The outbreak of the Covid-19 virus resulted in a big percentage of consumers being stuck at home. They may not have any other option but to turn towards online shops for their next purchases. Even when physical shops will open their doors again we do not expect them to be instantly flooded with clients. People will stay suspicious and will try to avoid brick and mortar stores for a long time to come.
Buying products online is not a new concept for most of us. But buying absolutely everything online is still not so common. People still tend to go to physical stores for certain purchases because they want to see and feel what they are going to buy. They want to physically pick their own vegetables, hold that new phone, try a new laptop, wear that dress, fitt those shoes, see the actual color of a couch and sit in that new car – before they purchase it.
A pandemic can move all shopping online
But this is rapidly changing and for each of these categories mentioned above there are already existing webshops that surpass the “touchy feely” sensation by offering a webshop experience that builds so much trust that consumers want to buy a product without actually seeing and feeling it.
So it might be that you are not yet buying your groceries online because you want to personally feel if that avocado is ripe. Or you want to really feel how comfy that couch is. But there are already a bunch of people that do not care about this real life experience anymore. Because they trust the webshops they are buying from blindly.
Now that times are tough more and more people will try the online version of their usual shopping experience and we are sure that most of them will stick to those ecommerce experiences.
You might be offering an alternative as well, but your potential customers might not see your message on the store window. So now is the time to invest in a solid online presence.
So what do you need to do as business right now?
If you weren’t considering to start a webshop yet, now is the time. All companies will benefit of the fact that they can be non-stop open for business, especially during a crisis like this one. It will be easier to reconnect again with your customers in your physical stores if you were able to service them during these tough times. But if they found a different convenient way to purchase their products, it will be taking extra efforts to get them to return to your business.
A lot of existing webshops have now the flexibility to update their ecommerce features so they can offer the option to pick up your purchase at their brick and mortar stores when you order online. We’ve seen examples of retail stores, grocery stores and coffee shops that are able to keep their brick and mortar store open and their staff employed while paying attention to the social distance requirements. But they could never do this without an existing ecommerce platform where their clients can safely pay online and book a timeslot to pick up their purchase.
So now is the time to weapon yourself for what comes next after the crisis. But also to make sure that you will be ready when something similar happens in the future.
Have a look at our in depth blog post about How to react as a business in times of the Covid-19 crisis
Timothy De Ridder, Lead Marketeer