Selling on Amazon during the coronavirus crisis: Adapt your store to the current climate
Currencies Direct April 24th 2020 - 3 minute read
The world changed significantly in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic left over a quarter of the world’s population adjusting to life under lockdown.
For online sellers on Amazon the situation presents an opportunity as ecommerce plays a major role in the ‘quarantine economy’.
However, the situation also creates challenges and sellers will need to be ready to adapt if they’re going to ride out the crisis.
Adopt a local focus
While we live in an increasingly globalised economy, the coronavirus crisis has done much to reintroduce borders between countries, and sellers need to be aware of this.
With borders closed and sourcing products from international suppliers fraught with delays you may want to start focusing your efforts on local ecommerce opportunities.
A more local approach can help keep delivery times down and eliminate the worry of potential shipping restrictions between countries.
Avoid sensitive keywords
The current crisis has brought out the best in many people – but not all. During the coronavirus pandemic some unscrupulous individuals have attempted to take advantage of consumers’ fears by advertising fake cures and treatments for Covid-19 and engaging in price gouging.
In an effort to combat this, Amazon has been cracking down on postings containing the below keywords:
While ensuring you target popular keywords is normally a vital part of ecommerce, as a responsible seller you’ll want to avoid potentially misleading your customers during a global health crisis and running afoul of Amazon.
Double check your product listings to make sure none of the above words are included in any of your titles or descriptions. Also be aware that Amazon is tightening restrictions around beauty products as well.
Shift gears to deal with rising demand
With most brick and mortar stores currently closed, consumers have turned to Amazon and other ecommerce stores to purchase things they would normally find on the high street.
Most consumers are also finding themselves stuck indoors with more time on their hands, creating opportunities for Amazon sellers.
Popular lines during the lockdown include books and video games, exercise equipment and comfy clothes like jogging bottoms.
Whether this demand will be sustained in the event of a prolonged lockdown remains uncertain however, with consumers likely to have less appetite for non-essential goods the longer the situation continues.
Use your downtime wisely and look to future
If your listings are currently being restricted by Amazon or you’re finding that sales have fallen off during the crisis, you may have more downtime.
While this is a concern, use the time to prepare for a potential flurry of activity once restrictions start easing.
You could find yourself busier than ever in a few months’ time as (according to some analysts) the coronavirus crisis is set to turbo charge ecommerce as shopping online becomes the ‘new normal’ for many.
John Ghiorso, Founder and CEO at Amazon marketing agency Orca Pacific suggests that prolonged social distancing measures will see more retail shift to online and that this switch is likely to be permanent.
‘I believe that this shift will have permanence. What we have seen over and over is that once customers go to eCommerce, they rarely go back. I have never spoken to someone who went back to brick-and-mortar once shifting to Amazon.
‘If this holds true, a decade's worth of shifting in retail could happen in a matter of months. There could be a fundamental restructuring to the way that consumers purchase products going forward.’
With this in mind you should use any available time to look at optimising your listings, updating product images, engaging customers through social media, and reviewing your marketing strategy to put you in the best possible position to take advantage of increased demand.
This may also be a great time to explore other ways of improving the profitability of your ecommerce business – like maximising your revenue streams from overseas sales.
Repatriating funds from overseas sales can often leave you exposed to unfavourable shifts in the currency market and can involve costly additional fees depending on the provider you use.
With a leading currency provider (like Currencies Direct) you’ll gain access to specialist support, expert insight and a range of services that can protect you from major market movements – which in the current climate is an ongoing threat to your profit margins.
This is an uncertain and difficult time for many businesses, but there are opportunities for online sellers.
If you have FX requirements we can help you maximise your returns and protect your profit. Get in touch with our team on Business@currenciesdirect.com or call +44 (0) 20 7847 9400.
We wish you all well during this difficult period – stay safe, and please contact us if you need us.