With 2021 drawing to an end, it's an excellent time to reflect on what changes the year brought and how these changes will impact our businesses and marketing strategies. And, one of the most important topics to cover at this point is eCommerce. This last year has come with many changes, but the change likely to be most lasting is the widespread shift to buying online.
E-commerce Trends in 2021
This past year has shaken up many things. With varying responses to Covid-19, one thing is clear; people stayed have stayed home more during the previous two years. Consequently, the trend toward E-commerce accelerated drastically, as has been widely reported. And, while many of the lifestyle changes that happened during the Covid-19 pandemic will eventually fade away, there is widespread agreement among business experts that peoples' habit of buying online is here to stay.
Many people, who have previously preferred in-person shopping, became accustomed to making purchases online. The customers enjoyed the convenience of having products delivered right to their door, creating habits unlikely to change back. Additionally, consumers turned to Ecommerce for products that they would not have considered buying online before the pandemic, such as groceries and medicine. The big winners of the past couple of years have undoubtedly been the big corporations with preexisting Eccomerce infrastructure, with Amazon accounting for 40% of online sales. But the lesson for companies large and small is clear, customers are increasingly expecting to have online purchasing options available, and they will reward those businesses that can provide that service with their business.
Why Your Business Website Needs an Online Store
For a long time, the dominant narrative has been one of the big online companies, out-competing small, local businesses. And while this has been a frustrating reality for small business owners across the country, it doesn't have to be true for you. Even recently, there have been positive changes for local businesses. For one thing, many states and localities (Missouri is the latest) are now charging sales tax to online vendors, meaning that online companies won't have the advantage of skirting local sales tax anymore.
The fact remains that people have grown used to buying online. And, while online retailers no longer avoiding sales tax is a positive development for local businesses, this fact alone won't perfectly level the playing field. To remain competitive and serve customer preferences, local companies must compete in the online sales space. Smaller local stores that sell online stand to gain from some distinct advantages, including:
- Gained access to national/international markets
- Keeping loyal customers who turned to online shopping because of the pandemic
- Increased purchases from those who research online and buy in-store
To benefit from these advantages, it is necessary to have an online store (preferably on your website) that is easy to navigate, fast, and secure. Customers are more than willing to buy online if the website they are purchasing through appears reputable. Certain things signal credibility to potential online buyers. A website that seems new and is regularly updated will naturally instill more buyer confidence than a website that looks like it was built in 2007. Your online shoppers must also be reassured that your payment portals are secure.
Fast, Reliable Ecommerce Websites from Zimmer Marketing
If you're ready to take your business online and need an e-commerce website, Zimmer Marketing is prepared to help you take advantage of your new growth opportunities. We design, build, and host countless websites for local, four states area businesses. With a heavy emphasis on search engine optimization, speed, and aesthetic design, Zimmer Marketing builds custom WordPress websites to fit your company's brand. And, because we host the websites we build on our secure, private server, you can rest assured of your site's security.