Memo #13

Our Top 11 Advices We’re Giving to Our eCommerce Clients to Survive and Thrive During COVID-19 & Possible Recession.

I don't want to be a bringer of bad news, but Corona and lockdown might be a start of it all.

And it's better to be mentally prepped for possible recession and know how to survive and thrive during this time than to be sorry later.

Right now, it's a strange time. Some of our clients are killing it with ROAS 10+ (vs. usual ~3), making hundreds of thousands of PROFIT each WEEK.

Others are dropping 10% to 40% below what they were getting.

It's quite hectic out there.

The thing is, these performance drops might continue way longer than a lockdown.

It's quite likely that some of the local businesses will bankrupt, people will lose jobs, and it might spark the next recession.

I have already written a detailed article on how to prepare for the next recession 3 months ago. It's in our Facebook group (Memo #7).

The ones who took this advice should be pretty safe right now and in perfect shape to capitalize on opportunities.

Prepping for it is a bit too late now, but here are our top 11 pieces of advice we're giving to our clients to mitigate the current situation and prepare to thrive during the recession.

I have divided them into two parts. One is general eCommerce Strategy Tips, and the second one is Facebook Ads Tips.

eCommerce Strategy Tips:

1. When blood is in the streets, look for opportunities. The easiest one is to change product lines and adapt your offerings. Look for similar products to yours that you could source quickly (even if at the bigger price point), test them out with small budgets and look for the new “winners”. At least for the next month, a lot of products that can occupy people at home, give them comfort or convenience is going to outperform other categories.

2. Maximize email newsletters numbers. As new customer acquisition prices increase, the best way to make up for that difference is by making more from a current customer. Send more newsletter campaigns, more educational content more offers. If you mix in enough value emails, even sending 4-7 newsletters a week should not be too much.

3. Prep special flash sale offers. When the purchasing desire is at all-time lows, offer the best deals and flash sales to pull in those who might be on the edge of buying vs. not. The goal here is to increase your cash flow short-term.

4. Create valuable content and expand the remarketing funnel. Work on your brand and value you’re giving to your audience. All of the blog posts and content you create can be used for the newsletter and remarketing campaigns to maximize reach to warm and hot audiences without pissing them off with repetitive sales messages.

5. Build a community FAST. Yes, a community for your eCommerce brand. Create a Facebook Group, funnel buyers, and people interested in your product there, create valuable content, engage them, show your human side, and you will be the first place where they will think of spending their money.

6. Know your numbers. Can't stress this one enough. There is a reason why we've spent so much time and worked with high-level CFO to create financial modeling forecasts for our clients. It's important to know exact breakeven points at different levels of ad spends and revenues after ALL expenses from returns, product costs, taxes, warehouses to fixed fees.

7. This one will be more serious advice for the ones looking to REALLY capitalize on this opportunity. As they say, the smartest people hunt when there is blood in the streets. My advice is to try to maximize the spending while maintaining maximum profitability or if you have a cash reserve run at breakeven at the MAXIMUM scale. This will give you a massive edge coming out of recession as you will have amassed a big customer base when your competitors were sleeping and trying to play it safe. It's the best time to overtake them.

In case you're a bit more serious (say in at least in 15MM+ revenue range), you can even abuse this to bully your competitors out of the market by increasing their Facebook Ads delivery prices with high manual bids. With high enough budget, due to how Facebook and other ad buying platforms auction system works this will start increasing your competitor's ads prices. With months of shitty results, your competitors will be weakened by losing money, scared, and primed for acquisition offer from you. Especially if they did not have any cash reserves in the bank. This exact strategy is responsible for making some of the wealthiest people in the world like oil magnate John. D. Rockefeller. They use the cash reserve to torture their competitors during recessions and scare them into selling their businesses for lower than low.

Technical Facebook Ads Tips:

8. Use smaller window LAL audiences. As buying behavior changes so much, the old lookalikes of 60-90 days doesn’t do you much good. Test smaller time frame lookalikes in 7 to 14 days window. They will react and adapt much better to waviness in the current market.

9. Day trade the market. One day we’re having the best day client ever had, the next day it’s barely getting any sales. It’s due to panic waves. To adjust for that set-up automatic rules to pause or downscale campaigns during bad performance days, restart them the next day and in case of excellent performance to automatically scale it up. This will give you a quick adaptability.

10. Change sales angles to match the current situation.
If you’re selling products that are mainly used outside like apparel or cosmetics, change the sales angles of the videos you’re using. Look for opportunities to use your products at home. A good example could be the sports apparel brand we’re managing. Typically it’s clothes that are worn only in the gym, and we’re selling them through some pain point angles, now we’re positioning them as comfy clothes not only for sport but to lounge around at home the whole day.

11. Double down on testing. Sound simple, right? But a lot of people stop doing that after they see results decrease. It’s necessary to test more creatives, more sales angles, more new products, and offerings to see something sticking. I guarantee the ones to survive and thrive will be the ones that can do the most minimal viable tests!

Anybody has something to add to it? Always open for ideas!

- Darius Kunca, Co-founder at AdKings Agency

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