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Why it makes sense to take your business online during COVID-19

Post lockdown, consumer buying behaviour could shift to online channels.  Is your business prepared to meet the needs of the evolving customer? 

If anything, COVID-19 has taught us that relying solely on bricks-and-mortar to run our business could put your business at risk of not being able to service your customers holistically. 

If you already have a shop with a physical presence, or are considering starting a business, here’s why now is the time to think about opening a shop online. 

Customers’ shopping habits will change 

One thing is evident, customers’ shopping – and spending habits – will change during and post the COVID-19 lockdown. Pre-lockdown panic meant consumers rushed to stores to bulk-buy, while shopping limited to essentials during lockdown, could shift shopping habits again.  

  • According to Ipsos MORI, 50% of Chinese and 31% of Italian consumers indicated that they are shopping online ‘more frequently’ to buy products they would generally buy in-store.  
  • While in Vietnam, India and Russia, consumers are also turning to online shopping – as increased use was measured at 57%, 55% and 27% respectively. 
  • In another recent survey conducted, one-third of men, reported that the pandemic had affected how much they spent on shopping. While, compared to 28% of women, 36% of men indicated that the current crisis had affected how much they spend on experiences (travel, restaurants, entertainment, etc.). 
  • Interestingly, men were found to be shopping online more than women, including favouring options of limiting in-store interactions like BOPIS (buy online, pick-up in store), pick up outside the store, and subscription services. 
  • Subscription and convenience services have also seen a significant upward trend in revenue and conversion during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This research illustrates that consumers are becoming hyper vigilant about exposing themselves to the virus by avoiding highly congested shops and malls, and rather opting for a safer shopping option.  

How you can move your business online 

There are a variety of international ecommerce platforms to choose from, when opening up an online shop. Standard Bank offers a simplified, all-in-one payment solution that enables you to start and manage your online business all from a single, secure environment. 

What is SimplyBlu and what does it offer? 

With SimplyBlu, building your online store has never been easier, and with a single secure portal you can monitor your payments, issue e-invoices and keep a finger on the pulse of your online store while you’re on-the-go. With SimplyBlu, you get:  

  • Your own online store: Build your own online store using built-in templates. Web domain, webhosting, and payment capabilities are all included. 

  • Single secure platform: Build and make changes to your online store, issue invoices, view and manage sales in real-time, and so much more all from one single platform. 

  • Same-day settlement: Card sales are settled into your Standard Bank account overnight. 

  • Plug-and-play: Add payments to your existing website or use developer-friendly APIs to further customise a website. You can also plug it into a number of popular shopping carts. 

  • Free monthly subscription fee for the next 3 months