From navigating supply chain issues to keeping up with changing customer demands, surviving an economic downturn as a WooCommerce store is serious business.
If you’re too slow to act, you might be putting your business up for sale faster than you think. If you pivot without a clear strategy, you might be putting a serious drain on your company resources.
But hey, it’s not all doom and gloom.
By understanding how to make the most of this pivotal time in eCommerce history, you can revive sales, win over new customers, and grow into a thriving online business.
Let’s take a closer look at how to survive an economic downturn as a WooCommerce Store. But first, let’s touch on what to do if you’re just starting out.
Starting a WooCommerce Store in an Economic Downturn
If you’re just starting your WooCommerce store, don’t panic. To set yourself up for success in a fickle economy, it’s essential to start as frugally as possible.
Thanks to a wide array of online resources, reducing startup costs can be quite simple, if you know where to look.
Here are a few quick tips to help you start your new business on tight purse strings:
- Use free marketing resources like an image editing api by Picsart for editing visual content and an AI writer like Simplified to generate optimized marketing copy.
- Create a customized logo with a free logo maker.
- Save on inventory costs by choosing a dropshipping model instead of storing your own products.
- Avoid costly ads and opt for a personalized email marketing strategy instead.
Surviving an Economic Downturn as a WooCommerce Store
If you’re already up and running, there are several steps you can take to ride out the storm and future-proof your business.
1. Don’t Forget Gen Z
Expand your marketing efforts to include younger generations, like Gen Z, who make up about 20.7% of the US population. With the popularization of teen debit cards, this generation has more options to spend their allowance or earned income online.
In fact, Gen Z earns roughly $43 billion from their allowance and $100 billion from worked income, with a total spending power of $143 billion.
But there’s a caveat here. In order to appeal to Gen Z, you have to learn what they like and what makes them loyal.
Spoiler alert: They love digital experiences — think snazzy digital fashion they can wear in the Metaverse and popular video game avatars like the Fortnite Harley Quinn.
As far as what helps them build trust with brands?
Gen Z is loyal to brands that:
- Share and live out their brand mission
- Are environmentally conscious — think sustainable packaging and ethically sourced products
- Value inclusivity, diversity, and equality
- Align with important socio-political issues
- Have seamless shipping processes
- Deliver a pristine customer experience
2. Deliver a Pristine Customer Experience
Gen Z isn’t the only generation that values a great customer experience. Customers of all ages want to feel at ease across all touch points when doing business with your brand.
Here are a few ways you can deliver an exceptional customer experience:
Engage with Your Audience Consistently
American Trucks is a great example of a marketplace that doubled down during the pandemic even when truck rims and other car accessories weren’t in high demand.
Its main focus? Pouring marketing dollars into creating and engaging with a loyal online community.
Perfect Your Site and Store Navigation
From navigating between pages to filling out your contact form to perusing your products, make sure your site and store navigation are seamless.
Lock Arms with Fast and Reliable Shipping Partners
Streamline shipping and delivery by building relationships with delivery partners known for their fast and reliable processes.
Offer Multiple Customer Support Options
Make sure customers have plenty of ways to get in touch with you should an issue arise with their orders. Implement live chat, chatbots, self-service support options, email support, social media support, and phone support if possible.
3. Build an Emotional Connection With Your Audience Through Storytelling
To drive true customer loyalty, it’s pivotal to build meaningful, emotional connections with your audience. A great way to do that? Storytelling via video marketing.
Creating content and communicating consistently with your audience is key to making customers feel close to your brand. With YouTube, your audience has a dedicated channel they can scour to binge product demos, reviews, and learn more about the heart of your company.
When setting up your YouTube channel, make sure it looks professional and on brand. Use a YouTube banner maker to add your brand elements and customize the look and feel of your channel.
4. Stay Agile
Learning how to pivot quickly and strategically is key for any business looking to survive an economic downturn.
Here’s what to focus on when aiming for agility:
- Befriend product innovation and expansion
- Implement customer feedback as soon as it comes in
- Hop on profitable trends
- Test new marketing strategies before officially implementing them
- Integrate flexible mobile payment options across all touch points
- Test and refine your operational standards
- Diversify by expanding your store to other eCommerce platforms, such as BigCommerce, Amazon Marketplace, Shopify, and Walmart Marketplace
- Use a multichannel marketing approach, such as partnering with influencers and affiliates, implementing email marketing, and showing up consistently on social media
Surviving an economic downturn can stir up panic amongst even the savviest WooCommerce store owners.
But the truth is, learning how to thrive amongst challenges is key to growing into a business that lasts. While the market changes can be scary, they also forcing brands to become better operators as a whole. And that’s a good thing.
Are you ready to thrive as a store as the economy ebbs and flows?
By implementing the practices we shared today, we’re confident your store can flourish no matter what.
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