Question :
How to keep sales online going to be able to pay our team while in isolation

Question submitted 24/03/20 @ 08:47pm
Industry: Brand & Marketing
  • Hi there, so we can help better please let us know what type business you have?

    As Patrick has responded – it would be great to know your industry.

    If you have physical products and can store them at home/in your garage couriers are still doing drop-offs and pickups to physical residential addresses (at this stage)

    A real opportunity for some with mothers day etc coming up to boost sales while online shopping is the only real option

    This is a question so many ecommerce businesses are grappling with – especially those who won’t be able to pay their staff if they don’t continue selling.

    It’s not clear whether couriers are going to be allowed to continue picking up and delivering non-essential items. In one business I work with, we’re currently taking the view that if we can pick and pack the orders within the isolation bubble (we have a family business, where the people doing the picking and packing are self-isolating together anyway), and the couriers are willing to do a contactless pickup, we should keep going to try to keep paying our staff.

    I think there’s also potential reputation damage if you do try to stay open. For goodness sake don’t try to make the case that you’re an essential business if you’re not! The public is not being tolerant of people trying to find loopholes.

    Agree with Debra. If your warehouse is still operating (which is a big ‘if’, considering the criteria for essential services), that’s step one to keeping online sales intact. But other elements of the chain need to be functioning as well and without risk of contamination – courier/fulfilment, customer service etc. If you aren’t able to keep those going, or they will have reduced capacity or longer lead times, make sure you let potential customers know what to expect. And don’t forget to manage your costs correspondingly – turn off any automated Google or sponsored FB advertising etc. if you know you can’t serve the traffic you’re driving!

    Update on this today.
    Couriers will only be operating for essential services only.

    This shuts the opportunity down for home based businesses to still keep e-commerce sales and drop shipping opportunities.

    You’ll only be able to shop online for essential goods like food during the coronavirus lockdown.

    1. Communicate. If you’re still in a position to fulfil orders, make it clear on your website. If you’re not, make that clear too. It’s very confused at the moment but if you can be clear about what you can and can’t do, you’ll be ahead of many of your competitors.
    2. If you’re really battling (e.g. you sell cruise line tickets or concert tickets) then you might need to make some hard decisions about your staff. It’s tough but they will understand.

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