Why now is the time to set your retail business up online with eCommerce20 May
Although the UK has started to see some gradual easing of COVID-19 lockdown measures, most bricks and mortar shops remain closed. They have done for several weeks and will stay shut for some time yet. During this period, the behaviour of consumers is evolving. We’re all living – and shopping - rather differently now… and that looks set to continue.
61% plan to keep shopping online after the pandemic
Retail Times recently reported that 42.6% of UK shoppers are spending more than usual online at the moment, predominantly on food, household, clothing and entertainment. Of those, 61% plan to keep doing so after the pandemic, driven by the convenience of home delivery offers or the fear of travelling to busy shopping locations where germs could be a risk.
This data taken from GlobalData’s survey of 2,000 nationally representative UK respondents conducted in May 2020.
Futureproof your business by moving to ecommerce
Until a vaccine is found, all retail business owners are facing up to the fact that even post-lockdown shop doors could swiftly close at any time if the virus spikes…
Speaking to Retail Times, Thomas Brereton, retail analyst at GlobalData, has warned: “COVID-19 is drawing a permanent scar on the landscape of UK retail, and one that easing restrictions will not heal.” For all businesses in the retail sector, the time is certainly right to consider investment in an online proposition in order to remain competitive – and to survive.
Here’s a way to get the funds you need to set up your online store
Perhaps you’re eager to expand or even totally switch your business to an ecommerce platform but you’re worried about finding the funds to invest.
The British Government has launched The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) to enable smaller businesses to access finance more quickly during the coronavirus outbreak. If your business is eligible, you can access the funds almost immediately and you don’t have to start paying them back for 12 months.
As a business owner, you could seize this as an opportunity to grow your business and consider using that loan to move your shop online or improve the ecommerce solution you already have
3 reasons to switch to or improve your ecommerce offering
1. Open for business – 24/7/365
The days of everything being done between the hours of 9 and 5 are fading – and when it comes to shopping, they’re long gone. Most people own smartphones and expect to be able to order what they want, when they want it. For one reason or another, they can’t – or won’t - wait to actually go to the shop to make that purchase.
When you set up an eCommerce site, you’re there to meet that expectation – at any time of day or night. For those shops without an online shopping option, potential customers are likely to go elsewhere.
2. Expand your customer base
Why restrict your products to those who happen to walk by your shop location/s anyway? Switching to ecommerce allows customers across the world the chance to purchase your goods. You can attract new customers to your site with activities such as sponsored links on Instagram, or run exclusive offers linked to mailing list sign ups.
3. Stay competitive
Online retail channels are becoming more sophisticated all the time. Customers will be attracted and loyal to those that offer the most streamlined, user-friendly service – with timely delivery. This may be difficult for you to achieve in house, so why not outsource the fulfilment of your online orders?
Depending on your requirements, here at Fullers we can onboard most ecommerce retailers in 2-3 weeks.
Moving online and outsourcing your fulfilment will allow you more time to focus on other aspects of the business; the creative and strategic elements that so desperately need your attention in this critical period.
So, what are you waiting for?
There are so many reasons to switch to eCommerce and doing so could seriously increase your turnover.
Don’t know where to start? In our next blog we’ll be showing you HOW to set up an ecommerce business, including outsourcing the fulfilment aspects of that process.
When you outsource your fulfilment to Fullers, you’ll get 100% of the sales value, without the burden of a contract. Your products - and the satisfaction of your customers - is in safe hands; every item is picked, packed and dispatched by people that care, on time and with accuracy.
Our customers really appreciate how we get to know their business, supporting them and keeping in touch regularly. We’ve got the warehouse capacity and sophisticated systems required to deal with a wide variety of items large and small - but you’ll never be ‘just a number’ to us.
Fullers provide an efficient service that offers our business good value. Our team at Fullers work productively and transparently and are always willing to explore new processes that are tailored to the specific requirements of the brand.
Clare Rees, Director at Bell & Whistle Ltd, UK distributor for The Library of Fragrance
The time to switch to ecommerce and outsourced fulfilment is right here, right now.
Talk to our partner Dolia Design about an ecommerce website design.