Consumer behaviour has changed upside-down during the pandemic. Due to complete lockdown, the buyers have started looking for alternatives to fulfill their demand.
And, the easiest way was going online and switching to an e-commerce store. Stats show that 62% more people have started to shop online as compared before lockdown.
The coronavirus has expected to accelerate consumer preference towards e-commerce stores by 5 years. Changes caused during the pandemic is quick to catch up for all online stores. 
The following article will tell you about ways on how to handle heavy demand during these circumstances.
Effects of Pandemic on Different Businesses:  

​    1. Amazon
Big brands like Amazon were also startled by high demand and found it very difficult to maintain efficient delivery deadlines.
In March, Amazon has to send messages to its customers warning of high demand resulting in longer delivery days.
To solve this Amazon has to make an investment resulting in a decrease of 26% in its Net profit and a rise of 46% in the shipping cost.
It clearly shows that Amazon was not ready to face such huge demands. 
. Food Industry

The food industry is one of the most benefited industries during the lockdown.
Steve Caine is a retail expert and also a partner in Brain and the company, he made a statement telling that they expected an increase of only 5-10% in the online grocery market but the actual increase went up to 10-15% causing an imbalance between the sales and the demands.
Caine confirmed that the online grocery industry is unable to keep up with the demand of the consumers.
And, the consumers are getting inflated prices with long delivery days.

     3. Ocado
Ocado is a sought-after online grocery store that has registered the highest growth in its demand since the launch of Ocado in 2002.
The online store was getting so many digital orders that it became impossible for the company to handle, so they decided to bring down the mobile app services for some time so that they can update their software and meet the current demand of their customers.
It shows the inefficiency of Ocado to maintain its mobile app and handle such bulk demands.
Nobody wants these scenarios to repeat in their business, so you need to take proper care of your digital platform to reduce any chances of disbalance.

 5 ways to Deliver efficiently on the Digital Demands of your Customers
1. Team extensions 
A team extension is a process through which you hire people on a per-project basis only for a specific period of time. During this time the hired member will solely work for you and try to solve the issues that you are facing in the business.
75% of employers feel that collaboration and teamwork are very important for a business.
During situations like these where scenarios are unpredictable, it is foolish to increase your resource requirement through internal hiring. You will never know when the situation will be out of your favour.
So the best thing you can do is to extend your team by collaborating with external members. This is not the same as outsourcing because the outsourced party works on multiple projects at a given point in time which can cause delays in your deadlines.
And, your online store is already out of time so you can go with an extended team that will work only for you for only a specified time being. You can get the most experienced and efficient people on the table without actually hiring them.
This will help your business to work in a more structured manner and reduce all the problems that are acting as bugs in your business.

    2.  Automate Repetitive Tasks
Every day we repeat some tasks that can easily be done by a machine. It will reduce the wastage of time and provide you with quality time to do those tasks that require human effort.
The market is rapidly changing and you need to update your business according to your needs and your industry’s requirements. If you are struggling to handle the high digital order then you need to convert some manual tasks into automation.
The McKinney report says that 45% of the paid activities can be converted to automated tasks which can save up to $2 trillion of total wages.
The money you save from automation can be used to hire people that are needed for the organization’s growth and will help you handle your business wisely.
Automation not only reduces human effort but also minimizes the chances of human errors, which will help you in the long run.

    3.  Give emphasis on high-quality customer support 
In situations like this when you are overwhelmed by customers, your business requires very strong customer support.
If we are unable to order products from an online store the first person we try to reach is its customer support. At that point in time, we require manual answers to our questions and someone who can understand our problem and also provide a proper solution.
The e-commerce store should have very strong customer support so that your customer remains with you and doesn’t switch to your competitors.
According to stats, 51% of people will never visit the website if they didn’t like the customer support. And, that is a huge percentage of buyers that you can never afford to lose in your business. E-commerce businesses should provide well-trained customer support to handle queries in a very generous way even on rough days.

    4.  Use of the most updated software
As discussed above in the example, Ocado had to pull their mobile app down due to the usage of outdated software, which resulted in their inability to handle digital orders. 
Outdated software can bring your business down or will crash out when the data reaches a certain limit and this can hamper your buyer’s confidential data.
Your customers’ data is a very important part of your business and if any mishap happens because of your digital incompetency then this will hamper your brand’s image forever.
Most of the cyber attacks happen when your software is vulnerable and can be easily hacked which can lead to a major loss and will bring your company down.
This is why using updated software will allow your business to withstand even the toughest time.

    5.  Come up with a structured plan
Planning is the most important thing to deal with in such situations. In circumstances like this where your decision not only needs to be fast but also accurate, going without a plan will be very risky for your business.
For starters, you need to focus on items that are going out of your hands so that they will be the first one to recover and give a balance to your business.
The next should be to perform a SWOT analysis of the area you are lacking. 
SWOT means research on the Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threat of the chosen area.

  • In the Strength column, you will write down all the things that are under control in this area or maybe pointers defining the strengths of that area in your e-commerce store. 

Now, this will give your planning a strong backbone and will act as a base on which all the activities will be structured.

  • In the Weakness column, you should include all the struggles you are facing in this area or what are the sub-areas you want to improve. Through this, you will know what are the things your final plan will aim to improve.
  • In the Opportunities column, you have to include the various opportunities you are finding for your business which you have not yet explored. Analyzing this will help you in finding new customers after working on your strength and weakness.
  • The Threats column will be taken by all the competitors that you have in that area and you need to give your audience the reason why you are above them.

The following analysis will give your business the perfect balance and help you in dealing with all the uncertainties.

The Pandemic has forced people to find new ways of handling their business efficiently. If you are one of those who are struggling to keep up with the demand then these pointers might help you cross the road.
We hope this helps!
Contact App-Scoop for further details.

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