Our lives as we knew it literally changed overnight where almost everything we deemed vital is redundant and obsolete.

  • Oil prices drop to 18 year low. US Oil prices trade in the negative as the demand dries out! 
  • Clothing giant Primark sales drop to £0.00 (nothing) from £650M per month!
  • Australia’s second-largest carrier Virgin Australia collapse into administration while Sir Richard Branson pledges his private island as collateral to UK government for a bailout for Virgin Atlantic.
  • Hundreds of cargo, commercial & passenger ships anchored at ports as the recession deepens.

The tragedy is that, after years of austerity measures and Brexit uncertainty, the UK had just reported its highest employment figures before the COVID 19 lockdown came in force. 

Then how come Amazon boss Jeff Bezos added USD 24 Billion to his fortune during these tumultuous times? We all know the answer to that question i.e. surge in demand for online shopping during COVID 19 lockdown.

This beckons the question – what the consumer-buying behaviour would be once humanity defeats this virus? Considering that medical science further requires 12 – 18 months to develop a vaccine. Will we flock to the high street at the earliest opportunity, as the COVID 19 exit plans come into play? Or we will still be wary of gathering in large social places? 

The answer lays in the following statement by the World Health Organisation’s special envoy for COVID-19, David Nabarro – Source BBC.

“We have all got to learn to live with this virus, to do our business with this virus in our presence, to have social relations with this virus in our presence and not to be continuously having to be in lockdown because of the widespread infections that can occur.”

Everyone has been trying to get on the eCommerce bandwagon. Some have done it successfully and some have crashed and burnt. Let’s be honest; no enterprise has ever faced a calamity we are in, nor were we prepared for this. That said, big Enterprises would have the cash reserves to see them through these testing times. SME’s (Small to Medium Enterprise) are finding themselves in a vice. SMEs usually do not have the financial depth to stay afloat for more than a few weeks at best, especially when the cash flow has vanished overnight. Self-employed people’s predicament is dire too as they had to close shop overnight.

Only time will bear witness to winners and losers once the dust settles. It is imperative for Brick & Mortar businesses to widen their customer reach while this storm rages. One option open to them is that of selling online with a view of just not selling but helping the wider community. There are platforms available to be leveraged once it comes to online selling i.e. eBay & Amazon. Businesses who do and don’t have their transactional websites should be leveraging these channels. 

Then comes the holy grail of online selling which is ‘Content’. There are volumes written on how content impacts your Google ratings thus enabling you to sell more by being more visible to the end-customer and is out of the scope of this article. The key is – how to create content?

Now, remember, it is incumbent on the business to allow the end-customer to interact with the products if products are what you are selling. Half-decent images won’t hack it if you want to comes across as a professional outfit. Why? Because consistency and clarity enable the item to sell itself. One must remember that the end-customer is looking at a product in 2D (two dimensions) and not 3D as one would do while physically examining an item. The customer’s ability to look at your item in all its glory from all sides and angles is going to ensure a sales conversion. Good images ensure lower cart abandonment. But it doesn’t stop there. If the customer was able to examine a product from all angles before purchasing the rate of returns can also be reduced. As we know that an item returned (because the customer was not able to interact with the product image) puts a spanner in the works all businesses can do without.

So, in summary, chin up as this too shall pass! Look after yourself and your loved ones and be safe. After all, no one knows your business better than you. Explore other avenues of staying afloat which might even result in a sales spike. Remember, not just to sell but sell to help. Have world-class imagery of your products on your website for your customers to truly appreciate what you do. Increase sales, increase revenue and reduce returns. Want to automate product photography and produce truly awesome images? Visit www.orbitvu.com.

Until next time… best wishes from ours to you & yours.
Malik K Najmi