COVID-19 will forever change the way people shop
As a local business person perhaps you have thought about moving your store online. Despite recent headlines brick and mortar stores are still making many times more sales than online marketplaces. According to Commerce Department statistics 90% of consumer sales are still made at a store. But with Stay Home orders still firmly in place and relaxation of social distancing rules only gradually being rolled back, people may begin to change their habits when it comes to shopping. This may be an opportunity to move your business online.
Can you benefit by moving your store online?
Yes, you can, especially if you are selling the right products and services to the right consumer. During economic downturns, people prioritize their spending differently than when times are good. During recessions people’s priorities are different depending on their situation.
- Well off people. These folks feel confident that they can ride out the storm and will not change their spending habits much if at all. In general, they’re more health conscious and will likely seek more products online rather than wander outside for non-essentials.
- Life has not changed. These people are the essential workers. In many cases they are working many more hours than usual. Since they are working so much, shopping online is becoming a necessity for them. Once they get in the habit, habits take about a month to form, some won’t be going back to traditional shopping.
- Life is getting hard but they’re holding on. These families are holding on, but they see trouble on the horizon. They are stock piling essentials, cutting back on treats, postponing trips or products that aren’t required right now. Purely discretionary spending is throttled or eliminated. These people are the largest group of consumers. They will shop online for safety purposes but will not overspend. If there is a large delivery charge they may opt for the mask and gloves and head to the store.
- Full stop. These people are working class or poor. They are deciding what essentials they need and what they will learn to live without. Among the things they may live without is a computer or smartphone.
If you service the first three groups, having some sort of online store makes a lot of sense. The first adage of good marketing is to go where the people are. Right now, they are home and they will likely be there for some time. Being online allows you to adjust your product mix quickly. It can take several hours to move product to the front of your store or set up a sales display. It takes a couple minutes to do that online. Being online, customers have to give you information including name and address. That’s information you can use again and again to offer sales, advice and information.
How can I start my online store?
Call us at (203)882-0171. We want to help. We’ll build a fully functioning online store. Our prices start at only $350 for a basic set-up which includes branding, shipping and payment setup, customer portal and more. Once your store is live, we’ll help you maintain it, add and subtract products and make it Google friendly.
There are other options you can try. Click here to find out what they are.