Amazon sellers should engage more with customers sine this current COVID-19 pandemic is a world-altering event, impacting nearly every sphere of life. With many countries across the globe on lockdown, including the closure of non-essential shops, people are staying inside.

The outbreak is having a major impact on the eCommerce industry. In fact, recent market insights published by Coresight Research suggest that nearly 75% of US internet users are likely to avoid shopping malls during the current crisis and more than half would avoid any brick and mortar stores.

Social distancing is changing how people live, including how they shop. During these uncertain times, eCommerce sellers may be worried about losing customers, but there are effective strategies to maintain engagement – social distancing doesn’t have to mean social media distancing.

Check out 6 ways on how to engage with your customers during the coronavirus outbreak.

1. Share Positive Content

These days, the news can be frightening and the constant flood of online content relating to coronavirus can become overwhelming. Using your social media presence to spread positivity is a wonderful way to engage with your customers while bolstering spirits – and providing a little escapism.

Communicate with empathy and the right dose of humor by posting share-worthy content that gives real value. A great example of creative, positive marketing during the coronavirus outbreak is toy production company Lego.

Their #LetsBuildTogether campaign gives people who are stuck at home great activities under quarantine.

Engage with customer via social media - Lego example
Get your customers to engage by offering a challenge

2. Offer Discounts and Promotions

While it is still too early to really gauge the financial toll of the coronavirus outbreak, consumer confidence has been shaken. People are wary of making purchases during uncertainty but giving added value – especially on essential items – can overcome this hesitation.

Give your customers a good reason to shop and help them save money by offering special deals and promotions. One great way to do this is to offer a loyalty program with discounts for repeat customers. By rewarding customers long term while giving them immediate savings on purchases, you can bolster sales and propel brand confidence.

3. Communicate with Your Customers

The hallmark of social distancing is isolation, but this doesn’t mean people aren’t communicating. According to analysts, Zoom, the now-famous video conferencing platform, has experienced a 300% increase in daily use.

Live streaming is another great way to give your customers a more personal experience. Answer questions and meet them in real-time or offer video walk-throughs of your store or facilities to encourage familiarity with your brand. Another benefit of in-store live video is being able to show your customers that you are taking appropriate precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus. That brings us to the next tip!

4. Do Your Part

Even though the WHO reports that “the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, traveled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is low,” people are still being extra cautious about the products they let into their homes.

Show your audience that you’re serious about keeping people safe by posting images and videos of the preventative measures you’re taking. While keeping safety measures transparent is a great use of social media, creative messaging about staying at home is another way for eCommerce sellers to show solidarity during the coronavirus outbreak on social media. Take for example this impactful but lighthearted image from Ikea.

Ikea example on how to engage with customers through humor
Ikea instructions are always clear & easy. Right?

5. Help Others

If you can, consider earmarking some profits for charity, especially those that support causes related to the coronavirus outbreak, and promote this option on social media channels to drive engagement. You can also add an option for customers to donate directly to a cause in return for loyalty points or rewards that can be cashed in at purchase.

According to a Nielsen report, 81% of consumers surveyed would prefer to purchase from companies that demonstrate good corporate citizenship. Using social media during these challenging times offers eCommerce sellers the opportunity to do good. Take a look at how global shoe brand Crocs is making a difference and helping others.

Crocs brand engages with customers by letting them know they are donating pairs of shoes
Crocs made a brilliant move engaging with customers by donating free shoes

6. Create Events

One of the hardest parts of social distancing is the lack of fun events. With concerts, Amazon seller conferences, exhibitions, and museums shut down, people are craving group activities – even if they occur virtually.

Leverage online conferencing platforms or social media live streaming to broadcast events that engage and foster community. An amazing example of a global company using online platforms to create events is Levi Strauss & Co.’s live concert series. The fashion company’s audience benefits from online music events while they successfully promote the brand with empathetic, fun content.

Conclusion

The current outbreak is causing a major shift in consumer behavior. As more and more stores are shuttered, shopping is moving entirely online – presenting a big opportunity for savvy eCommerce sellers.

However, using social media to promote your eStore in the current climate requires sensitivity and forethought. There are a number of ways that you can increase consumer engagement using social media while staying relevant, sensitive, and interesting. With that said, stay healthy and safe!

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