With the economy constantly shifting between highs and lows, small business owners and online store merchants feel the weight than ever. Fear-inducing economic news has raised concerns about an impending recession.

Although no one is certain what the future holds, businesses must prepare as though an economic downturn might be imminent. Intelligent companies follow recession-proof practices, which you can reproduce to ensure your eCommerce business stays afloat under any conditions.

Here are some of the top tips we've assembled from industry-leading online merchants for recession-proofing your eCommerce business. 

Utilize Email Marketing

Email marketing has, without a doubt, always been one of the leading sales channels for online businesses. Even in an economic downturn, be sure to keep consistently sending emails. Keeping in touch with your clientele and engaging with them is absolutely necessary, especially if their business means more to you than ever.

In order to make your business recession-proof, you need to push targeted and awareness-building emails to your audience. Your end goal with email marketing is to build brand loyalty to encourage repeat customers, as customer retention is much cheaper than acquiring new ones.

The most effective way to utilize email marketing is to use platforms that allow you to automate the process – check out our list of recommended platforms for online email marketing.

Decrease Your Overhead Costs

If your online store has unnecessarily high overhead costs, you are prone to struggle financially during a recession. These expenses sting even more when they don't convert into significant sales revenue.

It can be very beneficial to take a critical look at your business and see where you can cut costs without negatively impacting the quality of your products and services.

Use an SEO And Content Strategy

One of the essential parts of maintaining your online store is consistently uploading high-quality SEO-friendly content. 

Enlightening and engaging with your audience, you can place your brand as a leader in your industry, affirming confidence within your target demographic.

Your prospects and customers can consume this content for free, leading to organic traffic. However, creating quality, SEO-focused content takes time and commitment; you will need to develop a content strategy and consistently deliver it.

Improve Your Website's User Experience

Having an optimized website and product page design will make your store stand out from the competition – with a great user experience, your store will be prioritized over your competition.

Here are a few ways to reduce your customers' cognitive effort and boost conversions for your eCommerce store with improved website UX

Reduce The Number Of Options To Avoid Overwhelming Customers

If your store has a lot of products, consider grouping multiple options into categories so that the customer doesn't get overwhelmed by seeing them all together. 

Always aim for a minimum number of clicks for choosing and buying a product wherever possible. 

Avoid Hesitations With Quicker Load Times

Most website visitors will completely abandon your site if it takes more than three seconds to load. These customers will likely never return, so loading your site within these three seconds is vital.

You can use websites such as GTmetrix to determine whether your site speed needs to be improved on.

Create Alternative Revenue Streams

When your traditional product or service sales might be lacking, the solution to saving your business often lies in opening up additional revenue channels.

An example of this is providing subscription bundles in your store, turning one-time prospects into long-term customers.

Other alternative revenue streams you can include on your store could be digital downloads in the form of branded content, ebooks, guides, and more! Get creative and offer complementary resources that your audience will find helpful.

Improve Conversion Rates

When sales are down, it's a perfect opportunity to review your store for any minor tweaks that can be made to increase your conversion rates.

Start by ensuring your storefront is optimized for desktop and mobile. Put yourself in your customer's shoes, and mimic how someone might interact with your store. Are there any broken links that need to be amended? Any glitches that need to be fixed? Are your photos high quality, and the correct size? A bit of spring cleaning can go a long way toward enhancing your conversion rates. 

Another way of boosting sales, is by introducing a split-payment service, especially if you sell more expensive items. Giving your customers the ability to split their payment up over multiple weeks or months makes your customers much more likely to buy your products. If you're not sure if your payment gateway offers split payments on your online store, check out our guide on the top rated eCommerce payment gateways.

Ask Your Customers For Feedback

The best way to improve your store is to listen to the people who are buying from you. This doesn't change during a recession – in fact, it matters more than ever.

Doing this will gather valuable feedback and keep your customers engaged with your store, leading to higher conversion rates and lasting customer relationships.

Asking for feedback is hugely beneficial, but you don't want to disturb the customer journey. Some convenient opportunities are adding a pop-up to your website or requesting shoppers' thoughts after finishing an order or receiving their product.

For prospects' insights, asking for feedback over live chat is useful. After answering a customer's question, you can ask how effective the assistance was in opening the door for other comments. Your support agents will be able to act on the feedback immediately and provide further help if necessary. 

Conclusion

There are many steps you can take to shield yourself from the harmful effects of an economic downturn.

Anticipating the worst, following the tips from this article, and enforcing these efforts, your business will beat the hurdles you'll face during the economic recession.

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