Recession-Proof Your Ecommerce Business

Recession-Proof Your Ecommerce Business

Shifts in the economy are trying for any business. Even large corporations can be hit hard by a recession, and small businesses often struggle to maintain their performance as the economy constricts. Depending on the severity and duration of the recession, some businesses have trouble even keeping the doors open.

Given recent ups and downs in the stock market and other parts of the economy, it’s not a bad idea to prepare for a possible dip toward recession. What does that mean for e-commerce stores, though? How do you prepare for a recession in a market that’s constantly evolving?

Here are a few 2019 e-commerce marketing ideas, to help you weather even the worst economic storms.

The Hidden Danger of Recession

A recession can affect your business in a number of ways. Though the specific effects of a recession vary based on its cause and how long it lasts, here are a few things you can expect if a recession hits in 2019:

  • Consumer spending will slow as consumers try to build savings to protect them from further economic downturns
  • Competition will increase among companies operating in the same market as every company tries to maintain sales even as consumer spending drops
  • Inflation will start creeping up as retailers and suppliers adjust pricing to make up for decreased sales
  • Interest rates will drop while loan requirements increase, making it a great time to refinance debt but a difficult time to borrow money for general spending

The increase in competition during a recession can hit E-commerce companies especially hard because of the sheer number of modern companies with an online presence. There's already steep competition in online ad marketplaces, with Facebook PPC costs rising dramatically over the past 24 months. Increased competition can drive up these market-driven ad costs, leading to profits being chipped away by the very ads and marketing tools you use to drive your online business.

Rising Social Costs

In recent years, social media has been the place to be when it comes to advertising in the e-commerce landscape. With millions upon millions of users liking, sharing and commenting on social media, your ads and other marketing pushes seemed right at home in the middle of that digital frontier.

The problem is that users are starting to migrate away from old standbys like Facebook in favor of new platforms. They’re also consuming media in different formats, putting less emphasis on the feed and sidebar areas that have traditionally served up the majority of ads. With a recession potentially driving online ad prices significantly higher, you need to be careful about dropping too much money on ads that an ever-increasing portion of your target audience might not even see.

Watch Your Funding

While we’re talking about your spending, stop and think about just where that money is coming from. With fears of a pending global recession increasing as 2019 progresses, some venture capitalists and other investors are putting more scrutiny into where and how they invest.

This can cut expansion plans short, especially if you haven’t already secured investment funding before the recession starts. Planning ahead with alternate sources of funding and strategy for what to do if a funding source dries up is essential if there appears to be a new recession on the horizon. Or maybe it's a good idea to take that funding today before circumstances change.

Capitalize On Stories

While more traditional forms of social media advertising are proving less effective, this doesn’t mean that social media as a marketing venue is dead. Instead, shift some of your focus away from your traditional social marketing targets and deploy in those portions of social media that currently hold user attention.

One big new venue for marketing is stories, pioneered by Snapchat, which are limited-time combinations of vertical video, text and other media that are increasingly popular on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and other social media platforms. These stories are especially popular with Millennials, who are a prime target for many E-commerce marketers due to their significant market share and the increasing influence they will have on the economy in years to come.

Many platforms are still developing ways to monetize stories and provide paid advertising opportunities, but even unpaid organic ad campaigns can help your company establish a solid presence in front of fans and followers.

New formats such as stories are often cheaper in the beginning of their lifecycle, since other companies don't move quickly to make ads in these new formats until they are more proven.

Other Marketing Ideas

To maximize the scope of your marketing campaigns and ensure that your business still reaches the most potential customers, consider all of your options. There are a number of largely untapped opportunities out there at the moment, and including at least some of them in your marketing plans can help recession-proof your business in the event of an economic shift.

A few of the options available to your marketing team include:

  • Amazon PPC Advertising: Paid ads on Amazon appear mixed in with other search results and are currently one of the more cost-effective ways to advertise to a market as large and recession-secure as Amazon. Competition is heating up here though.
  • Smarten Up Your Store: Incorporating artificial intelligence into your store for smarter cross-recommendations and sales-focused chatbots or personalized offers can really impress customers, creating a smooth shopping experience that keeps them coming back time and again
  • Micro Influencers: Big-name influencers may be out of your reach, but many marketers are having tremendous success with smaller-scale “micro” influencers that have hundreds or maybe a few thousand loyal followers
  • Video of the Future: Instead of relying on simple ads for YouTube or Facebook video, try marketing livestreams, Vlogs and other unique video content to increase brand awareness and take your advertising efforts viral

There are a number of other options available to you as well, of course. The important thing is to stay creative, and keep your E-commerce business ahead of online trends instead of following behind and copying what everyone else is doing.

The more time you spend in front of the trends, the stronger your position will be if a recession hits.

Maximize Your Profitability

One key to surviving (and even flourishing) during a recession is keeping a clear focus on your company’s profit. Since a recession makes banks tighten their wallets, you can’t fall back on loans – you’ll need to rely on revenue, instead.

This is where OrderMetrics comes in. No other E-commerce analytics tool is focused purely on profitability.

The future can be an uncertain place. OrderMetrics takes data from multiple sources, automates its analysis and gives you a clear picture of both where you are and what you need in real-time. You can see at a glance which platforms are working for you, which campaigns need tweaking and where your company needs to head next.

If you want to maximize your profit regardless of economic twists and turns, sign up for OrderMetrics – we’ll show you how you can focus on profitability and keep your business growing in the face of changing times.