As the situation across the world evolves, governments are reacting to rises in cases, people find themselves under new restrictive measures, or more positively, countries begin to transition out of previous restriction. We are aiming to keep up to date with the latest releases from governments and logistics providers to allow us to help keep you informed through a series of updates.
There are a lot of terms being used globally which may cause confusion as governments release statements to the public and it could be unclear to some what the restrictions mean to their business. These terms impact retailers both selling domestically and internationally, so it is important to understand the implications.
The closure of a border may sound like it will stop all shipments entering a country, however overall, this is incorrect. The border closures being implemented in some countries typically relate to the passage of travellers into the country through road, rail and air borders.
Thus far there is little restriction to trade crossing borders as governments aim to keep the backbone of their nations operational. Most logistics providers are continuing to successfully delivery shipments globally, although it should be expected there will be delays of 24-96hrs on normal delivery times due to an increased load of the logistics network and the use of road (rather than air) with some shipments.
County Lockdown & Isolation
We all have a responsibility to try to minimise the rate of spread of COVID-19 as new measures are introduced to minimise non-essential contact. The restrictions on the operation of retail business in most countries relates to the closure of bricks & mortar retail stores to avoid unnecessary person to person contact socially. However, the restriction does not apply to the operating of online retail and the logistics network remains active to handle your shipments.
The travel restrictions placed on people to avoid non-essential movements means all employers should look at home working allowances. However, where home working is not possible, employees are still permitted to travel to work and ensure businesses can remain operational during this time – this including warehouse & logistics staff. Each employee should make their own suitable adjustments, such as travelling independently and socially distance themselves in the working environment.
As shoppers are socially restricted to the availability of goods, it is inevitably causing a significant increase in demand for online purchases – something we are seeing at Fruugo.
Online retail is vital during these difficult times to allow shoppers to continue to access the goods they require day to day, especially those which cannot be obtained from supermarkets. As well as provide the items necessary for changing lifestyles as people create home working environments, carry out home schooling of their children, and look at increasing in-home entertainment activities.
Each online retailer plays a crucial role in keeping the country operational by continuing to meet these varied and growing demands, supporting households through this turbulent time. By working together, we can minimise the impact felt across the global and emerge from it stronger – all of us at Fruugo are here to help.
We are currently seeing and predict a continued increase in demand for goods in areas such as:
Educational and arts & craft materials
Entertainment items, such as toys, games and media products
Cosmetics and health products
Home office furniture and electronic equipment
Home workout equipment and sportswear
Actions on Fruugo to help
Our team are committed to helping sellers get through this period and there are several steps you can take on Fruugo to help you continue to trade at a suitable level for your capacity. If you are or may experience some fulfilment issues, here are the options available:
If you are struggling to meet current demand due to either an increase in orders or a reduction in workforce, we would advise you add a lead time to your products to inform the customer of the dispatch delay and provide a more realistic delivery time to reduce your customer enquiries.
Reduced marketing activity
Our Data Science team can throttle the marketing activity generated from our traffic network for your account. They can therefore reduce your prominence to slow the flow of orders to a more manageable level to avoid you suffering any detriment from emergency action, such as suspending your account.
Reduced product range
If you are struggling to maintain your stock levels on some ranges or have suppliers experiencing issues currently, you should reduce your range temporarily to list the SKUs where you have more suitable stock levels and to those SKUs which can be dispatched more easily.
Remove problematic countries
If you or your logistics provider are experiencing issues with shipments to a specific country, look to avoid further complications and remove that country visibility from Fruugo to allow you to focus fulfilment efforts on the countries where the logistics journey continues to be smoother.
As a lot of retailers look to adapt to this unique situation and aim to continue online trade as close to normal as they can through a mixture of remote working , and social distancing for their on-site on teams (such as warehousing), it is inevitably going to be a period of transition. The current restrictions in place vary in timescales (3 - 12 weeks), however it is likely the changes to life we are all experiencing will be the ‘new normal’ and may become even more stringent.
Everyone should therefore be preparing to make the adjustments now for the long term to ensure that your business can remain operational. These changes need to find the relevant balance between operating your business successfully while protecting employee well-being for those site-on teams who cannot carry out their role remotely.
These are some points you may wish to explore for you day to day operations:
Allow remote working for staff where possible
Consider split shifts and social distancing measures to reduce staff contact on site
Provide protective equipment and hand washing facilities to staff
Update the customer with key product, dispatch, and shipment information
Keep up to date your logistics providers status
Throughout the impact of COVID-19 we at Fruugo are here to help and guide you through these difficult times. We will be aiming to update you regularly with information, changes at Fruugo, and new developments introduced to help. Below are some simple points of contact for our dedicated teams:
If you require assistance with the operation of your account or wish to discuss the options available to you to make your activity on Fruugo easier, you can speak to our Account Management team via Contact Fruugo Account Management.
Technical & Shipping
For any guidance on removing shipping locations, making feeds changes including lead times, and increasing your update volume, you will find our Tech Ops on hand to help via the Tech Support Desk or via Contact Fruugo Tech Ops (using your registered Fruugo email).