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6 Tactics for Success for Retail Brands In the Post-Pandemic Era

COVID-19 is permanently reshaping e-commerce as we know it, separating winners from the rest.

Even before the fallout from COVID-19, when the economy was humming, many retailers were struggling with changing shopper preferences and habits as well as with cutthroat competition. The COVID-19 crisis has only magnified the pressure.

For many businesses, the first half of 2020 was an exercise in adaptation. A short-term reaction was needed to survive.

As a digital agency, we have always been focused on helping larger and smaller companies maximize their digital business to drive growth. This has never been more relevant than today. A long-term view will make winners.

Now is the time to act. The bold and ambitious companies that embrace the new reality and take timely action can capture market share and emerge after the crisis as market leaders.

Related: Starting an Ecommerce Store? 100+ Must Have Ecommerce Features, Tips, Trends, & Examples

The following 6 tactics are critical to consider when you are responding to the new e-commerce reality. Thinking through where you’re at in the context of your goals, and the opportunities available to you among the below recommendations can hopefully bring a slightly less surprising, more predictable, and more positive second half of the year.

1. Explore digital business model:

When it comes to digital transformation, the tide is changing (and it’s moving in the direction of increased competition and demand for more sophisticated e-commerce).

To start off, you might want to revisit the foundation of your business model to make sure that it is still valid in the context of digital sales channels, profit models, and the services that you can provide to your customers.

Many retail companies remain stunted in their e-commerce evolution, with rudimentary web stores and short-sighted e-commerce goals. It’s a high time to start thinking for more transformative approaches to e-commerce like mastering personalization and customer experience.

There’s plenty of opportunity ahead for those who choose to innovate. Do not stop to look around for the next big thing.

2. Overinvest in digital marketing channels:

The COVID-19 crisis is resulting in a permanent shift in shopping behavior and ways of reaching customers online. It’s time to funnel your marketing spend toward the digital channels and media versus out-of- the-home platforms.

Brands and marketers are forced to recalibrate their efforts to help maintain relevancy. The core of these recalibrations is hinged on the difference between needs and wants. Every retail business should heavily assess its product lines at this time and identify whether its products are truly necessary or simply “nice to have.”

Related: How Much Does it Cost an Ecommerce Website In 2020 (Time to Stop Making Excuses)

Companies that do this quickly can better adjust their messaging and creative accordingly, with a particular focus on why their offerings are needed. It’s critical that consumers understand how the offerings are useful and helpful during the pandemic while considering the brand’s mission.

Businesses looking to survive post-pandemic must also adopt an “all market” approach and implement marketing strategies that span every relevant channel. For example, brands should ensure their campaigns span wide to incorporate organic and paid search, social, mobile, smart TV, apps and email, etc. It’s critical that messaging remains consistent across every channel.

By monitoring consumer preference and habit changes, developing unique ways of showcasing a mission-led approach and adapting accordingly to new market insights, brands can lay the foundation for a new marketing funnel in the post-pandemic era.

3. Strengthen customer experience:

Customer experience is more important than ever. Keeping a real-time pulse on changing customer preferences and rapidly innovating to redesign journeys that matter to a very different context will be key.

Start by examinating customer journeys and satisfaction metrics to get an idea of what customers want. Then understand the path to purchase of your (new) online customers and provide them with simple and human-centered UX design to create delightful shopping experiences across devices leveraging the latest technological innovations.

If you have physical stores, ensure that they are digitally connected with your e-commerce channel.

4. Upgrade your supply chain and fulfillment:

Making your supply chain customer-centric will mean a few things: a stronger product availability, fast last-mile delivery and easy returns. This raises the question of flexible warehousing (perhaps utilizing your physical stores), logistics partnerships, and auto-replenishment models to manage profitability.

Re-think the process from order placement to delivery to find rooms for improvement:

  • How can you spend less on labor to receive a product and fill orders?
  • How can you ship to customers in the least amount of time and for the lowest cost?
  • How can you improve inventory control to eliminate backorders and shrinkage?
  • How can you increase the capacity of your existing space to store products?

5. Strengthen your technological platforms:

Pressure test your e-commerce platform, expand necessary capacity limits to prepare for an increasing consumer flow.

Take the opportunity to invest in advanced analytics capability to ensure personal, timely and automated customer interactions and recommendations across devices.

Integrate high-quality 3rd party solutions that enhance your customers’ experience using your eCommerce (CRM, ERP, up-to-date payment methods, marketing automation tools, live chat to name a few).

Case study: See how we help one of the biggest online stores in Bulgaria to expand their capabilities by partnering with Air Designs.

6. Reinvigorate your organization:

New digital talent (UX, visual design, developer, etc.) will be needed, and many of your existing employees will not be able to adapt. Seize the opportunity to replenish your talent base, and invest ambitiously in your culture and digital ways of working leveraging the latest interaction platforms.

You can also expand your capabilities by hiring a technology partner that can strengthen your eCommerce platform and make it ready for the post-pandemic era.

Case study: Seeking flexibility and responsibility in an outsourcing team

COVID-19 is permanently reshaping e-commerce as we know it, separating winners from the rest.

To succeed right now your business needs to adapt quickly and question everything once believed to be true.

Businesses need to be great “cyclists” – always moving, constantly evolving, and never stop pedaling. Speed is what gives momentum and creates balance and stability, allowing innovation. The moment you stop innovating someone else can enter and take your place.

The key is to think about what’s next, about building something better in the future, rather than going back to normal.

If you would like to see how we can help you position your eCommerce business successfully for the future, please reach out to us over email: or schedule a discovery call.

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Elena Velikova

Elena Velikova

Co-founder & CEO

Ecommerce6 min read

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