As summer approaches and the country is still largely under lockdown, many businesses have found a new rhythm of work. For a lot of shops and companies, it has become necessary to find alternative ways to reach their customers now that their shop fronts have had to close. This has led to a huge surge in online shopping and some companies bringing their products online for the first time ever.
During the coronavirus pandemic as we have all been forced to stay at home, the use of social media has increased by almost 50%. Online purchasing was rapidly becoming a popular form of shopping before lockdown was imposed, but its popularity has now surged and it is safe to say that the ecommerce industry is booming. Almost all major retailers in the world have an online store that ships worldwide, and now our local retailers are reaping the benefits of bringing their products to an online market.
While an online store is great for the consumer: it often has more products to choose from, it is open 24/7 and you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home. (Shopping in your pyjamas!) The downside is the pressure that often comes with it for the retailer – the online world is incredibly competitive and it is important to have an edge over your competitors. This is why having a presence on social media is vital to display your products and to keep your customers informed.
To help SMEs get their business off the ground during this time, social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram have launched new shops to help smaller businesses have their own ecommerce stores.
This is where your digital marketing agency comes in. When starting out in the ecommerce world, it can seem daunting to bring products or services online and what this means for your company. To start with, it is essential for small businesses to make use of platforms like Facebook or Instagram. Social media and ecommerce work hand in hand together, benefitting the online shopping experience by sharing photos and videos of goods and services, and letting the customer know more about the products they are interested in. Social media marketing can be managed by your digital marketing agency who can set up the relevant platforms and monitor activity, active users, and content output to ensure your business is getting as much reach as possible. Here at Cornell we have experience with managing a number of local business’ social platforms and setting up their ecommerce stores.
B2C & B2B
There are a few different types of online retailing, the most popular perhaps being Business to Consumer (B2C); this is when a business sells a good or a service direct to an individual customer. There are also Business to Business (B2B) retail sales, when a business sells a good or service to another business.
Whatever your business, it is becoming easier and easier to set up an online store. Facebook is the latest social networking site that has found a way to help SMEs. Right now, as many small businesses are struggling, Facebook has found a way to seamlessly bring products online with Facebook Shops. Facebook Shops makes it easy for any business model of any size to set up a single online store that their customers can access through both Facebook and Instagram. Even better: creating a Facebook Shop is free.
Business owners can choose the products they want to feature on their shop from their own catalogue and customise the shop to how best they feel it suits them. As the consumer, you can also directly message the shop to ask any questions, just like you would be able to ask someone in store if you had queries about any products. Facebook Shops was only launched at the end of May 2020, so this is a brand-new way to bring your products to your customers.
We love that this new business venture perfectly connects companies with social media sites. There are so many benefits to bringing social platforms and ecommerce together. Considering that over 71% of adults with internet access use social media, by bringing your products online you are dramatically increasing your reach by not only having a physical store. You are also available for customers when it suits them best. The 9-5 opening hours of many shops often does not fit with the 9-5 hours of many other workers. By bringing your shop online, your products become available 24/7, allowing more customers to access them. Finally, the very nature of social media is for sharing. Social media began as a way of sharing every day life experiences with the people around us and further afield. The same concept applies to your shop. When customers see your products and services online and enjoy them, they will share them. This global network opens your business to a world as big as you want it to be.
Contact Cornell Studios
If you still have not made the move to ecommerce with your store and you are wondering where to start, get in touch with us at Cornell Studios today. Our team of experts will be more than happy to get you off the ground and launched into the online way of thinking with practical advice and expert guidance each step of the way. Now more than ever it is vital to be reaching customers wherever they are, and if your physical store is no longer open – there is no reason why your sales can’t still be booming.