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Ecommerce: Now a necessity, not a luxury?

Lockdown has been brutal for many business and industries. With little warning, the UK (and the rest of the world) went into shut down, and life as we knew it and all the activities we enjoyed, stopped.

Of course, this won’t be forever, but it’s clear that some companies took a bow and left. Others are left battered and bruised, and some have been changed forever. The ones who survived – and even thrived – were those who were able to tackle the new normal with ease because they were already set-up to do so.

Aside from ‘pivoting’ (don’t you just love that word?) like crazy, some simply glided into the rocky waters of Corona times like a pro swimmer into a hotel pool. For some… it was a natural progression.

One great example of this is a local coffee shop we know. They’ve simply not stopped. Not one day off. They already had a system that was Corona-ready… they just didn’t know it.

With iZettle contactless payments and a WhatsApp delivery service already in place, this start-up was able to continue serving coffee (via their delivery service) in a time when Starbucks and Costa closed.

Online payments and sales are on the rise

They always were though, right? In the first quarter of 2020 Amazon reported a large rise in sales. Predictably, the online giant profited from the burst in online shopping as the high street closed.

“Amazon reported that it had $75.5 billion in sales in the latest quarter, up 26 percent from a year earlier, surpassing analyst expectations. Profit fell 29 percent, to $2.5 billion, worse than expected, because it cost more to meet the increased customer demand.”

– The New York Times

Even Amazon had to make changes, but the profits far outweighed the investment in those.

Yes, pivoting is easy when you’re smaller, but being ready is even easier. So, are you ready now for the new normal? Because Coronavirus is here to stay. No, not the virus, but the way of life… allow us to explain.

The need for e-commerce websites is now higher

During the lockdown there was little to do at times and aside from watching Joe Wicks and baking banana bread (what was that all about?), so many people headed to the internet.

Facebook saw a huge increase in traffic, and it’s messaging services saw a 50% increase. The internet wasn’t just cool – it was essential, and it’s not going back!

Zoom meetings became the norm and Zoom fatigue a thing. Offices post-corona may well look very different… and some might not exist at all.

Lockdown has been a gruelling bootcamp that’s given us new habits. How long does it take to form a habit? About 12 weeks. Just as long as most lockdowns actually.

We’re now online more than ever and online shopping and ordering are likely here to stay.

What does that mean to your business?

Now is the time to go fully online

During lockdown, regular life went a little crazy. We all got a toilet roll obsession and then ‘online slots’ became the new gold dust. Tesco reported that their online shopping was doubled in lockdown as they offered a staggering 1.2M services in a 6-week period in April/May.

This will have undoubtedly bought on board new customers that will now stay as online customers. Were you able to serve online? Can you sell your services and products online?

It’s now not a matter of ‘when’ we’ll all move online… we already did. We were forced to!

Shopping is now a chore and challenge and that could well push people to do more of their shopping and buying online forever. The days of fearing online shopping are well and truly over for many.

Is it time to add ecommerce to your website? We think it might be, you know.

Mobile ready?

Not only will more consumers now hit the online high street over the socially-distanced bricks and mortar one, but they’ll be on a smaller screen, too. Mobile shopping was already set to takeover website shopping but with home schooling and far busier lives in the past few months, that trend has been accelerated.

Restaurants and pubs are now (at the time of writing this in June 2020) gearing up for more app-based sales and interactions. This will push your customers more and more online. It’s becoming normal to buy a pint from a table on an app, so what’s next?

The mobile phone is no longer a mobile phone. It’s a personal assistant, diary, social network and now – personal shopper. Did you hear about ASOS? Get this. The Queen of online clothes shopping released an augmented function to their mobile site that allows shoppers to add themselves into the images of the clothes on the online store. A true online experience is now more than just a static one.

Bye bye, bricks and mortar?

The increase in enquiries for ecommerce websites has been huge with us. It turns out that lockdown has pushed the hand of the company review and the results are in; shop fronts aren’t as justifiable as they were.

Plenty of our clients that had premises before lockdown now can’t justify keeping them. And they’re not alone. Even Silicone Valley giants Google and Facebook had to remote work, and it’s become the norm to see and hear from people working at home.

As the world becomes more connected online and less connected in real life (although we dearly hope it returns) it’s time to be honest and open about your current offering.

Buying online isn’t now a fad, a luxury, or even an unknown for the older generation. This crash course in online shopping has created a generation that supersedes generation X – Generation Next was born and we believe they’re here to stay. Are you?

Be Smart – get online now

There’s talk of second waves and lockdowns but that’s all irrelevant for many businesses now. They’ve moved online and they’ve taken it seriously. For the internet, this was the true perfect storm and those who are still here to tell the story are likely to keep clicking and collecting, rather than driving and queuing.

Does ecommerce need to feature in your business?

Give us a call now and we’ll get you started with your new normal. The habit’s been formed. The internet served us well and gained a whole new audience. Working from home is more accepted than ever.

As huge high street chains talk to administrators, isn’t it about time you spoke to us?

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