Why every small business should consider e-commerce during COVID-19

Written on 04 June, 2020 by Julia Hammond
Categories E-commerceTags coronavirusCOVID-19e-commercesmall businessweb designweb hosting

COVID-19 is driving a rapid e-commerce evolution, with intuitive businesses across Australia keenly adding e-commerce solutions to their websites to take advantage of the surge in online shopping.

Interestingly, the preliminary April findings from the Australia Bureau of Statistics’ Retail Trade Survey, found that retail turnover fell by 17.9 per cent in April, the largest drop ever published, compared with March recording the strongest ever growth.

While these are only preliminary finds, it tells an interesting story about the Australian retail sector. Even though there has been an incredible move toward shopping online, the pool of people and the amount they are spending is beginning to shrink. This means the Australian small business landscape is more competitive than ever and getting ahead is about meeting your customers’ where they want to be found.

Many bigger businesses are able to change their online positioning on a dime, but for an Australian small business to remain competitive, it’s a larger project. Adding an e-commerce solution to a pre-existing website can be a painful process even though it is key for converting leads to sales.

If building a website, creating content and maintaining your socials has maxed out your schedule, then adding an e-commerce solution to your website can be a logistical nightmare, especially if you have no idea where to start.

So, if your small business needs to take the leap, because of COVID-19 or not, there are several considerations that will help you have your store up and running in weeks, not months.

1. Plan your e-commerce offerings

Firstly, it’s important to define a number of logistical elements like;

  • How many products will you be selling?
  • Will you offer PayPal or AfterPay?
  • Which delivery networks do you need (e.g. Uber Eats)?

2. Prep your products

Listing your products and services online isn’t as simple as writing them down. They need to be engaging, descriptive and user-friendly. For an e-commerce store, this means product images, descriptions, pricing and any special features. Breaking products down into segments or categories will help speed up the build process, as will having the above on hand from the start.

3. Set it up for reviews

Another important element that will help inspire confidence in your product and service is the opportunity to display social proof. Make it easy for your customers to leave reviews within your e-commerce store, send an email after they’ve received their goods that allows the receiver to write a few words on the product page. However you wish to proceed, make sure you know what you want the end result to be.

The takeaways

The resiliency of Australian small businesses has never been more apparent than during the COVID-19 pandemic, with many learning quickly that they need to adapt to survive. It’s now not enough just to be online, you need to be ready to service your customers online. With limited time, budget, and resources, it is become clear this group of Australians can be far more adaptable than big business.

Preparing your business for online success

The world is changing fast and online sales are growing. It’s no longer enough for your business to just be online, it needs to sell online. If you need help building a user-friendly website with e-commerce in mind reach out to the team at Netregistry. Our Establish plan can set you up for $89 a month*. To support small businesses at this time, we’re including e-commerce features in your website build for free. If you’re one of the first 100 websites, we’ll also waive the setup fees. To learn more, view the offer or call us on 1800 007 244.

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