It’s year two of the global pandemics that has destroyed thousands and thousands of small businesses worldwide. It is estimated that more than 35% of small businesses went bankrupt, while a 41% decline was noted for the Black small business. These numbers suggest that the end is nowhere near if something is not done promptly.
Even though this is a problem that the whole world faces, and the saving of these businesses doesn’t depend on a single solution, there is something one can do to save the situation. I am talking about going entirely online – transforming your business into an e-commerce attempt for the time being.
Of course, it is unimaginable for some service-providing small businesses to go fully online; however, nothing is impossible. Here is what one should do to ensure that going online will help them survive the pandemics.
Build a Strong Online Appearance
Chances are, you already have a website that is your online face or a business profile on a social media platform. But, how functional is it? First of all, you should be aware that most of your competition already fights hard for potential clients. And they fight with a fully functional website providing a superior user and shopping experience. This means, ensuring your site is also fully optimized is your stepping stone. If you have a WordPress site, you would need the best WordPress developers to build your eCommerce store with WooCommerce. Or, if you prefer Shopify, you can use the advantages of this eCommerce platform to beat your competition. Whichever your decision is, it is most important to do it as soon as possible.
Take Care of the Logistics
There are several things you need to do when taking care of the logistics. First, you need to look at the trends and the site traffic closely. If your social media attempts are giving results, you will be ready for higher demand. If your products depend on seasonal trends (like changes in the weather if you are selling clothes), then plan the spike ahead. Many e-commerce businesses think that managing inventory is not their cup of tea. After all, keeping a check in balance on stock available, daily sales, damaged goods, is not a child’s play. If you are facing this problem, then consider handing over your inventory to third party logistics in Canada. In some cases, the 3PL also deals with customer support and returns. In this case, you need to ship your products to the 3PL and whenever a customer places an order, you forward the order to them for shipment. You only pay a monthly fee depending on the number of orders fulfilled. 3PL warehouse services can help even small eCommerce businesses scale up their operations and customer reach.
Next, make sure you can have clear visibility of the whole process. Never let a product run out of stock, and make sure that shoppers can see how many of your products there are available. To do so, you might need to develop a logistical system with a logistics provider.
Offer Free Shipping
There is a fantastic fact that around 73% of online shoppers said that free shopping is their deciding factor when looking to buy something online. This is enough to make you consider offering free shipping yourself. And not only should the shipping be free, but also it should be fast. Until 2014 there was a 10-day delivery that worked great all over the world, but since then, things have completely changed, especially the last two years. Now there are Amazon sellers who guarantee overnight shipment. So, if you are ready to fight them, you need to keep up with the trends.
Manage the Returns Properly
Even though this is one of the most unpleasant and unwanted processes you need to deal with, it is something that is very common to happen. There are even statistics that say that the average return rate at a brick-and-mortar store is 8-9%, while for e-commerce stores, it can be between 24-36%. So, what should be done in this case? You should consider a return as a reverse purchase that must be handled like you’ve managed to make the original purchase. Also, you need to make sure the returned product is kept separate from the other supply waiting to be sold.
If you want your small business to survive the hardships of the pandemics, you need to make sure you are online with fully functional and fast-performing websites (preferably built-in WordPress for easy management). Also, you need to follow trends, plan ahead and be adequately prepared for the logistics. If a customer wants to return the product, ensure that you handle this as a reverse purchase.
Never be afraid to go for your competitors since the competition can also be inspiring, motivational and make you believe that the curse of the pandemics will be broken.