by Debi Enders
Things have changed for your business over the last few months, and this likely includes your sales channels. Online sales are booming, up 40% since the pandemic began, according to one survey of 10,000 retailors. Many of these purchases are from new customers. To take advantage of customers’ desire to shop from home, here are some things your business might consider:
- Upgrade your e-commerce capabilities
– Many small brick-and-mortar businesses use their websites and social media to build brand awareness and drive customers to visit their retail locations. With many shoppers reluctant to browse in stores, now may be the time to expand your web presence. Using a modern point-of-sale platform, like Clover for example, makes it relatively simple to take your web presence to the next level with a variety of easily integrated tools, enabling you to connect with your online audience. Your merchant provider should be able to align you with the proper online solutions. To further expand your customer base, consider creating microsites and selling your products on Etsy, eBay, Amazon or other online channels.
- Present more targeted choices
– You might think that the best way to increase sales is to offer MORE products online. But that isn’t necessarily true – at least not at first. Greater variety can create increased buyer indecision, which could lead to lost sales. When creating or updating your e-commerce site, consider designing your product pages in ways that guide your customers on a journey. That could mean positioning your products in narrow categories or placing more emphasis on fewer products. Your goal is to make it easy for customers to find exactly what they are looking for.
- Offer in-store pickup services
– Orders from customers who buy goods online and then pick them up at the store have more than doubled since the pandemic began. In-store pick up allows shoppers to get what they need, while avoiding shipping delays and potential virus exposure. Adding this option is easy and can help increase your online sales. Going a step further and offering curbside pickup, if you can, only elevates the level of service you can provide to your customers.
The bottom line:
The pandemic has given buyers a new reason to shop online. If you’re not meeting your potential customers where they are and where they want to purchase, you’re missing out. Providing a satisfying online experience can bring customers back to make additional purchases from your business.
Debi Enders (firstname.lastname@example.org) is vice president, small business banking at Commerce Bank.