Within Spotzer we have seen a large number of SMBs pivot their business model more online by embracing E-commerce in record numbers.
Up until the end of October 2020, Spotzer had built 133% more E-commerce websites than all of 2019. Between March & August E-commerce website requests increased by 180%. Between the months of March and August, many countries globally imposed lockdowns or strict regulations on businesses that were deemed ‘unessential’ leading to these businesses closing their doors.
SMBs looked for new ways to remain in operation. For example, we saw traditional sit-down restaurants move to offer takeaway and delivery and brick and mortar service and retail businesses pivot to E-commerce.
This growth in E-commerce is not an anomaly for Spotzer. A study by IBM found that Instore retail spending was down 25% in the first quarter of 2020. By the end of the second quarter, spending was down 75%. Today, spending through E-commerce is 5 years ahead of where it was predicted to be pre-COVID.
Research released by Sage in late October of this year in the UK found that 73% of businesses have turned to technology during the pandemic in an effort to keep their business functioning. Only 17% were planning investment in these areas before the pandemic. Of the businesses that have invested in digital almost 75% of them believe further investments in digital and online mediums will result in even better performance for their businesses in the future. The belief in and sentiment in E-commerce from SMBs is clearly at an all-time high.
2020 is still 2 months away from ending. Unfortunately, Europe is bracing itself for what looks like more lockdowns and hard measures to curb the spread of COVID further. The continent is seeing daily COVID case records being broken on a near-daily basis. It is fair to say the longer COVID stays the tougher it will be for businesses to survive.
The challenge for small businesses is that typically they do not have a strong understanding of how to operate online. It is therefore important they have trusted partners they can turn to for help getting set up with a website that is intuitive to good user experience and design. A website that nurtures a strong presence online so the website and business can be found. Ideally, an ongoing campaign in SEO and/or SEM to ensure the website is positioned high on search engines. And now, more important than ever a functioning E-commerce store for businesses that can sell physical or digital products so their customers can continue to buy from and support them even if the business’ physical doors are forced to shut.
Luckily for a lot of businesses several countries are providing them with grants and access to funds to help them stay afloat. In some cases, governments are directly helping businesses adopt an online model. Ireland, for example, Ireland has recently released the ‘Trading Online Voucher Scheme” which allows a business to claim up to 90% of the cost of having an E-commerce website professionally designed. Australia, the UK, and numerous other European countries have offered tax breaks, grants, and schemes to help businesses pivot their model during this pandemic. These initiatives help to remove the barrier of costs that may have otherwise stopped these businesses from embracing online channels that will help them remain operational.
With help from Spotzer, we can assist in identifying these opportunities for you and for your customers. No small business should be left wondering what options they have in navigating COVID through online channels and technology.