Q4 is arguably the best time of the year for e-commerce and retail entrepreneurs simply because of one thing – holidays! Because of the holidays, many people go shopping – and we secretly hope that they shop in our store!
However, Q4 will be quite different this 2020, and we already know why: COVID-19. The pandemic had hit many areas of businesses and the way our society works. At one angle, we can say that the coronavirus pandemic altered even the way we live.
Because of the pandemic, many countries imposed lockdowns on both local and international travel. This meant that delivery of goods will take more time compared to the usual time it would take – and this is just one way the pandemic had affected businesses, including e-commerce.
Below, we are going to talk about the things we need to expect for Q4 2020. We are going to talk about some of the “bad news” – new obstacles we need to face – and what we can do to handle and overcome them. But as you’ll later see, it’s not all bad news: there’s also good news – new opportunities, changes in circumstances that will benefit us, etc.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Bad News For Q4 2020
1) Expect delays in shipping
Because of the lockdowns imposed by countries worldwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic, travel is restricted to some degree – and that includes commercial shipping. In short, there will be delays in shipping, especially if you are selling internationally. For local e-commerce entrepreneurs, you can still expect delays depending on the level of lockdown imposed by your country for commercial travel.
2) Sudden changes in demand may hurt your business
The COVID-19 pandemic had certainly shifted the demand in a very dramatic way. Before, we’re busy shopping for new clothes, books, video games, etc. During the pandemic, we’re busy rushing to the supermarket for toilet papers!
The COVID-19 pandemic had indeed dramatically shifted the demand for products – some increased while others decreased. While we cannot exactly point out which products experienced a decrease in demand due to the pandemic if you experience a gradual dropped in sales since the coronavirus pandemic, maybe it’s an indicator that your product’s demand is going down and you need to find your new niche or add products to keep your store afloat.
3) Expect more competitors
Because brick-and-mortar businesses are apparently badly hit by the pandemic, many people will turn to online businesses or jobs for making money. Whether they’re seeking an additional income, finding a new source of income, or just taking advantage of new opportunities, one thing’s for sure – you will have more potential competitors in the e-commerce scene!
However, considering that e-commerce is a booming industry even before the pandemic, this should not stun you that much. Besides, you can always have a fighting chance in the market as long as you have solid marketing tactics, business strategy, and great customer service.
Good News for Q4 2020
They say that problems create opportunities, and the COVID-19 pandemic is no different. Just as we got new obstacles like the ones we mentioned above, there are new opportunities and other good news that we can take advantage of!
1) E-commerce will even boom more!
The bigger competition pool may look like bad news for you, but if you will look at the bigger picture, it’s just part of the bigger – and good – news: e-commerce will boom more because of the pandemic!
Because of lockdowns, people are forced to shop and buy online. In fact, many people are already shopping online prior to the pandemic, but the pandemic only reinforced this buying habit even more.
If you are just starting out in the e-commerce business, now could be your time to join in the gold rush! If you are already here for a long time, this could be your chance to further boost your sales and grow your overall business!
2) Sudden changes in demand may favor your business
While some products experienced a dramatic decrease in demand, some products experienced a dramatic increase.
The most obvious type of product that experienced a dramatic increase because of the pandemic is sanitizing and cleansing products. Toilet papers, face masks, and hand sanitizers are some examples of products that are in-demand right now.
Other products such as fitness equipment (which became in-demand as gyms are closed for months), cooking products, and hobby products like books are experiencing an increase in demand as people look for ways to make use of their time inside their homes.
If your store does not sell these products, you may want to add them if possible. If it’s totally out of your niche, you may want to consider creating a new store to take advantage of this opportunity. Whether or not you’re going to replace your main store is up to you – remember though, trends don’t always go up, so always look at the bigger picture before making these decisions.
3) Countries are easing their lockdowns to slowly revive the international economy
Although lockdowns are still imposed in countries worldwide and shipping delays are still normal, many countries around the world are already loosening up their lockdown measures to revive both the local and international economy. In fact, shipping is smoother now in some countries compared to when the lockdowns had just started.
So, it’s only a matter of time before shipping and delivery go to normal. For now, just find a way on how to deal with shipping delays – it won’t take that long, hopefully!
While 2020’s Q4 will certainly be different compared to the past years because of the COVID-19, there are still opportunities to grow and bloom just as there are new obstacles that we need to work on.
Whatever the challenge is, we must work hard, spot opportunities, and take them to make our business grow and profitable!
If you need any help with fulfillment services, Fulfillmen can help you with that! Feel free to let us know here.