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Historic Blizzard Affecting Your eCommerce?

With the sun shining bright in Austin, Texas it’s hard to believe there is a potentially historic blizzard hitting the Northeast at this very moment. Some northeasterners might be enjoying their relaxing days off or the serenity that comes with the absence of vehicles on the streets. However, this major snowstorm has posed many consequences for certain industries and the ecommerce world, in particular, has been hit hard.

How the Blizzard is Affecting Ecommerce

Due to power outages and travel difficulties, many packages are not being delivered to buyers in a timely manner. While some buyers are understanding, others are outraged by the shipping delays. Amazon and eBay sellers are finding it difficult to please buyers due to the inclement weather conditions that bring about mail disruption. Small ecommerce businesses might be finding themselves in a similar situation. Instead of letting these delays cost your business, use this to affectively display your customer service skills.

How to Combat Shipping Delays

We can’t manipulate weather conditions unfortunately. But, we can extend stellar customer service to those that are affected by the delays to reduce the risk of negative feedback. It’s important to stay active and communicate with your customers. Reach out and keep them updated so that they feel they’re in the loop. Issue warnings on social media, emails, and update your website. Maybe even take it a step further as to offer free shipping on their next purchase or some sort of future buying incentive. Proactively addressing the situation and communicating with buyers can lead to a positive reputation.

EBay Seller Ratings Won’t Be Affected

EBay allows buyers to leave anonymous seller ratings – what they refer to as Detailed Seller Ratings (DSRs). They factor these into seller performance standards. Fortunately for sellers that could not get packages delivered due to the blizzard, eBay announced that it would not factor in low DSRs relating to “shipping time” for sellers in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. However, eBay did not change their stance on the “communication” DSR regardless of affected power and transportation lines. Thus, it’s extremely important for sellers to alert customers and communicate in any form possible.

While we encourage everyone to focus on safe living conditions during this crazy blizzard, don’t lose sight of your ecommerce business! If you’ve been affected by power outages, transportation issues, and package delays, make sure you are communicating with your customers. You might have that one angry outlier who isn’t sympathetic to the weather conditions, but that’s nothing a little online reputation management won’t overshadow. Effective communication can help combat order pileups tremendously! 

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