COVID-19 Leads to Online Shopping Spike
It's not the way that anyone would have wanted it, but online shopping has seen a massive surge lately. COVID-19, often called coronavirus, has forced people to stay home to slow down the outbreak. Many are allowed to work from home, and others have professions where they simply cannot go to work at all; for instance, gyms, bars, restaurants and many other places were closed by the government in Michigan and other states. Those workers suddenly find themselves with a lot more time. What are they doing with it? According to Amazon, it looks like they're shopping online. The spike in traffic to the largest U.S. online retailer has been so dramatic that they're going to hire 100,000 employees to respond to the demand.
Two Main Reasons
There are two main reasons for this surge in online traffic. The first is that healthy people are still confined to their homes. They're buying books, video games, instruments, board games and plenty of other things to pass the time. This isn't panic-driven buying out of necessity, but it just reflects the fact that they need something to do. On top of that, they want to limit the time they spend outside and in public places. If someone was going to buy a guitar anyway, for instance, they may order one online and have it shipped to their house, rather than driving across town to a music shop -- even if that shop is open, which it may not be. People will trade the wait time with a delivery for their own safety and convenience.
The second reason is that stores are running out of items people need. Things like toilet paper and hand sanitizer are in short supply. The quick spike in purchases was not something the supply chain was ready for, so brick-and-mortar stores ran out. As a result, people started to order these items online, instead. In fact, it's gotten so bad that even Amazon, with its seemingly endless warehouses, is running out of stock. They reported that stock is low or gone for "some popular brands and items, especially in household staples categories." Not many people bought things like toilet paper online before, at least compared to shopping in person, but now it's clear that they'll do whatever it takes.
Responding to Online Trends
You may not run Amazon, but any online business can clearly be impacted by these online trends. For the foreseeable future, it stands to reason that people are going to spend far more time online, looking for entertainment and shopping options, as they wait for the health crisis to settle down. This means increased traffic, increased interest, increased interactions on social media, and much more. If your site is not ready for this influx, you need to know what steps to take and how you can respond to the growing demand.
Plus, even the demand at Amazon could impact you. If you sell your products on your own site and through Amazon's storefront, does that mean more sales? Does it mean people look for other avenues to buy, perhaps finding your business site? This is putting stress on every part of the supply chain. As Amazon put it: "We are working around the clock with our selling partners to ensure availability on all of our products, and bring on additional capacity to deliver all of your orders." It's not easy, but this is a time of crisis and the internet has many items that people need. Responding properly to that need can make things easier in at least one small way. If everyone does their part, the world can keep moving forward.
With everything from online marketing to reworking your site to interacting with concerned customers on social media, we can help here at Content Customs. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if there is anything we can do to assist you during this stressful time with such a massive surge in online activity and purchasing.