The world as we know it has changed; COVID-19 has transformed the business landscape forever.
I’ve recently read a few articles about what we can expect in a post-COVID world, and I want to reflect and expand on those ideas here.
As our governments begin to release their ‘Re-open’ plans, businesses are scrambling to get ready for new restrictions that will change our norms. But, what are these new norms? The impact of COVID-19 is deep, and continues to deepen as the pandemic drags on.
Here’s how we see things changing from a digital perspective. Let’s start with the obvious.
Ecommerce is Essential
According to eMarketer, in 2019 the Canadian ecommerce market was set to grow by 21.1%, to $48.9 billion. As life in quarantine continues, and remote work continues for most businesses, we’re going to see an even bigger jump in online sales in 2020 and continue to see increases over the next few years.
A large jump will be in online shopping for essential services such as groceries and medical supply products.
No matter what your needs are, people are choosing to shop online instead of heading out into the public to purchase. Although we don’t have numbers yet to prove how much online shopping has gone up since COVID began, we believe common sense prevails here, and it’s clear that online shopping for everything has become one of these ‘new norms’.
Steps for Your Business
This one is straight forward. Setup an ecommerce store if you don’t have one already. An ecommerce store will give you the ability to sell more sustainably.
Here at Yas, we use Woocommerce to help businesses setup an online store. Here’s a list of some of the top platforms for building an online store:
If you’re a DIY-er, or are comfortable with tech, Shopify and SquareSpace are good options. Woocommerce is the most dynamic option, but most businesses will typically need help with the setup. Once it gets going though, Woocommerce is very simple to use. If you need help setting up an online store, reach out and we can help.
Website Customer Experience Must be 5-Star
A poor customer experience online will no longer be tolerated. If your visitors can’t find what they’re looking for on your site or don’t have an experience that makes them want to shop online at your store again, they won’t be coming back.
Just having an online store won’t do. You need to ensure you have your website setup for success. Some of the essentials include a good search function, quality product images, sufficient info about each product, proper return policies, and an easy checkout process.
Having and online chat option and FAQ will also help customers quickly find the answers they need and help you improve your customers’ experience.
Steps for Your Business
As mentioned above, the first things to take care of are:
- Use quality product photos
- Add lots of product info
- Have simple pickup and shipping options; include a free tier if possible
- Follow up with customers after their first purchase, or each purchase
- Include a thank you note with every purchase
Other non-ecommerce related things you can do would be:
- Provide relevant and informational FAQs that answer people’s top questions
- Add a chat bot to your website so people can ask questions and get answers quickly (we recommend the free software Tawk.to)
- Have a good “About” page with info about your team. Being personable works!
You can also check out a recent article we wrote about ‘The Top Must Haves to Make Your Ecommerce Site a Success.‘
Most businesses have been forced to make their employees work from home in order to remain open. By taking the time to setup remote work processes, many businesses now have the infrastructure they need to have a remote work force. Of course, with remote employees comes new opportunities.
A remote work force can help businesses expand without having to take on more commercial space and help them save on expenses that would have been necessary before. Also, with all the tools available to track accountability, the old reason for “not knowing what the employee is doing” no longer applies.
As the world begins to open up again, I expect many businesses to take a hybrid model of having some employees at the business and keep some employees remote.
Do you think your business will keep some employees working from home in the future? Let us know!
Steps for Your Business
If you’ve already gone through the process of setting up your employees to work remotely, you’re ready.
If you haven’t already, here are some tools that will make it easier for you as you slowly open back up to full capacity.
- For remote meetings, try Google Meetings or Zoom
- For employee work tracking, try Trello and Harvest
- Setup a CRM if you don’t already have one. Check out ZOHO
Make sure to provide your employees with what they need to succeed from home. This could include:
- Good wifi
- Quality headset with microphone
- A good chair
There have been a lot of good articles written about setting up a remote team over the past month. Here’s one we particularly like:
The pandemic has brought communities closer together. The mantra is now “Support Local”. People want to see the businesses in their community weather the storm and come back better than ever. Providing options for your local community to support you will help you build a sustainable business.
What other things do you think will become ‘new norms’?