Why the Commotion?
As more and more companies are turning from the outdated style of predominantly providing services only to those who are willing to visit their brick-and-mortar locations, the recent global pandemic has caused many owners to rethink their selling positions.
While business seemed to be carrying on as it usually does, companies all over the US were forced to switch over from their old ways and focus their attention on developing, or further developing for some, electronically savvy ways to service their customers. Though some businesses were already on the fast train headed towards ecommerce, others weren't, and these were the ones who needed a little push in the right direction.
What Does the Transition Look Like?
Boutiques and specialty clothing stores have made the switch and are now pushing practically all sales through their online stores. Sit-down restaurants and eateries have decided on curbside instead of inside for their patrons. In addition, customizable shops and creatives have swung their products from purely fashionable to practical, meaningful, and useful.
Following these steps, ecommerce is now up by a whopping 25%, and online orders have skyrocketed by 56%. For some companies, this transition was smooth and rather uneventful. For others, there were some hurdles. Ultimately, all parties were able to twist and turn to contort with the new regulations, keeping their customers happy.
Contactless payment has also made its presence known when customers muster up the courage to take the journey through a brick and mortar store. From q-tips used to punch in your PIN to being asked to scan your own card in a drive-thru, contactless payment options are beginning to feel like they've been around forever.
Though contactless payment options have been around long before 2020, they were mainly seen as a convenient way to grab and go. However, now many are noticing that even though this was initially meant to prevent the spread of germs, it is benefitting us in other ways as well, such as data security. Digital wallets and online payment options can also lead customers to purchase more than they initially intended, but not by any fault of their own. When you are buying in this manner, your money doesn't feel like money. You might not fully comprehend how much you're dishing out when you're not physically handing over your hard-earned cash.
How Can Your Company Pivot to Ecommerce?
Being a business owner in 2020 has challenging aspects, with some owners saying that they expect it to take six months for operations to return to normal. However, if you work hard to develop new strategies, your company has a higher level of potential success.
Change What You Sell
Companies that deliver services and consumables such as specialized gifts, apparel, and home and garden products are on the rise, jumping up in sales by 18.9%, 14.3%, and 8.4%, respectively. At the same time, companies that provide luggage, swimwear, and cameras are falling in both sales and attention in the public eye. As a business owner, it is your job to research what types of companies are pushing past and edging out the competitors right now.
Know that the products you have sold for years, or even decades, have not lost their importance. They may have just lost their relevance for a short period. There is no shame in evolving with the times and discovering creative ways to morph your company into one that still provides value to your clientele. Research what type of products would benefit your target customer at this time and then communicate with your team to find ways to deliver these products. You may even find that partnering with another company may broaden your reach.
Develop a Plan
If you don't have a plan for how your company is going to make a smooth transition into the world of ecommerce, it's going to be stressful and challenging. By choosing which ecommerce platform will be best for your company, training your team members in the new world of online order fulfillment, and deciding on a payment solution, your company is bound to push through the current events.
While certain states are allowing small businesses to return to their new routine, we don't see ecommerce shying away from the spotlight any time soon.
About the Author
As an analyst of global affairs, Adriaan has an MSC from Oxford, with diverse interests in the digital economy, entertainment, and business. He is a specialist trainer in Advanced Analytics & Media.