Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on small businesses
A pandemic brings about a catastrophic situation that is difficult for most people. It is not only life-threatening, but it can also be economically damaging. The COVID-19 pandemic brought in its wake changes that could not have been predicted.
Customers began shopping differently and many businesses began selling online for the first time. For many small shops, this past year has been Do-Or-Die, and if you do not have an online store, you will not survive in this post-pandemic climate. This blog post will talk about these matters and how your business can benefit from opening an online store using Shopify.
Most people had no choice but to work from their homes, thus reducing foot traffic in shops, stores, and malls.
Due to this, many brick-and-mortar shops were forced to temporarily close down as they could not entice customers to visit them. This forced many small businesses to act fast and dive into online selling by offering their products on the internet, with a website that could connect to customers far and wide.
The increase in online shopping for 2020 was a whopping 21% in the US alone. Consumers spent $861.12 billion online with U.S. merchants in 2020, up an incredible 44.0% year over year, according to Digital Commerce 360 estimates. That’s the highest annual U.S. e-commerce growth in at least two decades. It’s also nearly triple the 15.1% jump in 2019 (DigitalEcommerce360.com).
The COVID-19 pandemic and how to survive (as a business)
The past year and now this year has been tough for many small businesses, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But this does not mean that your business must suffer and die along with others. If you haven’t already, it is now time to pivot your business and start thinking outside of the box about how to reach a wider audience and how to get your products into the hands of those who want them the most.
You can take traditional steps to save your business
Downsizing – Reducing your staff or moving into a cheaper rental space.
Increasing Your Spend – Run more ads in local papers, on local billboards, or a commercial on local television channels.
Change up Your Strategy – Switch from in-person to online transactions, or mix them both together.
But what if there was a better way?
Due to the pandemic’s popularity, you may want to consider taking a different route by opening up an online store.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year, it shut down many businesses. Your business was one of them? If so, then now is your chance to break out of the mold and get in on the e-commerce market, which is growing larger every day. It is never too late to get started selling online.
Not only does opening an online store increase exposure, but also allows access to certain demographic groups that you may not have reached before. For example, if your business is mainly in the suburbs, adding an online store will allow you to reach customers that may not be able to make it into the city or who do not even own cars.
5 reasons why you should create an eCommerce store using Shopify today
COVID-19 has made it difficult for many small businesses to survive.
Many of these smaller shops are not able to compete with the larger chains and online stores, but they can use Shopify’s platform to create an eCommerce store that will allow them to reach a new audience and grow their business.
By using Shopify’s all-in-one tool, you can set up your store without knowing any code or having any technical knowledge. You also have access to great features such as an unlimited time trial and a mobile app which make running your business easier than ever before!
As an e-commerce development company, over the last 10+ years, we have used many platforms and it is our consensus that the easiest and most fun way to get your brick-and-mortar store into the online market FAST is the Shopify platform. It is designed for “now” and it is designed to scale for the “future”. As a Software as a Service (SaaS), the headache of manual setup, maintenance, monitoring, security, and speed is removed from the equation and creates a painless and enjoyable service for your company to use very quickly.
5 reasons why you should create your e-commerce store TODAY using Shopify
1) You are in the majority
According to data compiled by Shopify, 77% of small businesses in America that are not already selling online plan to start selling online this year. It is never too late (or too early) to get started.
2) Customers want to shop anywhere and anytime
After a year of encouraging shopping from home to help keep down the spread of COVID-19, customers still want the convenience of shopping from their phone or tablet not only from home but also while they are out and about.
By offering your products online, you save your customers time which everyone can appreciate. Also, by allowing customers to make purchases 24/7 from anywhere in the country (or globally) you are more likely to sell more products since your Hours are extended past your usual closing time.
3) It is easier than ever to get started
The Internet has made it a breeze for anyone with an idea to set up an eCommerce store with little technical knowledge. With platforms like Shopify, you can create your store without knowing how any code works!
And with services such as those provided by Hip Gloss, a certified Shopify Partner, you can reap even more benefits and gain the support you need for a smooth setup and launch! Such as our free unlimited time trial which provides you with all of the time you need to build your store before entering your monthly agreement plan with Shopify (click here to learn about how we can give you more than the usual 14-day free trial).
4) Reach a new audience
Offering your products online for the first time is like opening a brick-and-mortar store in every city, state, province, and country with just the press of a button. You grow from only offering to your local audience who can physically visit your store to shipping your products to those who want them but have never been able to make it to your store. Overnight you gain the visibility of anyone, anywhere, who is searching for products like yours.
5) Cheap Setup & Mobile App
With the all in one e-commerce SaaS tool Shopify, your setup is free (click here for a free trial with no time constraint), your theme is free (5 to choose from), some plugins are free (add advanced functionality to your store), they take care of the heavy lifting (security, hardware, storage, speed), offer great developer tools (one-click backup, one-click restore, code editing) and their monthly plan starts at just $29/m to use this amazing service.
There are no hidden annual licensing fees or long-term agreements. And if your sales are too overwhelming and you need to pause your store to stop taking orders temporarily, you can even do that! One great Shopify feature is their mobile app where you can view and edit your sales, products, and other important data while on the go.
Today, it is easier than ever to open your own online store using a platform like Shopify. With the right tools and services that are available today, you can get started quickly and reap all of the benefits an e-commerce business has to offer. Whether you just need help with setup or want us to build it for you, our team of experts at Hip Gloss has what you’re looking for!
Click here to sign up for your free unlimited time Shopify trial today or click here to apply for our $1 to $1 match program to help stretch your development dollars before hiring us to build your store.
If you’re not sure if your business would benefit from an online store, fill out our form completely telling us as much as you can about your special needs or requirements and we will be in touch.
With our free unlimited trial, you’ll get all the time you need before entering into a monthly agreement plan with Shopify so there’s no pressure of signing up with them now. Don’t wait for another second–get started building your brand new online shop by clicking this link.