All around the world, Coronavirus is hurting business in a big way. Just yesterday, the National Basketball Association suspended its season indefinitely. Some nations are now under full quarantine lockdown, like Italy. However, online eCommerce operations don’t have to come to the same kind of standstills. If you run an eCommerce business in the United States, here are some tips on how you can ensure that Coronavirus doesn’t impact your everyday operations.
Limit the Coronavirus Impact on Your eCommerce Business by Taking Advantage of “Contactless” Shipping and Pickups
As a safety precaution during the Coronavirus pandemic, all mobile delivery-based businesses are going contactless now. UberEats, Postmates, and countless others are all adopting the contactless delivery model. So, with all the right tools at your disposal, there’s no reason you can’t do the same for your online business.
What Does Contactless Mean?
In this case, “contactless” refers to zero person-to-person interaction. Typically, UberEats and Postmate drivers walk up to their clients’ front doors and hand off whatever it is they ordered. Now, these private delivery companies have instructed employees to leave all items on their clients’ doorsteps, or at the front desk of apartment complexes.
Use Free Online Shipping Software to Buy USPS Postage Online
Don’t go the Post Office to ship your packages! Did you know that when you use online shipping software to buy postage, you don’t need to leave your home or office? You can actually buy and print your own postage at home. Another perk is that the best shipping software companies will let you access the deepest discounts that USPS offers only to huge commercial shippers. These discounts, known as USPS Commercial Pricing, can end up saving you 90% of what you’d pay by shipping at the Post Office.
In addition to this, USPS is the only carrier that can deliver to and pick up from every residential address in the nation—all 157 million of them. When you use online shipping software, you can access that unparalleled delivery network from your laptop or mobile device…and you don’t even have to drop off your packages off at the Post Office. Most shipping software options also allow you to schedule free pickups done by your local letter carrier. That way, you can set your packages outside your door, and USPS will still inject them into the delivery stream.
When it comes to running an eCommerce business, going “contactless” is a win/win situation. You save money, you save yourself trips to and from the Post Office, and as a result, you limit potential exposure to Coronavirus (or passing it along to someone else, if you come down with it).
What if USPS Temporarily Stops Collection and Delivery?
Of course, the success of contactless shipping banks on USPS providing universal service. That said, if USPS temporarily suspends operations across the nation, then we’ve got bigger problems to worry about. As it currently stands, however, the Postal Service doesn’t plan on halting operations. Other private carriers like UPS and FedEx will be quicker to shut down than USPS, if it comes to that.
Prepare for Disruptions to Your International Shipments (but Only Those, For Now)
No matter how contactless you take your eCommerce business, you should still prepare for disruptions to your international packages. USPS relies on other countries’ postal services to deliver international parcels to final destinations. However, this poses a major problem in more affected areas. For example, Poste Italian, Italy’s postal service, has completely shut down all operations until the virus clears up. That means no Italian citizens will be receiving any packages any time soon…and other countries may not be far behind.
So, if you have customers in foreign countries waiting on packages, we suggest contacting them and setting the expectation that delivery may not occur for quite some time. In the meantime, as long as USPS is still up and running, there’s no reason why Coronavirus should put a stop to your eCommerce business.