by Chelsea Lamb
Image via Unsplash
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted American life in many ways. One such way is that it has forced businesses of all shapes and sizes to reevaluate how they do things and make sweeping changes to survive. For example, many small businesses have lost most—if not all—of their walk-in traffic. In response, they have had to shift their focus to online sales.
If this is the situation you find yourself in as a business owner, know that e-commerce is not going anywhere. Not only can embracing e-commerce save your company now, but it can also help you thrive long after the pandemic ends. But in order for it to work for you, it’s important to approach it the right way. Here are some practical tips as to how you can utilize online sales to grow your small business:
Make Room for Sustainability
E-commerce not only can benefit your business, but it can also help you to push forward environmental and social sustainability. Already, the pandemic is opening doors to a more eco-friendly market. More consumers are seeking out businesses that benefit the broader community and world at large.
On top of that, Forbes notes that the pandemic has forced all kinds of companies to embrace flexibility when it comes to things like sponsored childcare and paid sick leave for employees. Plus, with shorter supply chains being a natural result of the pandemic, companies are becoming more transparent and environmentally friendly.
You can do your part as a business owner by updating your brand ethos to clarify your commitment to sustainability, reducing the packing materials you use, and using recyclable materials for the packaging you do use. And instead of discarding used or damaged merchandise, find ways to resell it at a discounted rate.
Starting anything new with your business can be challenging and creating or expanding your e-commerce store is no different. If you feel overwhelmed and are not sure where to start, consider bringing in a full-service business consulting firm like SignalHarmony who can assist you with running your business, website development, and digital marketing services. That way, you will have an expert helping you grow your business while you can focus on other essential tasks and projects.
Determine What Products to Offer
Unless you sell the right products, your online store will only go so far. Consider the products in your current catalog, and review the sales history. More times than not, products that performed well in your physical store will also perform well online. And you will also want to consider whether or not you offer any products that will meet the current needs of your customers. If not, you may benefit from selling face masks, hand sanitizer, or other items related to life during the pandemic.
Choose a Good Platform
When it comes to e-commerce platforms, WebsiteBuilderExpert explains that you basically have three options: build a custom platform, use a pre-built platform, or use an online marketplace. While the first option will give you the most flexibility, it will only work in your favor if you have experience in web development or have a team that can build it. Otherwise, choosing a platform that already has everything you need or selling through an online marketplace like Amazon, Etsy, or eBay is probably the best way forward.
Work with the Updated Tech
When you’re running an online business, the last thing you want to do is skimp on technology. For starters, it’s essential that your internet connection is fast and reliable. Many businesses are turning to fiber-optic internet for a connection they can count on. It’s also crucial that your computer can effectively handle all the tasks necessary to run your e-commerce business. If your current model is more than a few years old and not running as fast as it used to, you can save considerably when you buy a new desktop online.
Market Your Products Well
Once you know what product you are selling and have a platform in place, you will need to market your products effectively. Make sure you develop unique and engaging product descriptions, along with top-notch photos. If you want to go the extra mile, make some promotional videos. Then, it will be time to reach your audience through social media platforms and email marketing. All of these are also tasks to consider hiring professionals for unless you have ample experience.
If your small business has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic as so many others have, it’s essential to adapt. Consider ways that you can make your company operations more sustainable, and hire an e-commerce specialist to help you get started in online sales. Lastly, be strategic with the types of products you sell, choose the right kind of e-commerce platform, and work hard at marketing your products effectively.
To learn more about how SignalHarmony can assist your small business, call (888) 578-4845 or complete this form!
Chelsea is a contributing writer to SignalHarmony and runs her own successful company at