Without being too insensitive, I have to ask, as an internet marketer, whether the Covid-19 virus should be named the Christmas virus. As a eCommerce specialist it’s clear that business is booming – depending on the sector that you are operating in. Anything to do with home, hobbies, education or garden has booming sales.
Obviously thee are sectors that are extremely quiet. My luggage sales site has pretty much died a death. However for those sites revolving around home and educational toys it’s Christmas all over again.
Lock-down driving eCommerce sales increase
This has to be great news for anyone who has a strong internet presence. The lock-down in the UK has also driven more businesses to look at offering an online option. The virus lock down has almost certainly boosted sales but it’s also going to lead to a lot more competition. That competition will not just come from established businesses looking at offering an eCommerce option. There are millions of people who have been furloughed. They are sat at home, being paid with nothing to do.
A proportion of those furloughed workers will be looking at using the opportunity to make a little money on the side. There will almost certainly be an increase in affiliate marketing sites and drop-shipping websites. Many of these new online traders will be looking at operating off established trading web sites such as Ebay, Amazon and Not on the High Street. But a number will also be launching their own web sites.
Furloughed staff look to making money online
With this wave of new online traders entering the market too make money online it’s important for established operators to make sure their web site and marketing strategy is up-to-date with all recommendations. It’s also a time to look for new opportunities if you normally sell items that are not currently in demand because of the lock-down.
As I said earlier my holiday luggage site is pretty much lifeless. At this time of year it would be bringing in a healthy incomes. Luggage is one of the few profitable categories at Amazon that you can still make decent commission levels on. At 10% commission it’s work working at a luggage site. Even low cost luggage will bring in some income but when you sell quality branded luggage sets at £300 or £400 a time you can earn serious money. But holiday travel has pretty much died down and it’s not a sector that you should be concentrating on.
People forced to stay at home buying home based products
The lock-down offers a lot of other opportunities. People have been making serious incomes from home baking, arts and crafts, home gyms etc. Even gardening products are proving to be pretty profitable and popular under current conditions. I’ve been selling well with my ‘home’ based websites and also be done well with my educational toy products. With schools in lock-down anything that can help with home education has been selling well.
The best thing is that this increase in sales across home-brew, baking, educational toys etc comes from organic traffic. There’s no paid ads involved or working at social media. People are at home searching for products. The organic traffic I’m seeing to some sites is matching, if not exceeding, levels i expect in the run up to Christmas.
Look to build repeatable sales base
Ensuring that you web site is well optimised, has good user experience and is fast to load will help you to develop repeat customers and a long term income. Obviously this is in relation to drop-shipping. One of the problems with affiliate sales is the difficulty in gaining repeat customers. You are sending people to another web site such a Amazon. The likelihood is when the customer needs to replenish their supplies they will go directly to that store rather than through your site. As an affiliate site you are consistently looking for new customers.
Drop-shipping is the way to go at the moment. Because all sales is undertaken on your site the customer does not know where the item is coming from. This means you can build up your own repeat customer. Repeat customers is the secret too building a growing and constantly growing income source.
If you only ever do affiliate marketing then this could be the time to test out drop-shipping. With so much online trade at the moment it is a good time to start to build a customer base. I think that this lock-down will probably see online sales growing stronger and quicker than previously estimated. It’s during this period of rapid growth that you can be staking your claim.
Take an honest look at your web site effectiveness
If you are not seeing the boost in sales despite being in a ‘lock-down’ friendly sector then it’s time to take an honest look at your web site. There’s lots of things that could be stopping sales or preventing you from even being returned by the search engines.
If you are not able to do an honest and clear assessment of the technical, visual and user experience aspects of your web site then it could be time to call in an outside specialist. A good web developer will be able to take a look and offer sound advice on how to improve your site.
The best way to improve your rankings is through on site optimisation. It’s also the best way to increase sales and improve the conversions of visitors to sales.
It’s probably not cost-effective to bring in outside help with an affiliate site where commissions are low and so is repeat business But for a drop-shipping site or a print on demand site, which can generate good margins and repeat business than external help is an investment which will pay back time and time again.