The development path of e-commerce in COVID-19

2020 seems to be a new world, with volcanic eruptions, unprecedented floods, huge wildfires, and of course, a novel coronavirus outbreak.

We have seen too many businesses affected by the new coronavirus COVID-19, which the World Health Organization recently declared a pandemic. From the long-term suspension of production in factories across China, which effectively extended the Lunar New Year holiday to multiple months, the entire country has entered a state of isolation to the global outbreak of the epidemic. COVID-19 has hit us in many ways.

Deliverr’s offices in San Francisco, Chicago, and Toronto are now empty. Our team is working from home, and many upcoming events have been canceled. But even outside of this, we can see that the numbers affect cross-category, cross-market, and cross-channel merchants.

The Covid-19 has drastically changed the entire world.

The shrinking store volume puts a lot of pressure on merchants

We maintain close communication with many merchants, and many merchants are facing supply problems. China accounts for 25% of the total global manufacturing industry and is the final assembly point for more than 80% of its smartphones. Toys, clothing, computer accessories, medicines, mobile phone accessories, etc., are mostly made in China.

Some larger companies require their manufacturers to ensure at least two warehouses, such as China and Vietnam. However, due to special circumstances and the spread of the epidemic, they have been greatly impacted.

First, as the virus spreads to other countries, even the second and third factories are located in cities where quarantine is implemented.

Secondly, judging from the outbreak’s time, many domestic managers and operators returned home for the New Year. Eventually, they stayed in the country, unable to return to secondary locations and reopen factories. The same is true for people in non-management positions. Even if they are abroad, many factories may rely on Chinese workers to go home for the holidays, and they run aground after the Chinese New Year.

Therefore, even companies that have multiple warehouses in different locations are facing supply chain issues.

Here are the next steps. You can try to alleviate the out-of-stock situation.

Diversify your supply chain. COVID-19 is a harsh wake-up call, but it is a necessary wake-up call for some businesses. If you are in a growing business enterprise, you have to invest in a diversified supply chain.

Abandon the “just-in-time purchase” approach. If you have traditionally ordered items in a short period of time, then it’s time to stop. This is a high-risk logistics strategy that makes lazy planning possible.

Predict demand in advance. One of the main reasons for “just-in-time ordering” during peaks and troughs is the lack of correct forecasts. Know when demand will surge and prepare inventory in advance.

Tips. Insufficient funds to guarantee a healthy (if not over-prepared) inventory? Alipay has a project to provide flexible funds for e-commerce companies. They will check your e-commerce account and make a quote. 

PS If you mention Deliverr, you will get a $200 signing bonus and priority rate. We are not a member of the alliance, we cooperate with them to hold various webinars, so they are happy to provide our merchants with this special offer.

Limited inventory means that you must strategically carry out fast shipping in terms of fast shipping.

Fast shipping has always been where we bring the biggest difference to merchants. We watched the inventory decrease, and the express shipping label was closed due to insufficient inventory.

Some businesses may want to turn off the quick label to save inventory and avoid out-of-stocks, but now is not the time to take a big hit to your business. There are several ways to make your inventory smarter.

Use a listing tool with real-time inventory updates. If one or two items oversell your items in a normal month, you can place a snap purchase order and complete the order before the buyer is too angry. Nowadays, this is not an option for many merchants, so it is more important than ever to keep an eye on your stock and track real-time updates across channels.

Merge your inventory. It would help if you fought for inventory efficiency for a variety of reasons. Even under normal circumstances, consolidating inventory helps avoid over-sales, allows you to see all inventory from one platform clearly, and makes everything easier to manage.

Maintain your service level. It is important to provide your buyers with the same service and speed as usual. This is very important if you are selling health products, food, and other important items that may be needed by people who are isolated at home.

According to the above two points, although the inventory is limited, to provide fast delivery in as many places as possible, you should consolidate the inventory to provide fast delivery.

For example, Deliverr merchants can use their limited inventory full use because they can obtain fast shipping labels across channels. Therefore, if merchants sell on Amazon, Walmart, eBay, Wish, and Shopify, they can keep all SKUs through Deliverr and still deliver products to buyers as quickly as possible (from a central location).

Note: If you sell in main categories such as health care, toiletries, etc., we hope to help you better serve your buyers. Please contact us for more information.

Withstand the baptism of wind and rain

Unfortunately, this is a global problem, and there is no way to escape it. We have felt this impact in the e-commerce industry. In some aspects, the e-commerce industry is booming (we have seen a surge in orders for vitamins and health products), while in other aspects, the e-commerce industry is stagnant.

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