March 25, 2020
The global pandemic affects us all and has turned our daily lives upside down. As an online retailer or online marketer, you will surely experience its consequences. Be informed about the impact the virus has had on the industry, the measures Channable has taken as a company, and acquire tips that may provide you with alternative possibilities.
Channable is a company of 110 employees, who normally work together every day in the Channable HQ in the heart of Utrecht. Getting them all, including 30 support employees who answer the phone every day, to work from home is a challenge. For the health of all “Channablers”, and everyone around them, working from home was encouraged and prioritized immediately and has successfully been rolled out. Although the team is no longer physically together, every possible medium (WhatsApp, chat, video calls, and email) is being used to support one another through this period.
As you can imagine, having Channable's technical support team work from home comes with some consequences. Waiting times on the phone may be longer and we would, therefore, like to ask you to only call with urgent questions. By sending an email, you can expect an answer from us faster. The team is working as hard as possible to provide you with the service you are accustomed to.
Thankfully, for all newcomers, Channable’s Customer Success and Support teams are still able to assist you with the setup of your account. The Business Development team is also still available for demos. Job applications are welcome as procedures are running as normal and vacancies are open. Contact us by email for more information.
This pandemic affects everyone, including the eCommerce industry. For example, Channable recorded an increase of more than 100% in the number of orders via its order connections, compared to February 2020.
You might think that online stores are profiting from many physical shops closing their doors and a general influx of people ordering online more, but this is not always the case. There is a good chance that as an online retailer or online marketer, you have had to adjust your daily activities. In response, Channable has collected some insights and tips from the industry that could help you keep afloat over the coming period.
1. Honestly communicate shipping times
Are you struggling to keep up with all the orders? Or is your purchased stock stuck somewhere and you’re not going to receive it anytime soon? Then it is possible that you can no longer keep to the ‘order today, delivered tomorrow’ promise. Communicate this well to your customers to avoid disappointment. They will certainly understand the situation but try to keep them informed.
Channable's date rules can be used to quickly set a delivery time for a specific period. This means you don't have to manually adjust and reset everything when the time will come you can continue with your standard delivery times.
2. Limit hoarding
Speaking of limited stock, if you notice that customers are bulk buying some of your products, it might be helpful to set an order limit for certain products. For example, with Channable you could set up a rule where you only send a certain percentage of your products from your inventory.
For example, you only forward 80% of the actual stock number, if the stock is higher than 10.
In addition, if you’re advertising on Google Shopping or a marketplace with Channable’s APIs, consider utilizing the extra runs add-on that refreshes your data up to 24 times a day. This ensures that stock level is more frequently sent to the marketplaces, which can provide you with some peace of mind.
You could also strategize to limelight on certain products and limit ones that are not doing as well right now. Dutch online marketplace Bol.com already encourages this, as it gives priority to products that are currently important. Amazon does it as well. Other types of products will not be delivered or will be delivered later.
3. Free shipping
If it’s a possibility for you, offer free shipping as an incentive for customers to purchase from you. This could also be free shipping from a certain minimum order amount. Set this up easily with one of Channable's common rules.
4. Minimize spreading the virus through packaging
According to the RIVM (The Dutch National Institute for Public Health and Environment), the virus is generally spread through human contact. The chance of becoming infected through contaminated packaging is very small, but not entirely ruled out. Tell your customers that after opening their package, it’s best to immediately throw away the packaging material and the box and wash their hands.
Several studies are still ongoing on the survival of the virus on products and surfaces, but better to be safe than sorry!
5. Selling on different channels
Now that more purchases are being made online, it may be a good idea to look into new opportunities. For example, consider selling on a channel that you have not previously sold or advertised on, such as the newly launched Amazon Netherlands. Channable has direct connections with over 2500 different comparison sites, marketplaces, affiliate networks and other channels. So, you have plenty to choose from.
6. Surplus of time on your hands?
Find yourself with a lot more time leftover because you’re working from home, or because some of your work has been canceled? Then it’s a good time to pick up things that may have been put off for a while or that you have always wanted to try. For example, experiment with the advanced options of Channable, such as linking Google Analytics data to your data feed. Or try out generating expanded text ads, sitelinks, keywords, and Shopping campaigns for Google Ads or Microsoft Advertising with the Channable PPC tool.
Channable has a lot of online tutorials and webinars, with which you can broaden your knowledge and gain new insights.
We hope these insights help you get through this time as well as can be expected. Of course, everyone's health is most important, and from everyone at Channable, stay safe and stay strong!