eCommerce During a Pandemic - Insights & Actionable Takeaways: ProfitWell Webinar Summary

Updated: Jun 1, 2020

Webinar Topic: Turbulence as strength: Lessons from 17,462 companies about winning in this environment

Date: May 12, 2020

Panellists: ProfitWell - Bold - Gorgious

"eCommerce shopping used to be done in the evenings and on weekends. Now the hot times are Mon & Tues mornings - eCommerce is no longer discretionary & recreational, now it’s a must and a priority"

I had the pleasure to listen-in on a webinar by ProfitWell, on Turbulence As Strength (May 12th, 2020) and it was packed with high quality insights. In case you didn't have a chance to tune in, here are some insights and actionable takeaways I've taken out of it!

Insights & Actionable Takeaways

Shopify COVID Stat (from Shopify's 2020 Q1 Report): From March 13 to Apr 24th, 2020 in-store sales (GMV through Shopify Brick&Mortal POS terminals) declined by 71%, however merchants managed to replace 94% of lost volume of in-store sales with online sales over the same period, resulting in just a 4% overall sales decrease. Actionable Takeaway:

By Having a backup online sales channel ready to go, businesses recovered 65% of potential losses due to unexpected store closures. If you want to quarantine proof your business for the future, seems like offering a strong online experience is a solid idea.

Customer Behaviour Insights:

We saw a large influx of new-to-eCommerce customers enter the market

  • Large influx of new customers to eCommerce - meaning they need some guidance/extra smooth online shopping experience

  • New customers = a lot of: “how do I order?” / “When am I getting my order?” support tickets

  • New customers to eCommerce = A lot of “first times” for food delivery/toilet paper delivery/toothpaste and essentials - eCommerce is no longer just for electronics and fashion

  • We’re seeing an acceleration of early eCommerce trends - accelerating the acceptance of online subscription shopping (new people are seeing true value of automated orders)

Existing eCommerce Customers are re-evaluating their current online subscriptions:

  • Higher cancel & higher signup rates

  • Existing eCommerce customers are not cancelling, but switching their online product subscriptions

Actionable Takeaways:

  • New customers to eCommerce = Your online experience needs to seamless on every device, plus have clear & easy to reach Customer Support

  • First Purchasing Experiences = Opportunity to turn all these first positive online purchasing experience into new shopping habits

  • First Purchasing Experiences = Opportunity to turn customers into a lifetime customers (more on this later)

Business & Industry Insights:

  • eCommerce saw 200-300% growth as an industry in Mar & Apr (vertical specific)

  • Flood of new to businesses scrambling to get setup online

  • Subscription businesses are also growing

eCommerce used to be about global reach, now we’re seeing a Second Wave of eCommerce with a lot of local logistical developments to help compete by offering immediate delivery and local convenience

  • Now viable to only sell locally online - enough local online customers to make that sustainable

Actionable Takeaways:

  • eCommerce is becoming essential revenue leg to stand on - no longer a “nice to have” but a must have to survive as a business given that foot traffic won’t return for a while, if ever

  • Local online competitive advantage = curbside pickup & local delivery

If your local pizzeria can figure out how to deliver hot foot to your place in 30min, you can figure it out how deliver your goods
  • Only 18% of shopping is done online in 2019 - 30% in April 2020 - although we will see decline once we re-open, we will also see a permanent bump from people who had a great online experience

  • This is a golden opportunity for businesses to win new online clients and become the brand to buy from for life

First Customer Nurturing Tips: How to Turn new customers into true lifetime customers

  • Send new customers a thank you gift/gift card/thank you card

  • Custom printed thank you card with pictures of team/you

  • Add a Handwritten touch to every new order

  • Send thank you/gift cards via separate envelope

  • No customer has ever bragged on Instagram about a thank you email...

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