The pandemic caused havoc for all businesses large and small. Many large retailers, restaurants, and factories closed because they couldn’t withstand being shut down for so long. But, eCommerce businesses saw a different issue. Most eCommerce companies saw sales skyrocket – something no one could have predicted.
Just why are eCommerce businesses thriving? We spoke to Cara Robinson from CBD E Liquid brand Elevate to find out!
More People were at Home
First, there’s the whole stay-at-home orders. Nationwide everyone had to stay home. While you could go to some stores, most weren’t open. If you needed anything non-essential, you had to shop online. This opened up many avenues for eCommerce businesses or businesses that weren’t online yet but quickly started.
Now that the stay-at-home orders are lifted, though, many people still feel more comfortable ordering online. Millions of people say they’ll continue ordering online even as the orders lift. The order to stay home made us all more aware of the possibilities available to us online. Now that more people have turned to it, they find they like the prices, convenience, and variability offered to them, not to mention the safety.
It’s Easier to see What’s Available
There’s nothing more frustrating than driving to the store to buy a specific item only to find out it’s out of stock. That has happened everywhere and for a large variety of products, not just toilet paper and Lysol.
As materials became less available, more stores ran out of items you’d never think would run out. Many people turned to online shopping because it’s a lot easier to look at 10 websites than it is to go to 10 physical stores, not to mention a lot safer. Customers could comparison shop, look at the stock, and decide where they wanted to buy their products all from their couch.
Businesses Have Gotten Smarter
If the pandemic taught us all one thing, it’s that we can think outside the box. Suddenly, businesses had to rethink their offerings. If a store sold something in-person that was no longer a possibility, they had to rethink what they offer.
This caused even eCommerce businesses to start other ventures. Online courses, online memberships, food delivery, and subscriptions are just a few of the ways eCommerce businesses started grabbing more sales. They realized it’s not just about the product – it’s about the whole experience too and they took advantage (in a good way).
eCommerce Businesses Know When to Offer Sales
As the recession looms, many eCommerce business owners have leveraged this opportunity to provide customers with more value.
As people continue to be laid off, spending remains lower than normal. Businesses with high-ticket items would normally have seen a tremendous slowdown in their sales, but many have chosen to offer sales and discounts to keep things going. Customers love a good value or a good deal. This helped keep businesses open, while still getting consumers to spend.
eCommerce Businesses Keep Overhead Low
Here’s where the real bread and butter lie. eCommerce businesses don’t have a lot of overhead. They don’t have a store (most of the time) and many don’t even have employees. Without utility bills, rent, and salaries to pay, they have fewer bills and many are enjoying higher sales.
With lower overhead comes more profits, which help many eCommerce businesses continue to grow or branch out, spreading their value into other industries, and furthering their sales.
An issue any business had, including eCommerce businesses is finding suppliers during the pandemic. Even though the stay-at-home orders are lifted most everywhere, many companies remain closed or companies choose not to order from them because they’re in China or another high-risk country.
Successful eCommerce businesses shifted suppliers quickly. They got in while they still could as many companies aren’t producing nearly as much as they used to because of a lack of material. While the lower supply and higher demand drove up prices, it certainly made things challenging for many businesses, but eCommerce companies seemed to pull through.
If there’s one thing COVID changed for many businesses, it’s where employees work. It’s no longer safe to have an office full of employees. Now there are social distancing rules, sanitizing issues, and the risk of spreading the illness rapidly throughout the business.
eCommerce businesses have the luxury of operating online, so most employees (if they have any) can work from home. It cuts down on overhead, keeps everyone safe, and most importantly, keeps the business open and operating as it can operate from anywhere.
eCommerce Companies Focus on their Brand
eCommerce companies thrive on their brand. They know how to add value to customers, giving them more than what they paid for. They’ve always put brand first and now they know it’s even more important to show the world that they care about their safety and will do whatever it takes to prevent the spread of the illness. They show that they aren’t just in it for the money, but for the sake of the world and community as a whole too.
The pandemic is the perfect time for anyone to own an eCommerce business and it continues to be a great idea today. Online businesses can shift quicker, have more offerings, deal with less overhead, and be there for customers.
If your business hasn’t considered going online, now is the perfect time. More and more people will shop online as the pandemic continues, especially as we enter into flu season. Get your brand out there and you’ll realize the great success too.