Covid 19 - 10 Reasons Your Business Needs To Be Online
The pandemic has brought a ton of changes to almost everywhere in the world. Whether or not an area is in lockdown and stores are closed, there are still fewer people out shopping, even though they still need new products. Today’s small business owners need to adjust the way their business works to cope with the pandemic and the smaller amount of foot traffic. To survive the pandemic and come out ahead, they need to start looking at creating a website and getting into digital marketing.
Customers are Looking Online
Customers don’t want to wander around shopping malls as much or stop by stores they see on their way home. Many consumers are trying to stay home more often, yet they still want to purchase products. This has led to an increase in web searches for products. With the pandemic ongoing, more consumers are looking for businesses online before they leave the house and are more likely to shop online than to wander around in a store to find what they need.
More Convenient for Customers
Shopping online is a lot more convenient for customers, so it’s a great way to boost sales. Customers can browse a store’s entire inventory from home, then purchase the items they’re interested in without getting on the phone or leaving the couch. It’s a lot easier to order online than it was to order through catalogs in the mail, so consumers are finding it increasingly convenient to buy products online instead of going to stores.
Online Shopping is Surging
Online shopping is surging right now. One study showed an increase of 112 percent year over year in May for online shopping, not including online-only stores. Many small businesses are finding they’re able to boost sales a little bit more each month by creating a website and getting into digital marketing for their business. While sales might not be at pre-pandemic levels immediately, with more people shopping online, sales can go up fast.
Reach Customers Who Want to Shop in Person
Some customers may still prefer to shop in person. They might not want to purchase certain products online without seeing or touching it. Having a website makes it easier for small businesses to reach these customers. Many of these customers still search for what they need online and, when they find a business that might have the item, they’ll visit in person. Having a website means these consumers can find the business easier.
Help Cut Down Costs
Websites are generally inexpensive to operate, and they can help boost interest in the company, leading to higher sales. If a store opts to only open a few days a week for those who might prefer to shop in person or is operating on reduced hours, having a website can increase sales without significantly increasing operating costs. Ecommerce sites are just less expensive to operate compared to brick and mortar stores.
Reach Customers No Matter the Time
A lot of today’s consumers don’t shop during normal business hours. They may be working, helping their children with school work, or otherwise occupied. If a business has a website, these customers can shop whenever it’s convenient for them – even if that’s in the middle of the night when they’re getting ready for bed or early in the morning when they remember something they need to buy.
Provide Better Support to Customers
When a business is online, it can provide better support to customers. The customers don’t have to go to the store or call the company to get help – they can find the information they need on the website, reach out through email, or contact the company on social media websites. With more ways to get in touch and to find information, customers are more likely to purchase products and be happy with the support they receive.
Boost Social Media Presence
Right now is the perfect time for companies to create a social media presence or work on strengthening it. Social media provides a valuable and low-cost way to connect with customers, helping bring in new customers and create loyalty to the business’s brand. Business owners will find that starting this during the pandemic can make a difference in sales and help them reach more customers they might not have reached before.
Ability to Work From Home
If there’s a lockdown, brick and mortar stores that close aren’t bringing in any money as there is nowhere to showcase and sell the products. With a website, however, the business owner can work from home, continuing to sell products and keep the business afloat. Even if a business owner plans on opening their store again as soon as possible, the ability to work from home right now can keep them safe and keep money coming in for the business.
Expand the Company’s Reach
One final reason to get the business online right now is that it’s a great time to work on expanding the company’s reach. With a brick and mortar store, the only customers are ones who are local or who are traveling to the area. With a website, the company can sell to any customers interested in their products, even if those customers live hours away. Now’s the best time to launch a website and start reaching these customers, bringing in more money so the business can thrive now and once the pandemic is over.
Though the pandemic will come to an end eventually, it’s hard to determine exactly when that might be and when consumers will be comfortable shopping in person again at the levels they were previously. Instead, right now is the best time for businesses to get online and start working on launching a website and digital marketing. Make sure your business has what it needs to survive the pandemic, even if you’re not getting as many customers in person right now or you’ve needed to shut your doors temporarily. Having an online presence can help you survive now and thrive later.