How COVID-19 Is Affecting Shopping and E-Commerce
After the U.S. declared the coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency in February 2020, local lockdown measures meant retail storefronts across the country were forced to close their doors to customers overnight. The economic impact caused over 30,000 businesses in the retail sector to suddenly close. Fifty-eight percent of those temporary closures became permanent ones, according to Yelp’s September 2020 Local Economic Impact Report. Retail businesses have been shutting their doors in increasing numbers since July, with sectors like beauty, clothing, and home decor having the highest rates of closure.
A Pandemic-Driven E-Commerce Surge
Storefront boutiques have suffered the most, whereas retailers that practiced e-commerce before the pandemic are profiting today. According to research from Adobe, e-commerce saw a steep increase of 110% after stay-at-home orders began. Most small business success today is driven by an online and mobile presence. Content marketing, email marketing, social media ads, and social commerce are all key strategies for seeing e-commerce sales.
Why E-Commerce Is Growing Since COVID-19
Between store lockdowns and the public’s fear of infection, it isn’t surprising how COVID affected online shopping behaviors. Lockdown measures forced retailers to rely on e-commerce or “m-commerce” (mobile commerce). It caused many conventional consumers to find ways of using technology to shop, such as turning to mobile delivery services.
Panic buying also accounts for some of the online shopping surge, with consumers worried about stock depletion in stores. More leisure time at home during quarantine has translated into consumers having more time for online shopping.
Local Delivery Models Are In
The arrival of smartphones was a turning point in shopping behavior, which allowed the on-demand delivery business model to explode. Ordering pizza and tracking its delivery through an app is appealing, particularly to Millennials and Generation Z, whose purchasing power continues to grow.
With so many services offered through technology today, retail businesses need to promote and sell online and on mobile apps to remain competitive. Online selling has become a matter of survival during COVID-19. Unfortunately, stores unprepared for e-commerce or any sort of virtual operations have had to shut down.
The Challenge Storefronts and Boutiques Face
Small retailers surviving the pandemic have had to set up new e-commerce and delivery infrastructure to stay afloat. Boutiques may need to sell their items through an Etsy store or eBay if they don’t have a website. Facebook Marketplace is the best platform for targeting local customers, who likely already know the storefront or have visited the boutique. Selling locally here could be a safe way to keep a business from going under.
Whether these small businesses have daily deliveries going out to local consumers or they’re making frequent mail-order shipments for Etsy customers, they need a local delivery solution. While they work with a third-party professional company to manage deliveries with drivers and vehicles, they can focus on the online aspect of their businesses.
How DeliverEnd Helps Small Businesses Succeed
DeliverEnd offers an on-demand small business delivery solution that provides the most reliable and flexible means for sellers to deliver products locally. With no long-term commitment needed, we can partner with your business as soon as you download the app and create an account.
Safe Local Deliveries and Transactions
Using the DeliverEnd app, you can have professional drivers handle local deliveries for you no matter their size. If you’re a furniture consignment shop, we have full-size box trucks that can move items. Running a food business from your home kitchen? DeliverEnd can be your solution for managing deliveries to customers, so you can scale your business.
If you’re a small local business transitioning to an online business model, we can help make online selling possible. Our app keeps not just convenience, but also safety in mind for online sellers. We can make deliveries from your home or warehouse directly to consumers without any of your customers learning your location— something particularly appealing if you’re running your business out of your home.
Free delivery is an alluring perk for online shoppers. When using DeliverEnd for your orders, you have the option to purchase credits that cover the delivery costs for customers. Or, you can have customers pay the delivery fees.
Low Overhead Costs
When you outsource delivery management to DeliverEnd, you get to save on several costs involved in online sales, such as gas and in-house delivery drivers. Prices vary by vehicle size and the distance of each delivery, but it’s still much less costly than building your own fleet or order-to-delivery system. You also don’t have the logistical stress and liabilities of managing the process. We handle all of those details for you on our end—you just tell us what needs delivering where.
You Get Flexibility
Fleet transportation tends to require much larger delivery loads, which makes it less flexible when you have a small surplus in deliveries or you have fewer items for delivery and want to save on costs. Conventional fleet management services have rigid processes and making a change in plans can be difficult because scheduling takes place in advance.
Unfortunately, changes happen in retail, especially when there are seasonal dips or booms in sales. DeliverEnd doesn’t require any contract or commitment. Work with us on a job-by-job basis and pay only for the deliveries you require. You don’t have to worry about hiring, retaining, managing, or paying drivers. We handle staffing matters on our end so that you have the flexibility to get the delivery services you need on demand.
The global pandemic has forced retailers to be resilient and make a sharp turn to e-commerce, which is new territory for many small businesses. Whether you’re just getting started with online selling or you’re ramping up to meet the demand sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic, you need to consider affordable delivery solutions. DeliverEnd is free to download on the Apple App Store and easy to get started with when you set up your account as a seller.