purchases in-store. To bridge the gap, work on improving product pages with detailed descriptions and imagery.

2. Ensure Your Company’s Online Presence Can Scale for Increased Traffic

It’s a safe bet that pre-pandemic levels of in-store retail won’t return anytime soon. Yet, many Americans are now heading back to the office. It’s unclear to what extent this will affect the economy, but it’s possible you can expect increased traffic to your website.

To prepare, make sure your fulfillment capabilities are ready to scale up. Small businesses will be heavily impacted by post-pandemic economic recovery and must prepare their digital channels to appeal to modern consumers. Implementing marketing techniques like mobile shopping apps and chatbots can help businesses stay ahead of the curve.

The objective should be to create an immersive digital experience for your shoppers, instead of a patchwork of digital features. 

3. Optimize Your Website With SEO-Friendly Copy

If more consumers are using your web-based services, it’s time to revisit your website’s SEO rankings. Both new and existing brands have made the shift to direct-to-consumer (D2C) fulfillment, which has significantly crowded markets. To differentiate yourself and appear first in search results, prioritize keywords and SEO-friendly content on your website, and watch the traffic flow in.

Consider hosting content that shows consumers your brand understands what they’ve gone through over the past year. Empathy toward the plight of everyday Americans became one of the most important values a brand could espouse in 2020. Expect this trend to continue through the end of the year and beyond.

For more on how to improve your Shopify SEO:

4. Learn From Pandemic Pain Points

We are entering a time of recovery and recuperation, but there’s no need to forget the lessons learned during the pandemic. If your business could not capture the increased online traffic that helped buoy ecommerce, it’s time to confront the reasons why. Consumers enjoyed unprecedented variety in their online shopping experiences as businesses across the country shifted to digital services. 

If some were unsatisfied with your online experience, it’s time to listen to your customers and make sure you’re better prepared for future crises. No one wants to think about the next pandemic — but setting up your business now may pay massive dividends later.

5. Focus on Long-Term Strategy and Make Your Post-Pandemic Bets

Everyone has ideas about what the next step is for the American economy. Best Buy is betting ecommerce sales will continue to gobble up market share, turning more of its store fleet into fulfillment centers. Kohl’s expects wellness trends to power its new activewear assortment until it makes up 30% of its total revenue.

Whatever your guess is, make sure it's powered through consumer insights and a thorough understanding of post-pandemic trends as they develop. It was almost impossible to formulate a long-term strategy as COVID-19 ravaged the country — but now you have a chance to set yourself up for success with a solid post-pandemic ecommerce strategy.

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