The Pandemic Effect: Challenges Faced by High-Risk Industries

The Coronavirus pandemic affected every country of the world in one way or the other. Almost every industry suffered badly and had to improvise to tackle this adversity. One thing is for sure, online merchants and E-Commerce stores saw a huge increase in business. People got scared to visit crowded places, and getting things safely delivered to their doorstep became the new normal. 

Most merchants thought that the lure of staying at home and practicing social distancing would increase sales. Sales did increase, but the pandemic had many other effects on high-risk businesses and the online payment scene. Every industry suffers different challenges and needs to find different solutions to get through this challenging time. 

COVID 19 caused a lot of trouble for high-risk businesses.

Normal industries face issues, but high-risk merchants are struggling to keep up with the pandemic’s effects. Most payment processors are hesitant to open high-risk merchant accounts, and this issue has compounded due to the pandemic.

Merchants are facing a surge in orders that disrupt operations, confusion in analyzing the supply and demand of products, debatable advertising and marketing techniques, changes in consumer behavior and shopping trends, and similar challenges.

All merchants, especially high-risk ones that run E-Commerce stores, need to improvise to fight the pandemic’s consequences. You need to manage your business accordingly and offer secure payment solutions for consumers. 

In this blog, we will focus on Coronavirus’ overall effect and how high-risk merchants can fight through the challenges facing them. 

Problems for online retailers

Even though things are back on track after the pandemic, online retailers are still struggling to cope with the after-effects of the lockdown period. Sure, there is a rise in orders from customers, but it also possesses different types of risks for high-risk merchants. The real risk for businesses and merchant accounts is layered in uncertainty. The truth is that any expert merchants are aware of what to do and when to do to keep their customer’s accounts safe. It all comes down to the suppliers and vendors you work with. 

Supply Chain Disruptions

Concerns about the pandemic impact on the supply chain had been prevalent even after the lockdown period. Sellers on Amazon struggled to get the products and fulfill the orders due to disruption of the supply chain.

Even the brick and mortar stores were not receiving goods on time, and that directly impacted the sales and their revenue. For giant stores like Target and Walmart, the pandemic had lead to multiple and countervailing effects. 

Many companies having manufacturing plants in Asia have been severely affected by the lockdown. Those operating in high-end electronics and high ticket fashion have also been severely affected. 

Issues with Payment Providers

Many payment service providers withdrew the services they were offering to high-risk merchants due to the loss of businesses in the pandemic. As every industry experienced the loss of sales and revenue during a pandemic, high-risk businesses are no exception. Some high-risk merchants who rely on physical stores also faced difficulties during the pandemic. 

Online entrepreneurs need to be cautious as it’s a crucial time to protect their business, especially the payment processing channels. E-commerce merchants need to know that if they are not in a position to fulfill orders, they could face unwanted chargebacks. 

The solution is to use the services of a reliable payment processor like PayPound that offers secure and hassle free payment solutions to high risk merchants across the world.

Compliance is more important today than ever.

Companies involved in the payment processing chain are concerned about compliance. This is because questionable opportunists are taking advantage of the outbreak. High-risk traders have emerged selling herbal teas and supplements that claim to cure COVID-19. Amazon, Walmart, eBay, and Etsy are already weeding out sellers who are involved in high-priced, high-demand items. For example, Amazon removed over a million items that violated its advertising policies.

False advertising and misrepresentation of products are illegal. And as we know from experience, the spread of disinformation is associated with severe penalties.

What can High-Risk Merchants Do?

All the high-risk merchants need to use effective strategies to go through these challenging times. The last thing they risk is losing a merchant account due to noncompliance or violation of terms of an agreement with an acquiring bank. As technology is making things convenient, merchants can ramp up their customer support. Merchants can use technologies like chatbots, video conferencing, and other channels of online communication to improve their customer service. 

Merchants facing delays on inventory need to develop new plans to stabilize their supply chains. They can find alternative channels as many shippers are looking for suppliers outside of China to make up for the delays of supply. As a high-risk merchant, you need to consider all the available supply chain options to maintain your stock. Use the options like a discount or free delivery in cases when the shipping is delayed while delivering the products to customers. 

Here are some tips for merchants to stay ahead in the present era of the COVID 19 pandemic. 

·        Review your Accounts

Analyze carefully how the changing trends in your market could affect your advertising and its results. 

·        Communicate Changes

Communicate with your clients consistently and maintain contact with them. As new policies in your industry and market roll in, send out text messages, emails, or call your clients personally to communicate the same.

·        Change your Strategy

Prepare your staff to make changes in your business strategies quickly and efficiently and adjust them according to the new industry and market norms.  

·        Plan Ahead

Businesses should prepare themselves for the future as the third wave has already hit many countries in 2021. Physical stores should create their online presence and train their employees to work from any location. 

·        Online Payments

Every business, whether it is a standard-risk or high-risk merchant, should accept online payments and offer their customers multiple options for payments. Merchants who are still accepting payments through only cash can partner with PayPound to experience secure and reliable payment solutions for their business. 

Summing Up

The pandemic has changed the way businesses should operate completely. The only way to survive in the post-pandemic era is to make use of online technologies like e-commerce, digital payments, online marketing, and advertising, as more and more customers are using the internet on their devices. Another thing to consider is to improve the supply chain management and offer the best customer services to your customers.

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