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Even in Lockdown State, We Stand by E-commerce Businesses

Just after the lockdown was announced in the last week of March 2020 in India, the Ministry of Home Affairs announced that not only physical stores dealing in essential commodities will be allowed to open shop; for e-commerce companies too, the guideline issued mentioned that they could deal in essential goods only during the lockdown.

In a series of guidelines issued by the MHA then on, it was clarified that e-commerce companies and firms were being allowed to open their shops for the ordering of essential commodities while the non-essential commodities segment remained closed throughout.

Even though the e-commerce firms were prohibited from dealing with non-essential commodities, the fact that they were allowed to carry on with their home deliveries of essential goods throws light on the growing significance of this sector in the Indian economy.

The lockdown during COVID did come with its share of chaos where initially not much clarity was there amongst the public about how essential items like grocery, dairy products, drinking water, etc. would be supplied to their homes. When the e-commerce firms came into the picture, things got much smoother and easier because the entire purpose of the lockdown now looked like it could be realized successfully.

Purpose of the lockdown

The objective of the lockdown was to keep people home so that the spread of the disease could be kept under check. What the lockdown necessarily meant was that the common man should not be stepping out of their homes except in case of buying essential items. The more people stayed inside; the better could the purpose be solved.

Role of e-commerce companies during the lockdown

While the neighbourhood and the local kirana or grocery store were open, going out of home for people to buy the daily essential was about putting their health at risk. With children and elderly parents part of many households in India, it also meant risking the life of the family member. The best thing was to stay put at home and order online.

This is where e-commerce stores like Flipkart and Amazon came to the rescue of the common man. This seemed to be the safest way to stay indoors and yet ensure that the household requirements were addressed in the right manner.

Even though the grocery, pharmaceutical, and healthcare products sold accounted for a very minuscule percentage of online sales for big e-commerce platforms, most of them were happy to open their stores online during the lockdown.

It is important to note here that while in Lockdown 1 & 2, only essential commodities were allowed movement even for e-commerce companies, in Lockdown 3 from May 4th till 17th, these companies were allowed to sell and deliver all items in the orange and the green zones. Only in the red zones, the prohibitions continued as per the earlier two lockdown phases.

The immediate effect that was noticed in the orange and green zones was that people, though reluctant initially, went ahead and bought non-essential items like smartphones, makeup and cosmetics, grooming-related products, and apparel. Certain companies reported as much as a 50% surge in orders and sales in grooming and hair-related products like trimmers, shavers, dryers, and styling products from Tier 2 and 3 cities in May, compared to March.

It has been now felt that the digital medium and platform has played a crucial role in the way it has eased off some of the challenges that were being faced by the common man.

Opening of the lockdown and resumption of full services of e-commerce activities in India

In the days where the Unlockdown was announced, there was a feeling that the digital platform is going to play a significant role in the way the disease would be fought in the country. This is especially true in a situation where the government and health departments are focussing on social distancing. It is e-commerce that is going to be at the forefront of most commercial activities, in the B2C domain as well as the overall economy of the country.

When the fourth phase of Lockdown was announced in mid-may, many top e-commerce companies like Amazon, Firstcry, and Nykaa opened their full-services in orange and green zones. Some, however, were more cautious about opening all their services and products category.

State of affairs for e-commerce platforms that do not deal in essential commodities

The Lockdown caused some big areas of concern for e-commerce businesses that had nothing to do with the essential sector. Many big, medium, and small-scale firms working solely in the digital platform had no sales to register in the period from end-March to May 2020. For lakhs of online sellers (as per estimates approximately 5,00,000), the Lockdown meant an abrupt stop to sales and revenues. Without sales and revenues, another thing that hit most of the online sellers was the concern that their shipment on the way to the warehouse, or in the warehouse, could get damaged, and hence payments from clients could get further delayed or disrupted. To maintain an effective supply chain, the sellers had to pay their suppliers against raw materials and semi-finished products, which meant that suppliers had to be paid, on one hand; on the other, the payments against consignments that were shipped just before the lockdown were still not received from the clients.

Now, as the lockdown opens, things do not look hunky-dory for these sellers. With many of the stuck shipments returned to them, they do not expect to receive very many orders shortly from the customers – as a result, a financial meltdown seems inevitable. The future of many such businesses, especially those that are not in essential products, or deal in products that are not required for sustenance, things looks quite bleak at the moment.

Conclusion

It would not be unfair to say that the presence of top e-commerce companies helped most people who were following the lockdown guidelines, and was working from home. It also proved to be a boon because e-commerce facilitated people to sit or work at home, a study from home, make essential payments from home, and also entertain themselves through the digital medium, from home.

Why Digital Marketing Is Must For Your Business Success?

Digital marketing is nothing but the marketing of services or products using online platforms, mainly the internet, including display advertising, mobile phones or any other digital medium. In today’s world, online platforms have become a trend with multiple users across the world. With the evolution and change in modern and digital technologies, both large and small scale businesses are doing everything that is required to keep up, and no doubt it has opened many doors to success.

Digital marketing is easy to handle, monitor, track and trustworthy which provides good transparency in your business.

Key benefits of digital marketing are:

It helps expand business and popularity of the brand/service

  • Good advertisement leads to good sales and this is exactly what digital marketing caters you with. It uses smart techniques and strategies that not only attract customers but also helps convert these leads into sales.
  • Digital marketing allows you to engage with the customers via blogs, social media, and brand websites and maintain a better relationship. It also helps you retain, acquire customers, understand their needs and reviews about the company.
  • The ability to attract and interact with targeted customers in real-time is another reason why digital marketing is loved over traditional marketing. It allows you to deliver quality, builds the reputation of your brand and provides opportunities to reach bigger markets.

Gives a fair chance to small enterprises

  • The days when the notion that digital marketing is essential for large corporations is long gone, even the small/medium scale enterprises can get a chance to compete against the big ones and attract their fair share of traffic.
  • The small fishes in the world of digital marketing can effectively multiply customers without the need for call centers, branches, and physical stores.

Is cost effective and profitable

  • Another key advantage is that digital marketing offers a more cost-effective marketing channel over the traditional techniques and effective marketing also helps generate better revenues by high conversion rates.
  • Digital marketing provides better ROI (Return of Investment) than traditional marketing channels. With better branding and revenues, you can easily generate sales or leads from the targeted traffic to realize your ROI faster.

The 7 Ps of Digital Marketing

Internet marketing is continuously evolving and is getting revolutionized every now and then. Therefore, to increase your probability of success in the field of marketing, it is extremely important that you have a complete understanding of all the 7 Ps of marketing tactics:

  • Price:

Price is nothing buy the amount paid by the customer for the service provided. Organizations must develop the habit of continually examining and re-examining the prices of the products whenever needed. If you wish to stay in the race of the fast-changing marketplace, then be open to revising your product prices as per the competition in the market.

  • Place:

The place is referred to the location of the product where it has been seen, made, sold or distributed. Some companies prefer direct selling by sending a salesperson door to door while some opt for online marketing.

  • Product:

Creating and delivering the right products as per the customer requirements and demands is extremely important. Therefore, appropriate research and estimation for the current product demands in the market are extremely important.

  • Promotion:

Promotion of your product is a vital part of any business. You must develop and implement various innovative campaigns to deliver a consistent message through your advertisements so that you are able to grab extensive attention from the right customers.

  • People:

People are crucial for the success of any brand or company. You will need to hire the right human resource that is capable of delivering excellent results and are able to answer all the queries of the customer. It is also highly important to have a group of people who can share genuine feedback about the products through forums, blogs etc.

  • Process:

The process is all about the service is provided to the customer. The actual reputation of the company is based on how fast and efficiently the products are delivered to the customer. Having a streamlined process at all levels is a huge competitive advantage.

  • Physical Evidence: 

Delivering customers, a beautiful experience is the prime mission and vision of any organization. If you are running a restaurant, then you need to ensure you are standing out from the rest by offering the incredible ambiance and remarkable hospitality where the customers can enjoy a wonderful dining experience.

By understanding all the fundamental principles of these 7 Ps of Digital Marketing, you are likely to stay ahead in the competition and move forward profitably.

Live Blogging Traffic

Real-Time Content for Overwhelming Traffic

Content is King” is a dictum that has held the field since the digital landscape grew out of its cloistered dimensions to gain a wide prominence. However, it is not the case that content strategies, combined with painstaking efforts, always bear due fruits. Some marketers live in fool’s paradise and overlook the fact that content creation is principally geared towards directing the traffic to a targeted location. Further, if the traffic goes off the drift, purpose of content creation is defeated. Considering the fact that competitors endeavour to occupy a major chunk of space on the digital terrain, marketers struggle to counter them in a lack of content ideas to steer their boat. However, real-time live blogging grease the skids in this regard, to a significant extent.

Exploit Real-Time Twitter Chats Recaps

Twitter chats serve as a connecting link to an audience, engaged in a conversation, relevant to your brand. In many instances, twitter chats feature more than 3,000 tweets within their scheduled time slot. In addition, twitter recaps cut down on time and efforts invested into creating relevant information content.

Here are some of the points that should not be overlooked:

  • Make it a point to jot down good notes during the twitter chats. It may seem challenging in the first instance if you try to participate at the same time. However, your efforts would get doubled if you sift through the information later.
  • If your post is due for the next day to get live, just ensure that people, you have quoted, are acquainted with the fact that they have been featured. Further, prompt them as well into passing the words down.

Newsjack Relevant Topics

Fundamentally, newsjacking means pitching into a trending topic and contribute something valuable to the thread of conversation. As a result, you need not rummage through a stream of internet marketing ideas and simply share your perspective. Some of the eminent brands in the industry have mastered the art of exploiting newsjacking to their SEO purpose and have born due dividends of it.

Newsjacking, being a potent social media instrument, can double up as a major driving force to direct traffic back to your content by live-blogging the concerned post. News sites like Search Engine Journal, for instance, are adept at creating content on the trending topic and spread the information across wide, sprawling digital overland.

Here are some of the tips to employ newsjacking in the best way possible:

Act on your Feet

Invest painstaking efforts in widening the reach to your content. Further, get acquainted with content creation hierarchy ahead of time to get the content out quickly.

Show your Acumen

Although edgy campaign through newsjacking will steer your ship in the right direction, so not turn a blind eye to the fact that newsjacking something which projects the weird image of your brand will be damning to your prospects. So, act shrewd while newsjacking.

Wrap up with Call-to-Action

Once your brand goes viral in a conversation, make it a point that you incorporate something which leads the viewers to the concerned location. A call-to-action will serve your purpose in this regard.

These two aforementioned strategies will pull your content down across the audience and simplify the content creation process. As a result, you can commit the time thus saved into distributing your new content.