Klickly teamed up with dotdigital and Klarna for a webinar to discuss leveraging the right tools in a market downturn. Didn’t get a chance to tune in? We’ve gathered the key takeaways from these e-Commerce thought-leaders. Read on to learn how brands are responding to Covid-19 challenges, the difficult choices they have been faced with, and strategies in navigating third-party platforms. (Or watch the above video ;)

Over the past several weeks under Covid-19 closures, brands have been faced with unforeseen challenges. The shift from in-person to online purchases has left brands wondering which channels are worth continued investment, how to keep their audiences engaged, and how to keep sales up when consumers are more conscious of their budgets.

  • Merchants are evaluating in which channels to continue investment — Brands are experiencing a need to reduce costs and are unsure from which sources to do so. Now that the majority of sales are limited to eCommerce, brands are challenged to narrow down their efforts to the platforms with the most impact.
  • Brands are unsure of the best way to communicate with consumers — Marketers and content creators are asking themselves how they should communicate right now. There is an uncertainty of the “when”, “what”, and “how” when it comes to communicating with consumers — while also remaining sensitive to the current climate.
  • Consumers are conscious of their own spend — With the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and unemployment rates at an all-time high, many consumers are reevaluating their own budgets and are expecting discounted items.

Brands are adopting various strategies in order to combat the issues surrounding the COVID-19 crisis. Increasing conversions via pricing, effectively communicating their message, and assessing channels for budget allocations have become the new norm.

  • Brands are offering regular, competitive discounts  — Merchants are experiencing record-high visits to their online sites. This phenomenon, reminiscent of ‘Cyber Monday’, has led to an increase in competition among online merchants, prompting very aggressive pricing to maintain brand loyalty. Although this practice of discounting may not be sustainable in the long-run, it is an expectation that brands have had to meet. If brands do not implement a flexible solution for consumers, many will have no problem buying elsewhere.
  • Brands are reevaluating what communication looks like — Brands are taking this time to do a little bit of housekeeping in terms of stripping back their messaging and perfecting their segmentation. In order to do this, brands are taking a more cautious approach to communication and nurturing their customer lifecycles with targeted campaigns.
  • Merchants are allocating budgets to fewer channels — Initially merchants were inclined to completely freeze spending, especially on new modes of marketing to consumers. Now, it has become clear that taking advantage of the eCommerce landscape and doubling down on marketing strategies has been a game-changer during this time, so analytics have become increasingly important to focus on channels that back out the ROI.

Various tools are out there to help mitigate risk, enhance communication, and assist consumers budgetary concerns. When it comes to choosing the right tools, you want to find platforms that help in the following areas.

  • Provide flexibility for consumers where possible — The data shows that consumers are still willing to purchase, but they are also feeling the pressure of the economic downturn. By making online shopping purchases more flexible and affordable for customers, you effectively ease the burden for brands and their customers during this time.
  • Provide a performance marketing strategy to mitigate risk — Focus on a performance marketing strategy, not only during a crisis but also as a general business practice. Ideally, there is no upfront investment and flexible terms, so that brands are given more control over their spend. Despite what was initially thought, the time is right to double down on your marketing efforts and performance marketing is a great addition to advertise to the additional eyeballs without a ton of extra spend.
  • Strip back your messaging and focus on intent — Consumers are seeing a barrage of messages regarding COVID-19. Now is the time to really focus on the intent of your messaging — don’t send for the sake of sending. Focus on one-on-one communication with your consumers to increase personalization. It’s a great time to further develop brand loyalty and relationships by directly interacting with consumers through polls, while all eyes are online.

There are so many solutions out there to help with a variety of pain-points you may be feeling in the midst of COVID-19. While no brand will face the same challenges, it’s important to realize this isn’t the end, but more of an opportunity to reevaluate your strategies. Whether you turn to Klickly to provide an effective performance marketing strategy, dotdigital to perfect your brand communication, Klarna to provide a flexible payment solution, or one of the many other tools out there, we are certain that we’ll make it through this together. AND come out stronger in the end.