How COVID-19 Accelerated the Shift to eCommerce
The COVID 19 pandemic changed everything, including the way people do business.
What people usually did in the malls shifted to online settings, with all the lockdowns being enforced. At the height of the surge, people only went out for essential goods, and other necessities, as well as luxuries, could only be obtained online.
Even if other businesses were allowed to operate, many would still refuse to buy at local retailers, given the risks of COVID 19.
It's because of COVID 19 that businesses shifted to the Internet to continue operations. It was a shift that had to be done; otherwise, business owners would struggle to stay afloat, or worse, close down for good.
So how did it all happen?
As mentioned previously, the main trigger in the eCommerce boom is the lockdown. Because the lockdowns restricted the movement of people, an alternative had to be put in place for businesses to reach out to customers.
With services like Shopify, Etsy, and WooCommerce, businesses set up online shops with a few clicks. And for those who didn't want to have more digital assets to manage or build on existing social media platforms, Facebook and Instagram also offer a shop function for business pages.
It was a struggle at first, especially for those who didn't view the Internet as their place of business. For some, it was an added cost, factoring training to use the tools needed in eCommerce. But thanks to free services, such as Google Digital Garage and Twitter Flight School, many business owners learned the skills necessary to market their products.
The accessibility of learning materials to enhance knowledge in digital marketing is another reason why eCommerce expanded during the pandemic. Consumers might be on the web, but how will they find your business? Because eCommerce goes beyond setting up signage in your local weekend market or mall, entrepreneurs had to find a way to bring that signage to the right people.
With all the free social media and digital marketing training available at the height of the pandemic, business owners could equip themselves with the knowledge needed to conquer the Internet marketplace. Tools like search engine optimization, search engine marketing, and boosting have made businesses more visible to the right people.
And because of the newfound convenience in doing business on the Internet, more people have embraced online shopping. Imagine, you don't need to go through different aisles and sections in a mall to find what you need. And with reasonable return policies, those who are not satisfied with their purchase can quickly return items for exchange.
Now, eCommerce isn't a new thing. It's been around for years, even before the pandemic. There are quite many businesses that are based online and with no physical store. And with the rise of eCommerce, these businesses were able to get a head start, having digital marketing efforts set up ahead of the others.
A good example would be Trimleaf.
Established in 2016, Trimleaf is an online dealer of gardening supplies and offers different tools for growers. With a product inventory that spans from nutrients to grow lights, Trimleaf covers every gardener's needs.
Having an established presence before the pandemic, Trimleaf gained an edge over other gardening supply stores that shifted late. A search for tools and supplies allowed Trimleaf to be one of the top search results so that they became one of the go-to stores during the lockdown.
Add to the fact that agriculture and gardening businesses were considered essential businesses allowed to operate in the pandemic. Trimleaf was able to maintain its presence and provide uncompromised service to its customers through its website.
With the world picking up where it left off before the pandemic, most future businesses in the pipeline should include a good eCommerce plan.
The buying behavior of people has changed, and eCommerce is expected to expand further. Considering that doing business online has become much more accessible, companies must add an eCommerce component to their plan, serving as a primary and backup plan to engage customers.