Are you optimizing e-commerce sales in your business? In the first quarter of 2020, the percentage of total households in the U.S. that purchased at least one product online in the last 12 months leaped from 15% to nearly 35%. That 20% spread gained in only three months represents the total amount of growth during the preceding ten years. Interestingly, only one month of that measured quarter–March 2020–would have been impacted by the pandemic.
During the pandemic, 75% of US consumers discovered new retail options online and purchased from companies they hadn’t shopped before. 60% of those plan to continue shopping with these companies past the end of the pandemic. Likely, they will also continue to use the internet to search for products and services in the future and be more apt to place orders with companies they were previously unfamiliar with.
What does this mean in cold, hard dollars? In just the 4th quarter of 2020 alone, US e-commerce sales were up 32% from that same period in 2019 for a total of nearly $200 billion in sales.
What do you need to be successful in the e-commerce world?
- You need products or services that fulfill consumers’ needs. It’s vital to re-evaluate your offerings every 6 to 12 months and determine which continue to meet changing consumer purchasing trends, which need to be liquidated, and how to diversify your menu of goods. By working with a solid marketing team, your online catalog should describe every product in a manner that explains how it solves a problem or fills a need consumers have.
- You need to be found. With nearly two billion websites living on the world wide web, it takes strategy and skill to build and manage a site that appears when consumers search for phrases relevant to your business. One of the best investments you can make is hiring a professional marketing firm to manage your website.
- You need an e-commerce site. Consumers are well versed in online shopping, using a shopping cart, and having products delivered to their front doors. To compete in this market, you need e-commerce software that integrates well with your website, makes shopping easy, accurately calculates shipping fees and sales taxes, and provides good reporting for your accounting department or CPA. The marketing firm that manages your website should help you implement the best e-commerce solution for your specific business needs.
- You need a visible and defined brand. In a recent article from thinkwithgoogle.com, Google reported a more significant trend of consumers choosing to do business with companies that mirrored their personal values. During the pandemic, consumers had more time to be introspective and the year’s social and political environment brought values to the forefront of our daily lives. Google discovered fewer people are participating in impulse buying or shopping for discretionary items; instead, they spend dollars on items that bring their families greater value and from companies they feel good shopping with. If you haven’t revisited your brand and how you communicate your brand to in-person and online visitors recently, now’s the time to meet with your marketing firm and solidify your brand presence.
- You need a fulfillment strategy. If you haven’t ventured into online sales or are focusing on increasing your e-commerce revenues this year, you’ll need space, tools, and resources to pack and ship your products efficiently. Many e-commerce platforms integrate well with shipping software, and shipping services can be scheduled to pick up parcels from your location. Your marketing firm can work with you to develop pricing strategies around shipping costs and store policies for returned goods, undelivered or lost shipments, and other fulfillment practices.
Are you ready to take your business to the next level?
The team at Paradux Media Group is ready to help you get where you want to go. With decades of experience in website development and management, including complete e-commerce functionality, we can help you transform your on-site storefront into the online universe. Give us a call today, and let’s discuss how we help your business grow.