As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, more governments are encouraging people to stay at home and discouraging non-essential travel. This presents a challenging time for retail businesses as in-store footfall is at its lowest point in recent history.
However, encouragingly, online sales are skyrocketing to meet this demand. It is a massive opportunity for enterprising retailers to retain your customers, maintain a healthy business and take this time to get organised and perfect your multi-channel approach whilst future proofing your business.
Demand for fashion, footwear, beauty, home and general goods is still massive, it's not stopped because people are not on the high street, it's just the method of how these goods are sold and received which has changed. Your customers will still need clothes, do DIY, prepare the garden for summer, keep entertained or get the bits they need to work from home.
We are seeing an immediate shift in consumer behaviour, e-commerce site visits and delivery app downloads have immediately skyrocketed over 1000%. More customers than ever in history, are learning how to order online and engage with retailers through technology like never before!
After this pandemic is over, there will almost certainly be a different type of customer, one who has ‘learned behaviour’ and understands the convenience of buying online and has all the apps and technology now installed and set up to achieve this from the palm of their hand.
We believe this behavioural shift will change the face of retail. There is a generational shift of consumers that never used apps or e-commerce before that are now having to use these methods as part of daily life to receive essential goods. Millions of people are discovering the convenience of online ordering and most will never look back.
Have small and independent retailers relied too heavily on in-person visits to shops and let amazon get too much of the pie? Probably, but understanding this step-change in consumer behaviour is the key to levelling the playing field and fighting back! We believe that every business should think like a technology business and supply the technology small businesses need to compete with these giants.
It is more important now, that you get the most of your Point of Sale and technology systems to get set up to take full advantage of this ‘cultural shift’ in behaviour so you can be agile, pivot, and meet this new demand to take your store online and perfect your multi-channel experience.
Link your stock, returns and customers with your store and online
Having a fully functioning website with integrated payments
Engage new audiences with optimization, paid or social media
Keeping track of your customers and engaging with them to stay front of mind
With a variety of drag and drop e-commerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento and (ahem) Amazon, having an online shop has never been easier.
We have put together a step-by-step guide below to enable retail businesses to seize this opportunity because really, it doesn’t matter what you’re selling. If there is customer demand and you can deliver, people will buy it.