Getting Into Online Sales For The First Time
The coronavirus pandemic has forced many businesses to shut their doors and cease trading to the public.The hospitality and health and beauty markets have been particularly badly hit, as have smaller independent traders selling essential products – places like farm shops and butchers who don't have an e-commerce site.
It's been heartening to see how some of these businesses have adapted, using social media to get the word out to customers and to facilitate ordering – across the country small pubs are offering take away food and asking customers to order via Facebook Messenger before collecting at an arranged time. This shows how adaptable businesses, and more importantly, the people who run them, can be in the face of very challenging times.
Although it looks like we are about to experience a relaxation, we still don't know how long the lockdown measures will be in place for, and what form they will take in the future. We hear from the politicians and public health experts that measures may be partially relaxed and then put back into place if cases rise again, with some parties suggesting that until a vaccine is widely available (which could be mid 2021) there will be restrictions to daily life until then.This means that these smaller businesses, who have adapted to serve their customers in a new way will be doing so for some time.
If a business has diversified and changed their offering, or the way they interact with customers, they will find over time that using social media to facilitate this is unsustainable in the long term. The amount of work needed to record orders, channel them to the right person, compile the order and arrange a time for collection takes a lot of manual work – work which could be done automatically with an e-commerce website.
One of the biggest reasons we hear from small businesses as to why they don't start selling online is the cost involved in getting set up.They're often pleasantly surprised to find that it's not as big a cost upfront as they assumed, and at a time when online shopping is the only way some people can order food, there's no reason not to get online and start making it easier for your customers, and get some new ones in the process.
Being able to take payment online is a huge benefit for a business in these times.The money goes straight into your bank account, so there's no worry about getting to the bank to pay in cash takings, especially when the banks may be closed for most of the day. Many consumers prefer to pay by card nowadays anyway, so being able to offer that service means better customer service and potentially new customers who want to be able to order and pay from home.
Parua have a strong history of getting small and medium sized businesses online, whether that's entirely from scratch, or taking an out-dated website and bringing it right up to date and user-friendly. If you're looking at how you can streamline your new normal way of working, and provide the option of online payments for the future then get in touch with us today, we're socially distanced but still at the steering wheel.
Tel: 01242 697 692