By Better Business Bureau
Due to the impact of COVID-19, many small companies are now making technology and online marketing a more significant focus for their company. Having an effective online presence and knowing how to meet and exceed customer demands digitally can be a difference-maker for your business.
In the Business Impact Report, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) explored the online retail industry from customers, business owners, research findings, and exclusive BBB data. E-commerce is booming. Sales reached $3.5 trillion in 2019, and according to Statista, by 2023, e-retail sales are estimated to account for 22% of all retail sales worldwide.
At www.BBB.org, searches for online retailers skyrocketed 383% this year, suggesting that more and more consumers are researching businesses before making an online purchase.
Business owners have an opportunity to change the narrative of their company, from just trying to survive to thrive during difficult times. This report takes you step-by-step on how to bolster your business’s online reputation, improve customer communication, build trust, and how operating with integrity and honesty can differentiate your business.
More customers turn to www.BBB.org:
73% increase in online business profile views
383% increase in online shopping business profile searches
Overall business profile search to www.BBB.org up 97%
62% increase in business profile views for BBB Accredited online retailers
(Source: IABBB year-over-year data between March – Oct 2019/2020)
Even though e-commerce is thriving globally savvy retailers will want to be on top of the latest industry trends and make strategic decisions to help their business grow and thrive.
Small businesses are defined as those with 500 or fewer employees, from LLCs with multiple locations, to mom and pop shops with fewer than five employees. While running a small business is no easy task, here are some surprising facts business owners can’t afford to ignore:
Nearly one-third of businesses fail because the owner runs out of money (US. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Opening and maintaining a small business can be a considerable risk that requires upfront costs and hard work. While many small businesses succeed, identifying early risks can help you better prepare for the future. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20% of companies fail in their first year, and 50% of small businesses fail in their fifth year.
For many business owners, the finances and accounting are the most challenging part of running their company, but they are at higher risk of failing without those skills.
More than one-third of small business owners don’t believe they need a website (Big Commerce)
Without question, shoppers overwhelmingly look online to purchase or research a product and service. Since the onset of COVID-19, the number of customer inquiries to www.BBB.org spiked 36% year-over-year. Having an online presence is essential to any business’s success and can also lend authority to your brand and connect to even more customers.
BBB interviewed Amanda Brinkman on the impact of COVID-19 on small businesses and towns. Brinkman acknowledges that it’s a challenging time for companies, but warns that even when stay-at-home orders lift, people will not come back in the capacity as they did before the pandemic. “So many businesses do not focus on their online presence, but it’s vital. It’s on us as owners to make it as easy as possible – communicating with customers, to be pivoting how we sell and deliver products, and showing the heart behind our businesses as to what we are doing for the community,” said Amanda Brinkman, host of Small Business Revolution.
1.9 billion people purchased goods or services online (Statista)
The online retail landscape continues to change and evolve each year as customer expectations and the demand for convenience skyrocket. According to Statista, e-retail sales surpassed 3.5 trillion US dollars worldwide in 2019 and are forecasted to accelerate even more in the future.
Business owners now need to do more than just set-up their e-commerce sites and promote their products or services online. A company website and social media platform is a space where people can learn more about who you are and your values as a business owner, and it is also a place to provide personal customer care.
By 2040, an estimated 95% of all purchases will be through e-commerce (99firms)
According to 99firms, online purchases will continue to soar as more and more brick-and-mortar stores close due to the pandemic and quarantining. Many business owners have had no choice but to move their stores online and appeal to new customers. This ever-increasing demand can be costly, from packaging and shipping expenses to technology upgrades. Regardless, investing now can pay off dividends in the future.
Growing online retail trends:
- E-retail sales surpassed $3.5 trillion US dollars in 2019
- Retail websites generated almost 22 billion monthly visits in June 2020
- In 2019, e-retail sales accounted for 14% of total sales
If you are a business owner or seeking to start a business, download the full report at: bit.ly/2Vr12rR.
Your local BBB is a resource to help you. Contact Nicola at (561) 842-2168 to reach us for assistance.