I think that you will all agree that we are living in most interesting times.
Regardless of who we are, in which sphere we're occupied or how we organize our life, the COVID-19 outbreak affected everyone.
Over 1 million confirmed cases and even more affected by precaution measures, like curfews or limiting groceries shopping to once a week.
The latter is a mere recommendation in most cases, but as the situation progresses the measures will become harsher.
How can we mitigate the consequences?
How to add contactless delivery?
As we mentioned earlier, the-Great-Depression-like crisis is upon us, and commerce is taking a rather serious hit because of its special circumstances. I mean, a product can't turn itself into cash if a customer can't reach the seller due to quarantine.
Fortunately, contactless delivery is a thing and it's rather simple to implement to your e-store!
A customer selects a product, orders it with contactless delivery as an option, waits for the delivery confirmation and gets their ordered goods without any risk. Exact means of products’ delivery may vary, it can be dropping the product into the postbox, placing it at the customer's door or simply greeting customers from a safe distance then putting it where they say.
While any Magento's offline shipping method, such as Flat Rate or Table Rate, can be repurposed into the Contactless Delivery shipping option, sometimes it's just not enough. Either a new shipping method is needed or a limitation of sorts should be imposed to avoid cases where the delivery simply can't be completed.
Shipping Table Rates might come handy in this case.
With an unlimited number of shipping methods, the city- and postcode-based limitations, you can configure any number of unique delivery options for any number of areas your stores deliver to.
That's how the things work we’ve taken a limitation by a city from Magento's sample data as an example:
Adding a custom logo to a method doesn't require any coding - it's a built-in feature of Shipping Table Rates.
When tough times are over, this extension won't become a dead weight. Its robust rates configuration allows you to tailor shipping calculations to particular needs, saving more with each sale. The volumetric weight is included.
And if you seek for even more flexibility to support your contactless delivery, we’ve just released a dedicated extensions pack for it.
How to add online payments?
While cash itself can't transmit anything in most cases, the cash carrier can. And, the necessity to hand the cash over breaks the whole concept of the contactless delivery.
Wireless POS terminals are more and more common nowadays. Sometimes, the needed quantity of terminals can't be obtained quickly (or cheaply) enough and sometimes Magento's innate online payment options are not a choice.
Stripe is an option for such cases.
It is quick to integrate (no coding required), supports ApplePay and GooglePay, complies with Payment Service Directive (PSD2) and comes with plenty of other features that make a choice between PayPal and Stripe a non-trivial challenge.
Installing this extension and adding a key pair from your Stripe account is enough to start accepting online payments.
When tough times are over, an extra payment method will become handy if you like to expand your business. ApplePay & GooglePay add support for higher conversion at mobile store views, different Stripe accounts for different store views for more accurate accounting or even a bigger extension to start accepting recurring payments (Stripe module is included in it free of charge) - eventually, your store will need it.
How to earn off health-minded buying?
A flu mask became an unofficial symbol of the Year 2020. Masks, gloves and antiseptics are everywhere, and, still, there's not enough!
Drug stores and supermarkets fail to satiate such a huge demand. And it is quite likely that a customer would toss a coin at their seller if the seller succeeded in maintaining these goods' stock level.
Better yet, the chance to sell a flu mask as a related product to anything is incredibly high, assuming that it has been proposed at the right time.
Plenty of small enterprises and even local artisans started manufacturing them, thus, obtaining some for re-selling (or even manufacturing on your own) shouldn't be difficult.
An extra hundred of distributed face masks can make a difference between a quiet living and a lockdown, especially for a small town.
Free Gift, however, can help you with this. Proposing these masks to your shoppers, you eliminate the need to view hundreds of catalog pages guessing if your store offers this product. Despite the name, this extension can offer non-free products too, the following configuration examples will help you with that.
A sign of care for customers' well-being, a promo - and an extra income.
When tough times are over, additional spontaneous purchases will unlikely be left behind. Be it an upsell, a choice between products of limited edition or a free sample for each new purchase - it can be offered with our Free Gift extension.
How to protect your store from fraudsters?
A rise in crime always accompanies such ‘most interesting times’.
As society focused on the COVID-19 outbreak, some fraudsters may become extra active in hopes to do their shady business without being noticed until it's too late.
And that's when online stores need an extra security layer.
Pure Magento, installed in line with official security guidelines, is unlikely to be hacked at a first try. There, however, are still plenty of things which may significantly complicate store owner's lives, unless additional precautions are taken.
Any store owner can come across fake customers making fraudulent transactions and unpleasant surprises from their own employees, and it should be either prevented entirely or made much easier to investigate to avoid unnecessary losses.
That's where the Security Suite comes to the rescue.
The suite includes:
- invisible reCaptcha to eliminate the threat from fake customers and bots
- 2-step verification to deny unauthorized access to the store's admin panel
- advanced permissions to make sure that no employee has access to privileged information
- admin action log to monitor employee's activity conveniences
- complete with a generous discount (each feature is available as a stand-alone extension - but the bundle has a much lower price).
The product's price has been changed from $34 + taxes to $0.34 without any taxes. Without this extension's action log, it could be revealed only incidentally. Consequences from the incorrect prices (and, especially, taxes) shouldn't be underestimated.
Fortunately, it can be revealed and rolled back with admin actions log.
What's not allowed is restricted. No exceptions.
Disallowing price modification for unreliable admin roles will prevent such regretful incidents.
When tough times are over, the need for extra security won't become less significant, the Security Suite will continue working for you.
Are there any other anti-crisis options?
The crisis we’ve come across is not permanent and it will be over, sooner or later.
It may take longer than expected since the virus can still spread itself even if symptoms are over. So the measures for business we enlisted in this article will remain relevant for a longer time as well.
Some countries are leaving 'quarantine mode' now. Some just started advertising voluntary social distancing. But while there are so many affected people around the world, there's always a chance it will outbreak again even in a fully-recovered country.
It's taken as granted that commerce is one of the spheres without which the society can't function properly. And, unless precautions are taken, it’s one of the causes of increased virus transmission. As not to shop is not really a choice, the only plan is to 'keep selling, keep buying, keep it safe'.
Whether we're buyers or sellers, the only thing we can do is keep it up while taking any precautions.
The goods should flow and the people should be safe with contactless delivery, online payments and extra channels of distribution for demanded products.
While we, as Magento extensions vendors, can't affect this flow directly, we want to help you impact this situation most. If you're a Magento store owner who distributes medical supplies or essentials, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll gladly check if we can turn the tide in your favor.