The world as we know it has drastically changed and the life we once knew vanished overnight. As people across the globe fight the COVID-19 pandemic, shifting focus and adjusting daily routines is particularly important for business owners. While more than 50% of business transactions were completed online before this pandemic, that number has risen exponentially. Today, shoppers are confined to their homes and retailers have closed indefinitely.
Online shopping has become the only means of getting what you need when you need it. From buying groceries and household essentials to medications and doctor’s advice, nearly everything you do today requires some sort of online integration. Even learning has shifted to an online platform as teachers and students navigate the new method of distance learning to maintain and further education for students across the board.
This new shift to online everything means that business owners need to find a way to adapt quickly if they want to continue to compete with other businesses in their industry. So, with online shopping being the only channel for most brands and stores, how can retailers cope?
Making the Shift to eCommerce Retail
Years ago, shifting your business to an online platform didn’t require as many complicated facets as it does today. While designers, developers, and marketing specialists certainly have a good grasp on what your business needs and can make it happen quickly, your overall model requires a full analysis of the market, your business industry, and your competitors.
It’s essential for brands and stores to make a quick shift to offer their products and services to customers online. In today’s highly technical business world that means intelligent, personalized shopping experiences that flow seamlessly online. Not only do you need to create an effective online store for your brand, but you also need to meet the high demands and expectations of today’s consumer. If not, you risk losing customers and take the first step on your path to closing your business for good.
Does Having a Multi-Channel Consumer Shopping Focus Help?
Rising brands and retail industry leaders are likely fully-equipped for this full shift to online shopping. That’s because they’ve already lead the revolution of multi-channel consumer shopping before the entire world seemed to be shut down in the blink of an eye. Sure, thriving retailers who have already implemented eCommerce sales into their business plan are ahead of the curve. They have a well-established sense of comfort with eCommerce in general. But that doesn’t mean every other brand or store is so far behind that they can’t catch up.
Multi-channel consumer shopping has been the focus of many leading businesses across multiple industries for a few years now. Engaging with more ads, selling on new platforms, spending more income to enhance their brand have all been part of their overall business strategy for growth and expansion. And, while you may not be at the same place as they are with your online business, looking to these leaders as a model for your new online strategy can enhance and grow your brand by record measurements.
Multi-channel consumer shopping simply refers to a businesses’ plan to sell across multiple channels online. This means businesses make the shift to offer their products not just in their online store, but also on marketplaces and social media platforms to reach more customers and increase their revenue. This modern approach to business sales puts your brand in front of customers at every touchpoint on the internet. Instead of optimizing one channel, hoping to bring in customers, business leaders can take the entire online experience in mind and capitalize on even more options to bring in new customers and make a sale.
Reaching Customers Online
The first thing you need to consider when transitioning to online sales is how to find your customers online. Younger consumers already spend two to three times more time shopping on social channels than the average consumer. Leading these platforms in sales are Instagram and Snapchat. Middle-aged consumers, on the other hand, lean towards shopping for products on Facebook or at a well-known online retail store like Amazon. And, across the board, almost all generations continue to go to a brick-and-mortar to make a purchase.
Now that most retail stores have been forced to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic, how do you capitalize on the sales that can no longer be made in a store? Especially since physical shopping is still a popular trend across generations, how can your brand latch on to those sales and stay afloat with the current economic shift? Simply put, your business needs to ensure that you are taking a multi-channel approach to bring your brand in front of potential customers on every possible online channel they will go to make a purchase.
Developing Your Strategy
While making the shift might not seem that simple, it’s easier than you would think. That’s because eCommerce designers, developers, and marketing specialists have spent over a decade making the shift for leading businesses and analyzing digital marketing strategies to find what works. As more and more businesses move to offer their sales online, eCommerce design and development don’t just become more affordable, but it also becomes easier.
The key to your online success is finding the right team to develop a strategy. You’ll need a strategy that looks at the online shopping experience as a whole. Your number one focus needs to be to deliver an amazing user experience with the main priority being customer experience. Thanks to automation, most of the tough legwork is done for you. So, you’ll find that moving your business online isn’t just necessary in today’s current economy, but it’s a more effective way to reach your customers and maintain lifelong relationships that continue to build your brand.
As with anything, moving your business online and developing a strategy to help build brand awareness and increase your visibility requires an investment. But the good news is that the initial investment will bring a return time and time again. You’ll see the financial gains of online shopping not online in this current time of crisis, but as you continue to increase revenue and reduce overhead for years to come. Not only will making the shift save the future of your business today, but it will also build you a better future for all your tomorrows, no matter how consumer behaviors change over time.