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More people are buying online than ever before. While some of this is due to the recent COVID-19 lockdown, a 2019 study discovered that 44% of people find it more comfortable and easier to shop at home. So, if your business isn’t digital already, now might be the time to upgrade.

Here’s why you should and how you can do that.

Increased numbers of online shoppers

Our recent study discovered that 54% of shoppers reported preferring to browse online rather than instore because it’s easier to compare prices. 51% said this was because of a greater choice range, 46% reported it was easier to search for products and a further 75% prefer to make purchases in the evening.

Another study found that pre-lockdown, 57% of people purchased most of their goods online. However, after lockdown, this increased to 74%.

This data suggests a potential growth in e-commerce over the next few years. Your business must have an attractive, user-friendly website that engages your customers. If you want to grow as a business and keep making money, then creating your e-commerce store is key.

What you can do

  • If you don’t already have a website, now is the time to make one!
  • Consider releasing content (from new products and promotions to blog posts) at the times of the day your customers are most active so they can see your new products straight away

Why you should digitalise your business

Consumers want a seamless online experience

When it comes to buying online, 98% of customers are motivated by price, 94% product description and 93% by product imagery. Consumers want to be tantalised by your products and for you to fulfil their needs. So, if you can keep your product data up-to-date and provide personalised recommendations, then you're off to a winner.

Large companies such as H&M are successful online because they keep all their data up-to-date. Their branding is consistent and their prices are reasonable. Because of this, their online sales increased by 24% during 2019.

What you can do

  • Using a good PIM system will help you to keep all track of all your product data and help you to create that seamless online experience
  • A CRM system can help you to track customer data – you can use this data to create personalised marketing strategies

Why should you digitalise your business

A frictionless payment process is key

Many companies now allow customers to store their payment details. This makes the checkout process much simpler, and customers are more likely to return when they know they won’t have to input their card details yet again.

The last thing any customer wants is to have to put their card details back in, yet again. It’s clunky and frustrating.

It’s popular for websites to have a PayPal or buy now and pay later options (like Klarna). This allows for frictionless, reliable payment.

What you can do

  • Have a card details storage option so returning customers’ details are stored
  • Consider offering a range of payment options - such as PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay or pay later

Why you should digitalise your business

There’s a rise in the demand for social media marketing

Social media has undeniably created the biggest changes in the UK’s online shopping behaviour in the past year. 23% of those who use social media on a regular basis claim to have purchased items after seeing posts or comments on social platforms.

So, not only is social media a way for brands to promote themselves and their products, it has become an increasingly popular commerce platform. In addition to a website, of course.

What you can do

  • Create social media accounts for your business. You can promote your products and ethos, and customers can follow product releases
  • Implement ‘buy now’ buttons to encourage instant purchases

Why you should digitalise your business

The influencer culture is growing bigger

The influencer culture has become increasingly instrumental in encouraging e-commerce sales. Many influencers actively promote online brands and test them out for their followers to see, acting as an essential part of the attract and engage aspects of the buyer’s journey.

45% of those aged 18-34 admit to purchasing an item after viewing a social media post or comment from a friend, blogger, celebrity or influencer. With the advent of video and platforms such as YouTube, the impact of influencer culture is huge, as it's widely accessible and millions of people can see product promotion anytime, anywhere.

What you can do

  • Try collaborating with an influencer and asking them to promote your product

Why you should digitalise your business

Purchasing on mobile isn’t going anywhere

As many people are consuming their social feeds on their mobiles, they’re likely to follow store links on posts. We’ve already discussed the impact of social media – and if people are browsing social media on their mobiles, they’re likely to browse websites too.

What you can do

  • Invest in a good mobile web interface (if you don’t already have one) because potential customers are likely to browse your products whilst on their phone now more than ever.

Why you should digitalise your business

Consumers want to buy from ethical and sustainable brands

Many consumers are considering a company’s ethics before making purchasing decisions. 55% consider a company’s ethics and morals before buying, and 46% actively choose companies that are more environmentally aware. Since the UK national lockdown, there has been a 6% rise in those who want to buy more ethically and a 200% increase in those who would prefer to buy from a smaller brand.

It’s easy to promote your sustainability and ethical practices too. Many companies do so from their websites to product labels.

What you can do

  • If your brand isn’t actively choosing to be more sustainable, consider how you can make changes
  • Make sure to promote sustainable and ethical practices so your customers know

Why you should digitalise your business

The future of commerce is digital

In our increasingly technological society, it’s really important that your company invests in a good digital commerce strategy. Without ditigalisation, you risk falling behind your competitors which can be dangerous.

We hope the things we’ve already mentioned will help you come up with a good one. They are listed again below in case you missed any!

  • Increased numbers of online shoppers
  • Consumers want a seamless experience
  • A frictionless payment process is key
  • There’s a rise in demand for social media marketing
  • Purchasing on mobile isn’t going anywhere
  • Consumers want to buy from sustainable and ethical brands

Knowing why you should digitalise your business is not the only thing that’s going to keep you going in today’s competitive markets. There are things like trends to keep on top of and understanding how the industry has grown.

Want to know more? Download our guide below.

Check out the industry report

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