COVID-19 has brought along with it many unpleasant things, from lockdown and job losses to social distancing; it’s hard to imagine a return to ‘normality’ any time soon. As the world starts to ease lockdown restrictions, one ugly truth is rearing its head again – recession.
Experts are divided on how severe a recession might be, but they all agree one is looming due to the effects of the COVID crisis. The International Monetary Fund recently announced that the upcoming recession will be the ‘worst economic downturn since the great depression’ with growth rates contracting by as much as -3%.
So, what can you do as an online business to protect yourself and help ‘recession- proof’ your business?
Work smarter not harder
We’ve all heard this phrase at some point, coined by Allen F Morgenstern in the 1930’s – as part of a work ‘simplification’ process. His idea was indeed simple – get workers to produce more with less effort. We can apply this mentality today to ecommerce businesses – especially in one area – web traffic. For most eCommerce businesses – this is the lifeblood of their operation, the more website traffic they get, the higher revenue they might expect to generate.
It’s key at times like this that you optimise your site to get the most amount of traffic flowing to it as possible. Spend time analysing keyword data, optimising your site for SEO, making sure your website is mobile friendly and ensuring that the speed of your site is as quick as possible. Knowing where your traffic is coming from can help concentrate your efforts and avoid wasting time and resources on things that don’t make the difference.
Deliver the best experience possible
As much as working smarter can work in relation to website traffic, all that effort can go to waste if you don’t deliver the best possible experience to your customers when they visit your site. Consumer confidence is key – there are obvious things to think about here, the layout and design of your website for example, but the small things can make a big difference.
Increasingly, personalisation on ecommerce sites can be key in gaining consumer confidence – from personalised recommenders with content relevant to the individual customer – personalisation can help establish and maintain relationships with your customers. It can also help get the most out of new customers – helping engage them in the buying process, and more readily supplying them with cross-selling and up-selling opportunities that suit their needs.
Other things such as easy points of contact, offering exceptional customer service and speed of delivery can help sway purchasing decisions.
Own your ‘brand’
‘Brand values – what are they and should we have them?’ In short – yes. Owning your ‘brand’ has never been more important. Firstly, it’s important you set out your brand values and communicate these to your customers. Brand values can be as simple as distilling your core belief into a few words – such as clothing company Everlane and their value of ‘radical transparency’ when it comes to ‘fast-fashion’ and their desire to have ethical factories producing the best clothing quality possible.
Defining your brand values becomes important in setting the experience your customer will feel they should get, and in turn how they judge and rate your service. This is critical, as now customers can leave their feedback and reviews in a variety of review sites, forums and social media platforms – both positive and negative. This can have a huge effect on business, and it is key to always live up to the standards you set out in your brand values to ensure that you get customer’s positive feedback.
In closing, there is plenty more advice out there on how to protect your business during a recession and all of it is worth reading. ‘Fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ is definite advice to follow here, as well as a willingness to adapt to the changing climate and times.
To find out more about PureClarity click here – our personalisation software currently has a three-month free trial offer which expires on the 31st May. You can get started today – no contract, credit card details or commitment required.