Business Ecommerce Marketing

How to Encourage E-Commerce Spending During COVID-19

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After brick and mortar stores around the country underwent lockdown, many retailers became concerned about their ability to ride out the challenging financial times posed by COVID-19. 

While in-store purchases have significantly declined, e-commerce and delivery services are a potential bright spot for retailers looking to navigate the new and changing commercial climate.

The question is, how can companies encourage and increase their sales on e-commerce platforms in these challenging times? How can they keep consumers positively engaged?

This article will highlight 3 ways that e-commerce companies can better understand changing consumer behavior and how to leverage these changes for increased sales.

Enable Comfort Buying

Your customers are each coping and dealing with the effects of COVID-19 in different ways. It’s essential to your success to be empathetic to their experiences while also enabling them to make purchases that align with their evolving preferences.

According to research from WalletHub, many shoppers in the United States are spending more while in quarantine than they would normally, despite being discouraged to leave their homes to shop. 

Currently, about 58 million people across the country are spending more than they would under normal circumstances.

Surprisingly, the global pandemic has not deterred people from spending. They’ve particularly engaged in what WalletHub calls “comfort buying.”

The study indicates that 43% of buyers have made at least one purchase primarily driven by comfort. This explains the increased consumer spending on things like at-home entertainment and alcohol. 

While it’s relieving to find consumers investing in non-essentials during COVID-19, businesses are still challenged with attracting people to their services in a saturated, digital marketplace. 

Because comfort buying has become a strong preference for consumers, you can encourage increased spending on your e-commerce site by empathetically addressing their desire for comfort in your copy.

Grubhub has done this effectively through their site’s description in Google Search results.

The food delivery platform has leveraged empathetic messaging relating to COVID-19 both in the meta description and site title. By quickly glancing at the information, viewers learn that the company:

  • Prioritizes contactless transactions for safety 
  • Encourages supporting local businesses
  • Addresses security concerns 
  • Wants users to enjoy and indulge in the dining experiences they’re used to

Each of these factors entices consumers to make a comfort purchase, knowing that their business will support local restaurants without jeopardizing their health or safety.  

People are making purchases to ease stress. You can help them achieve that by aligning your messaging to assure them that you’re there to help them get through day-to-day difficulties.  

Publicize Sanitation and Safety Measures

Assuring your customers that your products are sanitized and safe to receive will encourage them to purchase items through e-commerce channels.

While WalletHub’s recent report indicates that consumers are willing to spend more while they’re stuck at home, there are still several reservations that can keep a customer from making a purchase.

Because of the increased health risks posed by COVID-19, health and safety concerns are very common among those hesitant to make purchases. The report reveals that 60% of Americans had anxieties about purchasing products, especially food, because of sanitation concerns.

These worries are keeping many from ordering food and supporting businesses that would otherwise be compelled to purchase. 

It’s your responsibility to debunk these unnecessary worries and fears by communicating the safety measures your company is taking to make sure your products are safe. 

Companies in the food industry have been proactive on this front. In an April email, Sweetgreen discussed how their employees are ensuring that their food is safe for people to continue to order and consume.

This message assures customers that Sweetgreen is being proactive and responsible through their food safety measures. This dispels potential worries about the spread of germs by directly and transparently addressing them.

Listed below these measures within the email is a call to action button that enables readers to place an order. 

Once their worries about sanitation and safety are eliminated, they’ll be much more likely to follow through on a purchase.

Monitor Package Security

Package and delivery security have always been essential to a healthy supply chain. With the increased demand for delivery, it’s more important than ever to ensure that your goods are delivered to your customers as promised. 

The retail and customer experience survey indicates that the delivery process is another mental hurdle that consumers must overcome in order to make an online purchase during COVID-19. 

On their end, they want to ensure that their package will not be damaged or stolen in the delivery process. Currently, 57% of United States consumers are anxious about their packages’ safety during transport.

If consumers are nervous about their items arriving intact, they’re much less likely to invest in your product to begin with. 

In order to address this issue, take a consumer-facing, customer service-oriented approach. First, it’s critical that you have the bandwidth to track and confirm successful, accurate deliveries.

By closely monitoring your fulfillment success, you’ll be better positioned to share your shipping competencies publicly. 

Once you’re confident in your ability to deliver, it’s time to share this information prominently on your website to ease purchasing anxieties. 

Similar to your safety and sanitation measures, include your delivery accuracy statistics within your copy, preferably near a call to action. 

Your customers will be thinking about the delivery process as they approach their final purchase, so assuring them of your competence directly before they make their decision will be helpful in building their confidence and trust in your brand.  

Direct and Empathetic Messaging Builds Consumer Confidence

Your customers are navigating the COVID-19 pandemic with caution, but that doesn’t mean that they no longer want to make purchases and engage with your brand. 

It’s important to recognize their worries, especially those related to sanitation and delivery safety, to empathize with their concerns and illustrate that your company is there to help. 

If your business is able to honestly address consumer hesitations while encouraging comfort buying preferences, you’re more likely to see increased sales and spending through your e-commerce platform.

About the author


Sydney Wess

Sydney Wess is a content writer and editor at Clutch, focusing on supply chain and e-commerce.