On March 11, The World Health Organization declared the Covid-19 outbreak a pandemic. This human tragedy becomes the terror of every country in the world, especially the EU - the epicenter of the pandemic.

They’re more than 700,000 cases (updated 31/03/2020), nearly 40.000 deaths worldwide and the bad news is that this virus will continue to spread out strongly in the upcoming months, bring interruptions and chaos to the life of billions of people.

From economic perceptive, Covid-19 impacts on the global economy are growing quickly. How are businesses dealing with Covid-19? What are the best strategies for leaders and decision-makers right now? This article is dedicated to providing the right answers for the above questions so that eCommerce businesses can overcome this crisis successfully.

Covid-19: What is happening right now? (March 31, 2020)

With the escalating of coronavirus, the sudden economic stop will lead to a global recession this year. On the global level, transportation is tightly restricted, healthcare systems are under crisis, and people from all over the world are living with fear. It is forecasted that the 2020 GDP rises by just 1.0% - 1.5%.

China witnessed more than 3,000 deaths and approximately 58% of the global coronavirus cases by 13 March and to 40% by 18 March as the number of cases in the rest of the world surged and Europe became the new epicenter.

Even the coronavirus originates from China, the most affected country now is the USA. The first coronavirus case in the US was confirmed on 21 January and the pandemic quickly spread out all over the nation due to delayed testing and the ignorance of the government.

Source: Internet

To respond to this global pandemic, WHO’s strategic objectives are to: 

  • Interrupt human-to-human transmission including reducing secondary infections among close contacts and health care workers, preventing transmission amplification events, and preventing further international spread*;
  • Identify, isolate and care for patients early, including providing optimized care for infected patients;
  • Identify and reduce transmission from the animal source;
  • Address crucial unknowns regarding clinical severity, extent of transmission and infection, treatment options, and accelerate the development of diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines;
  • Communicate critical risk and event information to all communities and counter misinformation;
  • Minimize social and economic impact through multisectoral partnerships.

Covid-19 pandemic appears as a real threat to humanity and an unpredicted crisis for the global economy.

How Covid-19 is changing customer behavior and the entire economy?

The clearest and most immediate business impact of the coronavirus pandemic was a major disruption to supply chains. Thousands of factories have been shut down in China that leads to a shortage of goods and materials worldwide.

The spread of the coronavirus caused several of the most important tech conferences to be canceled, likely resulting in numerous missed partnership opportunities. Magento, AWS and other giants have to quit almost all their offline events due to the fear of Covid-19.

Obviously, the travel restrictions and "social distancing" created a tremendous collapse in many industries such as tourism, food & restaurants, manufacturing, transportation, etc.

Customer behaviors are also changing a lot:

  • Almost 40% of people surveyed say they will make major purchases only when the outbreak begins to decrease or is over in their country. Almost 20% say they will wait until the outbreak decreases or is over globally.
  • High-income earners are open to making purchases once the national situation begins to improve.
  • Travel plans are changing with 26% of flights and 41% of vacations likely to have been delayed.
  • Almost 15% report delaying the purchases of luxury items, technology devices, and home appliances.
  • Smartphone usage is up significantly.

However, there are still positive changes during the Covid-19 pandemic:

  • 50% of Chinese and 31% of Italian consumers say they’re using eCommerce ‘more frequently’: It’s been common knowledge that, in some regions, many consumers have been stockpiling, whether via online shopping channels or brick-and-mortar supermarkets. In fact, those from the UK are the most likely to blame stockpiling for shortages of food and other essential items (89%) than any other country.
  • US grocery apps experience record numbers of daily downloads: As the virus begins to take its toll in the US, it appears that more and more consumers are turning to online grocery delivery, rather than risking a trip out themselves. Sunday 15th March saw a record number of average downloads, with Instacart experiencing a 218% increase when compared to download activity in February.
  • UK shoppers spend an additional £467m on groceries amid coronavirus fears: New data from Nielsen has revealed that grocery sales at UK supermarkets during the week ending 14th March increased by more than 22% compared to the same period in 2019. This equates to an additional £467m more in purchases than this time last year.
  • Netflix’s YoY subscription growth in US and Canada now expected to reach more than double previous estimates. 95% of consumers say they’re now spending more time on in-home media consumption activities.
  • Activity on Facebook’s messaging apps has increased by more than 50% in hardest-hit countries during the past month. 45% of global consumers spending more time on social media
Covid-19 impacts
Source: Internet
Covid-19 impacts
Source: Internet
Covid-19 impacts
Source: Internet

What are the best strategies for Covid-19?

In the short-term, working remotely is a must-to-do task for all businesses to avoid coronavirus transmission. However, many merchants are afraid that this change in the working method can reduce normal productivity and business performance.

Covid-19 impacts

However, remote work can bring huge benefits to employees. One of the most touted arguments for remote work is the increased productivity that comes with its flexibility. Remote employees are more likely to put in extra effort in their jobs, going above and beyond to get their work done in comparison to in-office employees. Also, business owners will save a lot of operating costs.

Who is leading digital transformation now? The answer is the coronavirus.

Here are some good practices for you:

  • Practice good meeting etiquette
  • Prioritize documentation and clear communication
  • Create boundaries between work and life
  • Make yourself visible at work
  • Schedule time for socializing
  • Connect with your teammates
  • Do postmortems on key projects
  • Build-in accountability
  • Define your and the team’s responsibilities

READ MORE. Best practices for remote work - FYI Blog

In the long-term, we hope that store owners don't feel too pessimistic about the current situation. All crises are dangerous opportunities, which means if you have proper solutions to solve problems, you will overcome the crisis quickly and your business definitely will flourish stronger than the pre-crisis period.

In the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, companies should review all their present workflows and plans for improvements. For Magento 2 store owners, adding new extensions to increase sales and enhance customer relationships is a smart choice.

We highly recommend the following extensions:

Boost online payments

#1 Opayo (Sage Pay) Integration

Connects your Magento site with Opayo easily, providing a wide range of security and optimized functions for the seamless payment process.

Highlights:

  • NEWSCA-ready with Direct Integration
  • NEW Opayo PI integration
  • NEW Magento orphan transaction log & recovery
  • Opayo Form, Server, and Inframe
  • Opayo PayPal support
  • PCI DSS Compliance Level 1
  • Tokenization & saved cards, 3D Secure, AVS/CVV verification, block payments with in-house rules

Our offer: $199 -> $84.5 (Use code W50)

#2 Stripe Payment Gateway

Secure payment gateway for your Magento 2 store with 500 million Stripe customers with Magento 2 Stripe Extension from Magenest

Highlights:

  • NEW SCA-ready with Stripe Hosted Page Checkout and Payment Intents API
  • NEW Support Stripe.js v3 with Stripe Elements
  • IFrame Payment
  • PCI DSS Compliance Level 1 for merchants
  • Prevent fraud with smart payment filter
  • Safe payment - IFrame checkout form
  • 3D Secure - Added security layer
  • NEW Support Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Microsoft Pay
  • NEW Apple Pay button now displayed in Stripe form

Our offer: $99 -> $49.5 (Use code W50)

#3 Barclaycard ePDQ Payment

This extension integrates your store with Barclays ePDQ payment gateway, one of the best payment solutions globally. It provides a simple, secure, and reliable transactions for your online stores.

Highlights:

  • Create a luxurious brand image
  • Process payments through Direct Link (Comply with SCA - Under PSD2)
  • Support 3D Secure for better security
  • Support backend payment (MOTO)
  • CVC Verification

Our offer: $199 -> $84.5 (Use code W50)

Encourage customers to buy more

#1 Gift Wrapper

Gift Wrapper for Magento 2 allows merchants to provide customers with a complete gifting experience right on their eCommerce site with wrapping papers and postcards.

Highlights:

  • Create and manage wrappers and postcards in the back-end
  • Assign wrappers and postcards to products
  • Choose how customers can add their wrappers and postcards: at the product page or at checkout
  • Fixed pricing or dynamic pricing available for wrapping papers based on customers' orders
  • Customers can wrap their items together and/or individually

Our offer: Free Installation

#2 Instagram shop

Magento 2 Instagram Shop extension helps you drive more sales by showcasing the Instagram gallery on your online stores.

Highlights:

  • Multiple layout options
  • Pin products onto photos
  • Performance report
  • Import videos from Instagram to your store
  • Import photos from Instagram on your store
  • Feature more than one products alongside photos
  • Easily customize the photo slider and gallery
  • Encourage customers' interaction with CTA elements

Our offer: Free Installation

#3 Photo Reviews

Photo Reviews for Magento 2 encourages customers to interact more with your store. By adding photos in the feedback, brands can drive more sales and gain trust from user-generated content.

Highlights:

  • Customers can upload photos in the review section
  • Display the pros and cons of the review section
  • Send email reminders to stimulate customers to review products after purchases
  • Admin can reply to customer photo reviews
  • Share reviews on social networks
  • Create a separate page to show all photo reviews

Our offer: Free Installation

#4 Social Login

Magento 2 Social Login Extension increases sign-up rate by up to 30% by removing complicated registering steps and allowing customers to quickly login to your Magento store using their social accounts.

Highlights:

  • Support 9 widely used social networks
  • Support product and link sharing to social networks
  • Easy setup and customization

Our offer: Free Installation

Optimize management process

#1 Salesforce Integration

This powerful extension syncs all your Magento data to one of the best CRM systems in the world - Salesforce CRM.

Highlights:

  • Sync product, order, campaign to Salesforce
  • Sync account, lead, contact, opportunity to Salesforce
  • Flexible syncing mode - Cron Job Synchronization
  • Easily map data fields from Magento 2 to Salesforce
  • Support 100+ data fields

Our offer: $349 -> $249

#2 Odoo Integration

Magento 2 Odoo Integration transmits and syncs data from Magento 2 to Odoo system. This extension automates all the Magento Odoo Integration operation that saves a lot of time and effort without manual errors.

Highlights:

  • Allow syncing Magento 2 Customers to Odoo contacts
  • Allow syncing product, order, invoice, sale order, and credit memo from Magento to Odoo
  • Allow syncing Tax rules and Shipping methods from Magento to Odoo
  • Easily tracking performance transmitting data with syncing reports
  • Cron-job syncing and immediately syncing
  • Track all syncing requests and syncing status

Our offer: $169 -> $69

#3 Admin Email Notifications

Magento 2 Admin Email Notification informs all key events happening in the store to admins that decrease time-consuming and optimizes manage activities.

Highlights:

  • Automatically send notification emails to vendors and customers
  • Easy to customize email templates
  • Assign email templates to employees/email sender
  • Group email receivers

Our offer: Free Installation

Most importantly, stay safe and healthy!

Never forget that good health is the most important. Follow these steps to help keep you and others safe:

  • Stay home if you can and avoid any non-essential travel. Avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people.
  • Practice social distancing by keeping at least 6 feet — about two arm lengths — away from others if you must go out in public. Stay connected with loved ones through video and phone calls, texts and social media. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean and disinfect household surfaces daily and high-touch surfaces frequently throughout the day. High-touch surfaces include phones, remote controls, counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. Follow CDC guidance.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes. Use a tissue to cover your nose and mouth, and throw used tissues in a lined trash can. If a tissue isn’t available, cough or sneeze into your elbow — not your hands. Wash your hands immediately.

Wrapping up

We hope that this article will help you deal with the Covid-19 effectively. We care about your business and always try our best to deliver you the best products and services.

Thank you for reading.

Stay safe and see you in the next updates about the Convid-19 pandemic!