eCommerce Trends

How Businesses Can Drive Growth During a Downturn

Here are Talkable's recommendations to avoid the pandemic's worst economic effects in the eCommerce business.


The COVID-19 pandemic has affected businesses of all sizes. Companies are now faced with a dramatically new reality and new conditions to quickly adapt to. 

Marketers are now living in a new reality because of the crisis, too. They are forced to really thread the needle in achieving their business and departmental goals while remaining highly sensitive and humane towards their customers and employees throughout this crisis.

For small and medium-sized businesses, this challenge remains very serious even in spite of government economic rescue measures. [Editor’s note: The Ink. reported: “The Senate passed a bill on Tuesday, April 21, to add an additional $320 billion in funding to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which provides government-guaranteed loans to small businesses.”]

Experts agree on one thing: there is no reason to expect a quick recovery. Therefore, entrepreneurs will have to decide how to survive in a transformed world. 

In early March of 2020, The Drum reported that eCommerce advertising spending is predicted to grow by 17.7%. However, the outside world shows that the predictions now are unpredictable. During current economic downturns, consumers focus more on their basic needs. They think first and foremost about securing the goods and services within the lower segments of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs first. COVID-19 is already changing forcing changes towards this behavior.

The measure is the reclassification of the business. 

Since customers’ habits have changed, the businesses have to retrain the way they work to manage negative effects on their incomes. That means shutting down unprofitable activities and focusing on new promising areas, taking into account the realities of the pandemic.

Another important step for eCommerce businesses to make is switching to online work. To do this, you need to change your format of sales and administration via the Internet, which will reduce costs and maintain revenue at least at a minimum necessary level. 

Here are Talkable’s recommendations to avoid the pandemic’s worst economic effects in the eCommerce business. 


Be mindful of the current climate and make sure you’re aligning with your customers’ needs. We are all in this together — on a global scale. If you’re in the apparel space, promote a night in over a night out. In the health & wellness space? Share tips for your audience to keep fit at home and stay social. Things are a bit chaotic right now, so if you can offer added value and optimism, now is the time. It’s a great way to bring people together and drive a bit of brand love at the same time. 

Athleta showed at-home sweat work-out while demonstrating their brand cloth.


There are a lot of people in need right now and a lot of ways to help. If you are in a position to support a charitable cause, it won’t go unnoticed. You can donate a portion of your purchase proceeds to a charity you already work with or find something that resonates with your community. GREATS is a Brooklyn-based sneaker brand, which is donating a portion of every order to City Harvest, NYC’s largest food rescue organization. They’ve also updated their referral program so customers can choose either to get a discount or to make a donation


As consumers shift all their shopping online, consider running a limited time referral offer. Try a Friends & Family offer to bring people together with your productor encourage friends to share something fun they can try together (or wear together)! Even consider offering something for free — Draper James is giving away free dresses to teachers across the United States to show them a bit of extra love for all of the extra work they’re doing. HBO has made 500 hours of programming available for free via HBO Now and HBO GO.

Interested in launching a new referral marketing campaign? Book a call with our team here.

Let’s close by commenting

We’ve all got to face the hard facts here. It’s crucial to focus on the actions you can take right now. This will help to preserve your business and get through the pandemic situation in one piece, or even better.

In this difficult period, take care of your health, the health of your loved ones, and the health of your business.


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