E-commerce Strategies for COVID-19 & Beyond

As the nation adjusts to shelter-in-place orders necessitated by the rise in COVID-19 infections across the country, brands in the natural products industry are working hard to ensure that consumers have access to the products that can help them maintain a healthy lifestyle. Several webinars and podcasts have taken place in recent days to help educate and inform brands on strategies for success.

Daniel Lohman of Brand Secrets and Strategies offered a free webinar titled “Trade Marketing Strategies That Grow Sales And Profits.” “Because of these uncertain times, a lot of brands are struggling to figure out what do they do next,” Lohman shared. “How do they succeed? How do the compete more effectively? The best way I can help you do this is to better manage your trade management–everything that you spend to get your product in the hands of the consumer.”

Lohman noted that 25% of a brands gross sales are tired to trade marketing, but that over 70% of promotional spending is wasted or innefective–and that number may be higher in natural. But, he adds, digital strategies can add “rocket fuel” to your sales growth. “I frequently suggest that brands start with an online strategy, a digital strategy, a strategy to help get your products into the hands of more shoppers before you go the traditional route of brick and mortar.” Lohman outlines key steps and strategies in a replay of the webinar, available here.

Also offering advice for brands, marketing agency Right Side Up and private equity firm VMG Partners hosted a webinar titled “Shifting to Online Amidst COVID-19: Maximizing DTC and Amazon Sales.” Acknowleding that out of stocks are hard to avoid right now, they offered advice for web sales, including:

  • Include banners to notify consumers about delays or other issues that may impact their order.
  • If out of stock because of fulfillment or supply chain issues, offer discounts and allow back orders, or consider replacing the “add to cart” button with “notify me when back in stock.” And, always, be transparant–never mislead consumers
  • Engage consumers with social media posts and emails featuring quality content, such as staff recomendations for streaming watch lists, family activites, or healthy recipes.
  • And a don’t: Do not underestimate how long it takes to stand up a DTC store, they cautioned, noting that it can get complex and time-consuming, so it may be better to go with a 3rd-party marketplace presence and point web traffic to that marketplace.

The webinar also featured detailed information on Amazon, with information on fulfillment, advertising, and more.