May 14, 2020 by Ben Chafetz

Adapting to Coronavirus: a Four Part Series for eCommerce Merchants

The current global pandemic has had far-reaching effects across all industries.

While there is still so much uncertainty surrounding the virus, one thing is certain: the world of eCommerce is facing a new reality for the foreseeable future.

121eCommerce would like to alleviate some of the strain and offer a few resources, guides, and tips to help your eCommerce store remain successful.

With that in mind, we present:

Adapting to Coronavirus: a Four-Part Series for eCommerce Merchants.

  • Part 1: Digital Marketing Resources for Companies Impacted by COVID-19
  • Part 2: Coronavirus Relief- Explore These Business Resources For eCommerce Companies
  • Part 3: Tips For Managing Deliveries & Logistics Affected by COVID-19
  • Part 4: The New Normal – Coronavirus And Its Long-Term Effects On eCommerce

Over the next four weeks, we’ll discuss marketing and business resources, recalibrating the logistics of your business and long-term strategies to consider. We hope this series will be informative and helpful.

Above all, stay safe and well!

Let’s dive into our first article…

Adapting to Coronavirus, Part 1: Digital Marketing Resources

While COVID-19  does present some opportunities for eCommerce entrepreneurs, overall retail sales are still plunging – so some eCommerce stores are suffering from restricted cash flow, lower sales, and other issues related to the virus lockdown.

If you’re looking to get the word out about your website, advertise your products to more people, and boost sales, you may be able to take advantage of the following digital marketing resources.

Get Grants & Ad Credits From Facebook

Facebook has rolled out a Small Business Grants Program, which will provide a total up to $100 million in both ad credits and grants. These will be available to businesses operating in any of the 30 countries in which Facebook operates.

Grants from Facebook can be used to cover expenses like payroll and rent, and other such costs that may be difficult to cover due to a reduction in income during the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis.

Ad credits can be used to expand visibility in Facebook, and reach wider audiences with targeted, customized ads to promote products and services, and help bring in more sales to compensate for drops in business caused by COVID-19 coronavirus. 

According to Facebook, more than 30,000 small businesses in 30 countries will qualify for these grants. Wondering if your business is eligible? To qualify, you currently must:

  • Have between 2-50 employees
  • Have been in business for over a year
  • Have experienced challenges to your business due to COVID-19
  • Be in or near a location where Facebook operates.

Currently, applications are open in the United States, and will likely open up soon in other countries. Click here to visit the Facebook Small Business Grants program, and see if you can apply in your area.

In addition to these grants, Facebook has updated its Business Resource Hub to provide businesses with the information they need to adapt to COVID-19 coronavirus. This hub provides information on a huge number of topics – from staying informed about the virus, to updating business hours & information, keeping in touch with customers, and preparing a customer service messaging plan. 

Get Funding And Ad Credits From Google

Google recently announced that it would be releasing a total of more than $800 million in funding and grants for both businesses and organizations responding to the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis.

The majority of this funding is earmarked for the WHO, select government agencies, and some non-governmental organizations and financial institutions around the world, which will help provide funding to small businesses impacted by the crisis. $20 million is also being sent to aid in researching a vaccine for COVID-19 coronavirus, as well as researching treatments and data tracking to track the spread of the disease.

However, small business owners can benefit the most from Google Ads credits. Google is releasing $340 million in credit to small-and-medium-sized businesses throughout 2020. These credits will be deposited directly into ad accounts that qualify. As of now, we know that:

  • This one-time advertising credit will be released in Q2 2020, and will be usable until the end of 2020
  • The credit will be available in every country where Google Ads is available
  • The rollout will focus on customers who have “existing relationships” with Google, and have been using Google Ads for at least a year
  • When it’s available, an ad credit notification will automatically appear within Google Ads, notifying eligible customers that they have been credited by Google

Spread The Word About Your Business On Yelp 

Yelp is also offering a relief program, which is primarily aimed at bars and restaurants. In total, there will be $25 million in relief for businesses, as well as a number of options that can help restaurants and bar owners advertise their products, including:

  • Waived fees on some Yelp Ads
  • Automatic pausing of scheduled Yelp Ads
  • $100 in free Yelp Ads credits to advertise take-out or delivery services at restaurants
  • Free use of Business Highlights, Call To Action, and Yelp Connect features for restaurant and nightclub businesses through May 25, 2020. 

If you’re working in the bar or restaurant business, these options are sure to help you advertise your products more effectively, and get through the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis.

See If Your Business Qualifies For Grants, Ad Credits, And More From These Programs! 

If your business has been affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis, the above programs may help you get additional funding, boost your digital marketing efforts, and stay in contact with customers during this difficult time.

Whether you’re in eCommerce, the restaurant business, or run any other type of small business, these programs are sure to help you get through the tough times ahead, keep your doors open, and be prepared to serve customers when the crisis passes. 

 

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