The pandemic threw many entrepreneurs for a loop, especially in the retail space. Many retailers who had relied on in-person foot traffic were suddenly forced to move online if they wanted to keep their customers safe and their businesses running. Such a significant change inspired many retailers to rethink their pre-pandemic business models and come up with creative new ways to engage customers remotely.
The business of retail is forever shifting
The retail business has changed by leaps and bounds since the pandemic began. With in-person shopping off the table and thousands of people stuck at home, many companies have taken advantage of this new market, offering ways to make money online through eCommerce or transitioning retail businesses into the digital space. This has come in the form of websites like Etsy, Fiverr, Amazon Marketplace, and more.
Operating expenses have decreased
Although the pandemic forced many brick-and-mortar small businesses and large corporations alike to close their doors, thanks to technology, these retailers have chosen to look at things differently. People can’t necessarily drive past their window displays, but they can access their online stores 24/7. This means that these businesses can exchange rent expenses for a domain and hosting fees, saving them more money in the long run.
Shopping apps on the rise
Many small businesses turned to online stores when the pandemic started, but quickly realized it would take more than a website to hold their own against the competition. Hence the emergence of shopping apps. Companies were able to create shopping apps easily and quickly, and tools such as Pocketfied made sure that their brands could scale up and stand out without a major burden of time or money.
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Retailers increase focus on customer service
Now that retailers are fully online, the data collected from browsing patterns and purchase history can help those businesses keep their customers satisfied. With analytics at their fingertips, they can get a better picture of their customers’ tastes, preferences, and most importantly, experience with their business. eCommerce entrepreneurs can use this data to better understand who they serve and how to serve them. This includes making more informed and more accurate choices when picking products for customers, creating more targeted advertisements, finding more improved ways to reach customers, and learning why they chose to patronize your business.
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The pandemic changed many things for business owners, but those willing to adapt turned the situation to their advantage, using technology to grow and take their businesses in a new direction. Those who couldn’t (or wouldn’t) keep up were left behind.
Though it took a pandemic to change how people shop, the changes COVID brought about are here to stay. So it’s best to keep these innovations in mind, keep an open mind, and respond to your customer’s needs accordingly. The longevity of your business depends on it.