How COVID Created A Permanent Online Business Boom
What You Need To Do To Win NOW—Online!
The pandemic rapidly changed our behavior toward online business, and COVID created a permanent online business boom.
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The fact is the shift from brick and mortar to online businesses due to THE pandemic is likely to stick around for a long time, hence ‘economic boom’.
While many local, small and large companies are still challenged to survive, the crisis also presents opportunity.
Bold entrepreneurs, homepreneurs and companies that invest ambitiously and timely in their online business are likely to emerge as market share winners.
The Rural Money team proposes several marketing strategies that are critical for entrepreneurs, homepreneurs and business owners to do now to successfully transition your business to the new eCommerce reality.
COVID has permanently changed eCommerce in the United States.
In taking the long view, the COVID crisis is unlike anything we (the world) have ever seen.
Country, institutions, businesses (great and small) are facing tough choices with unprecedented levels of uncertainty.
If You Are Not In eCommerce You Are Disoriented
It is CLEAR that the crisis will permanently shape the societal and economic order of the future.
Cases in point are the economic meltdown of 2008 and the Great Depression.
Current societal trends are related to:
- How we work (from home/online)
- How we learn (from home/online)
- How we shop (from home/online)
- How we use technology (from home/online).
All of these societal trends are changing rapidly, are they not?
While these trends were already unfolding before the crisis, we are seeing an acceleration that’s leading to a new normal coming out of the crisis.
We did hear, “Nothing will be the same.”
While a short-term reaction is needed to survive, a long-term economic view will make winners.
Companies and business-minded individuals that invest courageously and timely in pivoting their businesses toward the behavioral changes can capture market shares and emerge as market leaders after the pandemic.
There is extraordinary online demand for essentials and entertainment on websites and video channels across the globe.
Fortunately or unfortunately, the COVID outbreak led to a major change in business conditions for ALL companies and solopreneurs alike.
How COVID Created A Permanent Online Business Boom In China
Case in point, the development in China should serve as an indicator of what to expect as we are preparing for the reopening of society (so to speak) in the U.S., under new compliances.
What I mean is: The nationwide efforts to contain the epidemic outbreak in China CHANGED the consumers’ daily habits, consumption patterns, and ways of thinking, resulting in a boost to the “home economy” and a further improvement in online services that were already world-leading.
Online demand has increased for multiple categories, including:
- Entertainment and food and beverages delivered using innovative non-contact formats.
- Books, movies, music, groceries, food, beverages, building supplies, hobby, office, photo, electronics, appliances, IT, personal care, cosmetics, pharma, outdoor sports, home furnishing, clothing, shoes, jewelry, travel.
Read My Article: How To Leverage Hobbies Talents Personal Interests Online
Of the companies selling groceries, food and beverages, most have seen an increase in revenues compared to what was expected.
On the contrary, luxury goods and home furnishing are experiencing sweeping declines.
People Are Buying What They NEED Online
Pure online companies such as Amazon have to a large extent captured the extraordinary demand within certain categories.
Amazon alone is experiencing exponential growth since COVID.
However, it and many other online retailers have hired hundreds of new employees to cater to the increasing demand during the crisis.
As a result of the CRISIS, many consumers have resorted to hoarding, thus needing to buy more essentials and less luxury goods.
Therefore, physical companies are challenged to protect their fragile supply chains and revenues despite temporary effects of consumer demands.
For example, many large U.S. retailers have seen a surge in their online sales, but not nearly enough to compensate for disappearing store traffic and struggling luxury and apparel categories.
As a result, many have closed their doors permanently.
While crisis-induced shifts in demand are temporary, the question is whether the underlying shifts in consumer behavior will stick?
Will categories such as food and beverages partly stay online?
And, will the pure online eCommerce players such as Amazon be able to protect their acquired market shares?
A permanent gear change in the U.S. eCommerce is COVID.
And, it will be widely known for kick-starting local companies’ and homepreneurs eCommerce successes.
On the other hand.
More than 85,000 businesses have launched online stores or joined online marketplaces… according to new research from Growth Intelligence… With more than 750,000 businesses forced to close their doors under Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, businesses in nearly every sector have accelerated their digital transformation to adjust to the ‘new normal’ and meet growing demand for online shopping.InternetRetailing.net
Some major social media platforms launched online marketplaces for consumers during the COVID crisis when many Americans were at home in quarantine.
It behooves local businesses (in rural areas especially) to migrate their business from offline to online channels in response to COVID.
Without a doubt, the COVID pandemic accelerated the behavioral change of the Internet becoming the mass medium in world—not newspapers, radio, or television.
COVID will result in permanent change to our shopping behavior and ways of conducting business in the United States.
While some businesses have experienced a temporary short-term peak in demand, other categories will be moving online for good.
- Convenience Beats Price As The Number One Reason For Online Shopping: We are getting used to online convenience, and new habits quickly become persistent. Last year, convenience topped the list of reasons for online shopping. Essential product categories, such as beverages and fresh food, may be particularly susceptible to the convenience wave, which is why Amazon Fresh is doing a robust business.
- The Risk Of A Pandemic Backblast: There is an underlying concern in society about personal hygiene, social distancing and the lack of vaccination, which will encourage continued online shopping, reinforcing behavioral change in the long term.
- Intensified Online Competition: eCommerce players seeing a surge in volume will do everything in their power to retain their newly acquired customers through loyalty programs, subscription models, promotions, and expansion of the product range. The competition intensifies with consumers using coupon and referral sites to find the best deals online.
- New Distribution And Logistical Capacity Problems: Distribution companies are experiencing an overwhelming demand for last-mile and contactless package delivery, which has prompted them to build up new capacity. Meanwhile, the USPS is lagging behind in delivery of packages.
- Elderly Consumers Are Online: As the elderly population is in self-imposed quarantine (and for longer time), their online shopping is expected to further increase as the existing behavioral trend is accelerated. The population aged 65 years and above consists of roughly 54 million seniors in the United States as of July 1, 2019. Therefore, they make up a sizable customer segment for companies to serve digitally in the future.
eCommerce In The United States Is Expected To Increase
Here are some practical marketing strategies to transition your business NOW.
The bold and ambitious individuals and companies that embrace the new reality and take timely action, can capture market share and emerge after the crisis as winners.
Action requires courage to reinvent your business model and invest in times of high uncertainty.
The following marketing strategies are critical to consider when responding to the new eCommerce reality:
Explore Digital Business Models
Revisit the foundation of your business model to make sure that it is still valid in the context of digital sales channels, profit models, and the services that you can provide your customers with. Create a new website.
The time is now to create the digital market place, introduce the subscription model, or create the click-and-collect portal that you have been considering.
Over Invest In Digital Marketing Channels
Funnel your marketing dollars toward a website builder created by an industry leader in IT development and SEO versus old school out-of-the-home media, such as newspapers, billboards, etc.
When you become a member of We EMPOWER Your Life, you have access to FREE organic marketing and SEO strategies by Lee Romanov, President of IncomeActivator.com.
If you do not have the scale to invest competitively, an Income Activator website is a suitable digital market place for your product or service.
Above all, when you become a member of We EMPOWER Your Life, you learn why it is important and how-to strike appropriate marketing messages on your website and social media platforms during and after the pandemic situation.
Strengthen Your Customer Experience
You need to learn the “path to purchase” of your (new) online customers, and provide them with a simple and human-centered website design to create delightful shopping experiences across devices leveraging the latest technological innovation.
If you have physical stores, make sure that they are digitally connected with your eCommerce website.
Upgrade Your Supply Chain And Fulfillment
All businesses have a supply chain.
Whether your businesses is small, large or in between, make sure you can cater to your customers with a stronger product availability, fast last-mile delivery and easy returns.
This raises the question of flexible warehousing, if necessary.
Perhaps, you can use your physical stores; engage logistics partnerships, and auto-replenishment models (dropshipping) to manage profitability.
Strengthen Your Technological Platform
Pressure-test your eCommerce platform, expand necessary capacity limits to prepare for an increasing consumer flow.
And, take the opportunity to learn how to use Google Analytics or invest in advanced analytics capability to ensure personal, timely and automated customer interactions and recommendations across devices.
Reinvigorate Your Company
New digital talent will be needed, and many of your existing employees will not be able to adapt.
Seize the opportunity to replenish your talent base, and invest ambitiously in your culture and digital ways of working to leverage the latest social media interaction platforms.
Elevate eCommerce to the executive agenda in your business to ensure adequate attention and priority.
As the Chief Executive Officer of your homebased business or organization, you should seize the opportunity to communicate clearly and strongly, on the gravity of change needed for your company to emerge strongly post-pandemic.
COVID will permanently reshape eCommerce, as we know it, separating winners from the rest.
If you would like more information on how to position your business successfully for the future, please JOIN US to learn more at our weekly Marketing Strategy and Networking Mixer every Wednesday at 3pm, sharp, PST. ZOOM Meeting Link Meeting ID: 876 0623 1073 Password: 978703
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