Essence of Email Weekly - eCommerce and coronavirus: What to expect?

MARCH 20, 2020 • 13 MINUTE READ


Amazon freezes non-essential product shipments from its third-party FBA sellers

On Tuesday, March 17, Amazon notified its US and EU sellers that it would no longer be receiving non-essential shipments of Fulfilled-by-Amazon (FBA) inventory. The freeze for those marketplaces runs through April 5, 2020.
As a result of the global coronavirus emergency, Amazon will focus on fulfilling the essential health, safety, and household product orders that consumers are demanding.
The freeze is affecting at least 53% of Amazon retailers, according to Jungle Scout’s data. Nearly all third-party retailers sell through Amazon FBA, and only selected retailers sell in the currently allowed categories (all of them are listed below).

Currently, the categories Amazon accepts and the percentage of sellers in those categories are as follows:
  • Baby Products – 17%
  • Health & Household – 20%
  • Beauty & Personal Care – 20%
  • Grocery – 12%
  • Industrial & Scientific – 9%
  • Pet Supplies – 15%
However, not all of these qualify as essential, according to Amazon.
Read more about what this means for US and EU Amazon FBA sellers, how it will affect Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) sales and sellers, and what it means for consumers in this article from Jungle Scout.


Email marketing crisis management: How to handle COVID-19

As COVID-19 sweeps across the globe, the crisis is having a dramatic impact on consumer interests and behavior. Health and grocery eCommerce activity seems to be booming in many countries, whereas other industries are experiencing a sharp decline.
If one of the key marketing channels for your business is email, you may be uncertain as to what the impact on email revenue will be both in the short term and in the long run.
Here at Essence of Email, we analyzed the impact the pandemic is having on our top customers and created a list of the best actions to take over the next few weeks. Keep in mind that you need to handle your communication appropriately and avoid alienating customers with marketing that appears to be insensitive and greedy in a time of crisis.
COVID-19 Impact on Email Revenue
Let’s look at the effect COVID-19 has had on the email performance of our customers with an annual revenue of $5 million in the footwear, apparel, and air filtration industries.
The March data for 2019 vs. 2020 doesn’t indicate a decline, but rather an increase in email revenue and the average order value. While this may change in the upcoming weeks, these brands are not currently seeing a decline in purchasing behavior. An indication that the situation may start to influence these rates is the 8.29% drop in click-through rates – implying that customers are open to brand messaging, but are not as interested in learning more about the products.
Having said that, it is now more important than ever for brands to address customers’ concerns and their changed behavior.
In this post, we discuss the actions that Essence of Email’s eCommerce clients are taking to quickly adapt and pivot their email marketing strategies around real-time trends.
Take a look at the full blog post.
We hope this helps. Stay safe and email thoughtfully!


eCommerce and coronavirus: What to expect?

You’ve probably already heard that eCommerce will grow significantly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You’ll probably also agree that this is a rather general statement that needs some clarification.
The opinion that coronavirus, social distancing, and staying home will boost eCommerce is widely held among digital marketing experts. Emails, social media, and online and TV news are overflowing with assumptions about the current situation and how businesses should handle the crisis. Will the numbers go up or down? Will numerous brick-and-mortar stores close, while eCommerce shops enjoy their best times?
According to this article by Marketing Land, it will not be so simple. While online shopping may increase in the short term, supply chain issues and uncertain consumer demand could dampen the eCommerce outlook.
A survey of 304 retailers conducted by Digital Commerce 360 finds a lot of confusion, uncertainty, and a very mixed outlook among retailers. The minority of the responders (38%) expect eCommerce sales to jump somewhat or significantly because of the virus. On the other hand, the majority anticipates their eCommerce sales will stagnate or decline.
Additionally, the survey expresses retailers’ concerns about the supply chain and consumer demand. Asked about what they’re doing to respond to the pandemic, 20% said they’re “taking aggressive action”, 44% said they were “taking some action” with more to come, and the remaining 36% adopted a “wait-and-see approach.”


How are brands from different industries handling their campaigns?

In times of crisis, it is important to utilize appropriate content in your emails. Choosing the right tone of voice and hitting the right timing is something all businesses should work on.
For this reason, AdAge compiled two lists – one containing the examples of brands that didn’t get the timing quite right, and another containing the examples that you can learn from. The latter will be regularly updated so you can get inspired and show your customers that you care about them in unusual and sensitive times like these.

Email inspo of the week: Emergency Emails

Spotify post-purchase apps
Really Good Emails are regularly updating their emergency email database to showcase the emails that companies are sending out to customers during the COVID-19 pandemic, among other emergencies.
Take a look and get inspired – you might be able to include some of the best practices in your copy and design.

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