eCommerce Could Be Critical During COVID-19 | Digital8

eCommerce Could Be Critical During COVID-19

eCommerce Will Keep Australia Running

In the past few weeks we have heard an increasing number of stories circulating of restaurants and retailers talking about drops in revenue due to perceived impact of COVID-19. The fear within the business community is that if our government implements an enforced lockdown like the one we’ve seen in Italy, and recently San Francisco, thousands of small proprietors who don’t have the cash reserves to withstand it will be forced to retrench staff, or close up operations altogether. It may be heading that way even without enforced lockdown, as many businesses including ours are already suggesting staff work from home, which keeps them out of business districts where they might ordinary buy lunch and other items during breaks.

During Quarantine, People Will Shop Online Even More!

Australian shopping has seen a rise in online sales year on year for quite some time however the percentage of Australian retail businesses, particularly small businesses, that continue to trade without online stores is high. It’s clear that Australians have taken a shine to buying online, but most of our small business sector is playing catch up while juggernauts such as Woolworths, Coles, Asos and obviously Amazon and eBay continue to reap the benefit.

It’s these enormous businesses that are the most well equipped to withstand, or perhaps even benefit from, the isolation of the public. It stands to reason that when forced to remain at home people are going to spend greater time online and on social media, and as such are going to be more capable of being engaged by advertising. Savvy businesses are already pouring additional budget into online advertising as a result, particularly those that can transact online.

But where does that leave small businesses? According to a study done by YouGov Galaxy on behalf of GoDaddy last year 59% of Australian small businesses don’t even have a website, much less an eCommerce website. Given that approximately 5 million people are employed by Australian small businesses, we’re looking at a very large percentage of the Australian workforce employed by businesses that will be crippled if they are unable to trade due to there being no way to access their bricks and mortar stores. So what can we do about it?

How Hard Is Setting Up An eCommerce Store?

Mobilising for eCommerce can be tricky if you want it to be. Integrating with inventory management software, accounting packages and retail point of sale can be really challenging, however it doesn’t need to be this way, especially for small businesses. Our eCommerce software partners Neto for instance, provide us with high quality, fully enabled eCommerce website themes and all that’s really required is company branding and pointing a website domain at them for them. Neto take care of payment gateways and integrate with all the mainstream delivery suppliers, and Neto are a Brisbane local success story! Beyond that it’s as simple as uploading some items. Usually when businesses come to us for eCommerce jobs they want custom designs but it’s more of a nice to have. If you want to get up and running fast it’s totally within the realms of possibility to get one of these sites up within hours and with a little bit of training (or not if you’re the least bit tech savvy) you can be spamming your local community Facebook pages with links to your shop within 24 hours. Get in touch with us if you’re interested in a low cost online store or eCommerce solution. We’re offering basic online shops from as low as $1000 with no deposit required on 12 month payment plans just to help mobilise Australian small businesses to help with this crisis.

How Can We Help?

During this crisis it’s been apparent to me that Australians want to do their bit to help out in the crisis and the government have already chipped in a stimulus package to ensure that individuals in need have a little bit extra to do just that. But if people are stuck in their houses that $750 a head that’s being provided to stimulate the economy is going to do nothing but stimulate Woolies, Amazon and their ilk. Spare a thought for your local retailers and make sure that you make as much of your online purchase as possible with eCommerce retailers local to you. Encourage your local retailers to set up online shops and sound out the ones that already have them and buy some of their products.

Wouldn’t it be nice if our government got behind this idea? Perhaps a fund for small businesses to utilise to mobilise eCommerce solutions followed by a Black Friday like sales day where people are encouraged to shop online but locally? Think that idea has merit? Share this post with your network and help spread the word!


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