The question on every sellers mind now is, “What can I do to recover?”
The first reaction to the shipment ban was that Amazon sellers have to make do with the products that are allowed through at the moment. This is a very conservative and potentially business-killing response, however. Amazon sellers must pivot to seize opportunity where it exists, and at the same time, prepare for the future.
This type of massive action requires informed decisions. And this entails solid data that has been gathered from this specific situation – an unprecedented pandemic in our time. This is where CCInsight comes into play.
CCInsight, short for COVID-19 Commerce Insight, is a website put up by omnichannel customer engagement platform Emarsys. Emarsys has the advantage of a worldwide network of partnerships that contribute to their massive data-gathering ability.
CCInsight holds the online engagement data that has been collected from over a billion consumers worldwide for about 400 million transactions in over 100 countries. It reflects trends for about 2500 brands so that sellers can get a peek into the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is valuable data indeed.
CCInsight has tracked customer purchases across different industries at the global as well as the regional level. Primarily, this shows how the level of impact felt by drastic measures taken to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. It also shows, however, how consumers have reacted, which serves as a valuable lesson for sellers.
More importantly, the data measures the year-over-year growth rate of online transactions. From this, sellers can see how eCommerce and retailers have performed over the last several weeks compared to the year before. Although businesses have suffered, this pandemic is actually an opportunity for online sellers.
The unprecedented scale of the CCInsight data-gathering project is of immeasurable value with regard to consumer behavior and confidence. The data is vital to help online sellers understand what steps they need to take in the wake of Amazon shipment bans, which still cover certain product types.
Online Sales Skyrocket
According to the data, online orders were up 80% in North America by April 9 with sales numbers similar to those enjoyed during the recent holiday season. By April 15, the growth was recorded at 108%, surpassing holiday records. Europe and most other countries around the world show the same general uptick in ecommerce sales growth. Because of lockdowns, quarantines and social distancing, many more consumers have taken to ordering essentials and non-essentials alike from online platforms like Amazon.
From this perspective, the economic downturn is not apparent. The new normal for brick and mortar outlets may be grim over the next few years, but for online retailers, the only logical strategy is expansion.
Potential Setbacks and Solutions
Although many items are now being allowed into fulfillment centers, Amazon sellers cannot rely on the retail giant to sustain their businesses during this time. Opening or redoubling efforts on alternate sales channels is what can save the day for many retailers. This includes brick and mortar businesses that have had to shut down due to restrictions on physical mobility.
Businesses need to pivot and enter or expand into the online world now. This pandemic is the greatest opportunity to launch online sales channels.
Delivery may still be an issue due to the precautions put in place by governments around the world. Consumers still need certain things, however. Amazon for one has taken steps to up their delivery game to compensate for delayed delivery times. Delivery by Amazon for essential items is being prioritized, however. This has led to week-long delays in deliveries for other items that Amazon deems to be non-essential. And not everyone agrees to their categorization of what is an essential (or useful) and non-essential item.
FBA is not the only delivery solution available to Amazon sellers. Searching for additional operating delivery partners and switching to FBM is a viable solution. Not all businesses are closing their doors, and couriers are being depended on now more than ever to deliver what looks to become an exponential increase in online orders.
Looking at more CCinsights data on which niches have suffered and gained from the COVID-19 crisis can help online sellers make smart decisions to adapt to the situation.
Consumers are skimping on many item types, apparently due to decreased household income. This supports the strategy of shifting inventory to more essential items and away from luxury and gift items. If sellers can expand their inventory to include the most purchased items, they can quickly recover from the loss of sales they experienced over the past several weeks. These products include mostly essentials such as pharmaceuticals, groceries, and toiletries.
Notably, consumers are spending more as they shift to online purchases. The average order values (AOV) by sector have jumped, showing that not only are more people buying online, but they are buying more things online. It only proves that this season can only be a boon for ecommerce retailers.
Amazon sellers now have access to not only a bird’s eye view of the business world amid this worldwide crisis, but solid data on what consumers are buying and not buying. There is no longer any reason for uncertainty during these times, and certainly no reason to close up shop and give up. CCInsights is proof that technology is what will save the day, and that online selling can only grow stronger is businesses take up the challenge, make the necessary adjustments, and push forward.
The data provided on CCinsight is open to the public. Any seller can visit the website and look at the charts and read the reports on worldwide and regional trends. Ecommerce even has the opportunity to flatten the curve and change the devastating outlook for world economies.
About the author
Matt Harrison is the VP of Strategy of FreeUp, the preeminent freelance marketplace for hiring high quality, vetted talent. He has hired freelancers from around the world and built teams to service multinational brands resulting from over $100 million in web hosting company acquisitions. He currently lives in St. Petersburg, FL.