Missing those fluffy cupcakes from the corner bakery that has shut down because of the pandemic?
What if they had an online store?
The COVID-19 pandemic flattened many businesses around the world — big and small — and made us all realise how quickly things can turn in a matter of months. If you’re anything like me, you’ve been avoiding trips to the store as much as you can. Face masks, check ins, ugh… people 😜 Kidding!! I like some people.
One thing we know for sure is that the pandemic has made online shopping a necessity. It’s allowed both big-name brands and small businesses to not only remain on track in the face of crisis and continue earning but thrive on to in the new world after.
It’s become a game of jump in now or sink to obscurity.
Sadly, things aren’t going back to the way they were anytime soon. This is the new normal.
Latest research shows Australian shoppers are likely to hold on to their new-found online shopping habits over the next couple of years.
Businesses can’t afford to be on wait-and-see mode. For us as designers, this means an opportunity to lead these businesses down the path to digitisation — either to help move their stocks, migrate their courses on eLearning platforms, or pivot their businesses towards membership models to take advantage of recurring revenue.
Especially since global eCommerce sales are expected to rise up to $4.921 trillion worldwide in 2022 and continue growing over the next few years.
Not only is this the perfect time to diversify your service catalog but it’s also a great way to tap those big-budget clients you’ve been referring out to more experienced designers.
Crossing Over to Digital
If you haven’t yet given eCommerce much thought, here are some of the ways an online store can help businesses stay alive during the pandemic — and position your design biz to have a steady lead of clients and make more.
- Contactless payments
About 8 in 10 customers prefer contactless payments for fear of germs being transmitted with physical exchange. eCommerce platforms allow businesses to take advantage of touch-less payments and eWallet services so customers can safely make purchases.
- Engage with new customers
Having an online store has removed the limitations of local foot traffic, which means businesses can connect with customers from anywhere — Instagram, Facebook or TikTok. Most of all, chat functionalities can help brands to promptly answer queries and comments.
- Shopping features
Related product suggestions, frequently purchased items and sales promotions are the online versions of a sales associate, making sure that customers will find the products they want and add them to their carts. eCommerce sites also allow businesses to encourage spending and push their underperforming product categories through discount coupons, gift cards and bundle sales.
- User-friendly shopping carts + quick fulfillment
We’re talking about customers who are placing orders one-handed from a device that’s in their hands or pockets at all times. Which means, they would appreciate an easy and seamless experience in every aspect of a transaction. Most shopping carts offer robust features that allow businesses to easily capture sales, reduce abandoned carts, send delivery updates and track order statuses. Plus, eCommerce apps help businesses efficiently manage orders and meet tight delivery timeframes.
- Flexible policies
The pandemic got us constantly looking for some sort of comfort, and it’s not just about in-store COVID precautions. Customers also want to be assured that their transactions are secured and their personal details are hacker-proof. Fortunately, online stores are built to be easily integrated with safe and compliant payment channels like Stripe and PayPal.
- Content strategy
Crisis has made our already short attention span even more fickle, which forces brands to be strategic with their content. There’s an even greater need to provide audiences with valuable and relevant content to stay top-of-mind. Good thing with eCommerce sites is that they can easily be integrated with email marketing and social media platforms, allowing brands to connect (and reconnect over and over again) with their audiences.
Riding out the storm
Tapping into the ever-growing pool of digital customers will benefit big and small businesses — and the onus is on you to reinvent your design prowess so you can expertly usher the clients you love to this new era of customer experience.
Planning to start building ecommerce stores? Keep my Woocommerce Launch Checklist handy during your next launch so you won’t miss a step!