03:29PM, Wednesday 10 March 2021
It’s no surprise that e-commerce boomed through 2020 and continues to do so, but the successes have not been shared evenly. You only need see the amount of Amazon boxes going into the paper recycling to see one of the winners. However, this masks the massive impact COVID has had on small independent retailers who have seen significant increases over the last year.
Whilst 45% of consumers were happy buying from the big internationals before coronavirus, that number is now 32%. The shift is towards small independents. Add into this the move from physical shops to online stores and the effect is even greater. All the data suggests that it is the small business that has seen the biggest benefit from our lockdown spending. Yet, if you speak to many small businesses, they will tell a different story.
So, what is the difference? Some physical shops already had an e-commerce element, and that side of their business has been accelerated by the pandemic. Others realised very quickly that they had to move online fast. The third group were not only not ready for a pandemic, but then didn’t quite know how to react. Some of these built online shops but didn’t know how to get people into the shops and buying, whilst others simply failed to act.
“Whilst we expect some of this change in behaviour to be temporary, we also anticipate that our buying methods have changed forever. That being the case, it is vital that small businesses close the gap rather than wait out the storm” claims Elton Boocock of Hubbub Digital.
Often the barrier to entry is the huge costs associated with building an online shop and then of course attracting people to the shop. That’s all before you make your first sale. But costs don’t need to be high and a good digital marketer will not only build websites and promote them, they will guide you through the process from online rookie to successful retailer.
Regardless of any dates given out for the release of restrictions, it is now clear to all that our buying habits have changed. That brings a clear message that for any retailer to thrive in a post pandemic world, online retailing is not only essential, it is there waiting for you to open shop.
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