What is the “ping-demic”, and why could it be yet another hurdle for eCommerce brands?

While the UK might have celebrated the lifting of social distancing restrictions, the impact of COVID-19 is far from over for the vast majority of businesses, in particular for eCommerce brands.

While the UK might have celebrated the lifting of social distancing restrictions, the impact of COVID-19 is far from over for the vast majority of businesses.

As the country progressed to the final stage of unlocking and people begin to socialise without restrictions, it’s to be expected that cases will continue to rise. However, this is also resulting in what some are calling the “ping-demic”, with thousands of people notified to isolate by the NHS Track and Trace app. 

Last week saw a record number of alerts, with over 530,000 users pinged by the app due to being in close proximity to someone who has tested positive. With a 46% increase week-on-week, we can only begin to speculate how much that number will increase this week as restrictions were lifted. 

Household brands such as Marks and Spencers and Travis Perkins have already announced concerns about the impact of the increased Track and Trace pings for their customers. Therefore it’s no surprise that smaller brands are more likely to feel the pressure of staff shortages. 

However, recent research discovered that consumers are growing increasingly fed up with the pandemic being used by businesses to excuse poor service. Nevertheless, for those brands that have innovated and adapted, consumers are more likely to report higher levels of customer satisfaction. This results in higher levels of trust, customer loyalty, and recommendations to friends and family, ultimately contributing to increased bottom-line profits. 

With this in mind, eCommerce brands need to consider how they will be required to continue to adapt to the current situation and what they need to do to limit the impact of the ping-deminc. 

In particular, for businesses managing their eCommerce fulfilment in-house, it is crucial to consider contingency plans to continue to service customers’ orders in the event of staff shortages due to self-isolation.   

Additionally, eCommerce brands could also face disruption to their supply chain, including obtaining stock due to manufacturing and customs control delays. Careful monitoring of stock levels and forward planning for peak will be essential to minimise the risk of overselling and product unavailability. 

Here at Synergy, we’re continuing to do everything to create a safe working environment and maintain service for our clients and their customers. We are encouraging our team to continue using face coverings, temperature checks, and providing hand sanitisation stations throughout our facility. Additionally, we have robust contingency plans in place if we experience any staff shortages, meaning that our orders will never stop being processed. 

Are you processing over 3,000 orders per month? Learn more about how outsourcing could help you optimise your fulfilment and reduce risk: 

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Gary Rees

Gary Rees

Gary Rees is the owner of Synergy Retail Support, one of the leading SME fulfilment centres in the UK. Having successfully grown the business for over 30 years and with relationships with most household brands, he now looks to partner with customers rather than just act as a supplier so that both parties can grow together. Gary has extensive knowledge in retail compliance, production technologies, shipping details and customer service.

Feel free to contact me personally if you’d like to discuss your business.

01604 412 290