COVID-19 – E-Commerce Options

The COVID-19 pandemic is creating significant disruption in all areas of business and life. To help you to find some order in the chaos and adjust to new ways of doing and being, Doctor Digital has put together a series of COVID-19 blogs with tips, tricks, hacks and suggestions for how digital and e-commerce tools can support you and your business.

Doctor Digital Says

With COVID-19 placing increasing limitations on person-to-person contact, moving as much of your business as possible online will assist with business continuity, and keeping cash flowing as long as possible.

E-commerce is convenient for your business - but more importantly for your customers. Tiny shifts in human behaviour have a big impact on the ease of transactions and the reduction in barriers to purchasing behaviour. If your business is enabled to make things as simple and as easy as possible for customers on every platform you operate in, you can maximise transactions from existing customers and give them a place of clarity and convenience in a very uncertain environment.

Finding what's right for your business

Now is the time for you to get serious about implementing an e-commerce solution for your business, so let’s begin by understanding what your business needs. Start by asking some questions to narrow down the functionality you (and your business) require. Consider the following for what your business does:

  • What type of products or services are you selling? Which of these would be able to convert to online, or a home delivery style service?
  • How many products/services will you have online?
  • Do you need product variations like sizes and colours?
  • Where will you sell to? Australia-wide, international, local only?
  • Does your business have intense seasonal peaks in transactions?
  • How will you collect payment? Paypal, Stripe, or through your bank’s merchant facility?
  • How will you calculate shipping and delivery costs?
  • Do you want to package products, cross sell and up-sell or are you download and subscription based?
  • Is the store part of your online presence in your website, is it your entire online presence, or will you use a third party platform like Facebook Marketplace, Ebay, Gumtree or Etsy for sales?
  • What are your growth and scaling plans for the business in what timeframe?
  • What other businesses could you collaborate with to strengthen the offering?

To make e-commerce work for your business, you also have to think about the capacity that exists within in the business and who will be managing the system on the day-to-day. You need to make sure you use a system that aligns with the levels of skill available. If you are looking for a fully integrated solution, consider functionality and features in these areas:

  • Search engine optimisation
  • Social media integration
  • Blogs
  • Responsive, mobile-friendly design
  • Email newsletter integration
  • Accounting software integration

Ultimately, the decision will often come down to price, however, what you can afford to spend to buy and run e-commerce within your business needs to be considered against what it will cost you in sales if you don't have an online option that is customer friendly.

For a full analysis of your e-commerce options during COVID-19, check out the Digital Ready factsheet and Facebook Livestream.

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