As soon as countries all over the world started lockdown due to the pandemic, most were at a loss of what to do. As humans, we are naturally social. We love to mingle, go to different places, and interact face to face with other human beings.
The pandemic has definitely made it difficult for everyone to function the way we usually would. The “new normal” is something some people find difficult to swallow, while others try to accept. With acceptance comes the fact that we just have to make things work.
Indeed, some people have found a way around the pandemic. Students have acclimated themselves to online classes, and businesses have managed to engage employees on a work-from-home set-up. Some companies have been hard hit by the pandemic though, and even the biggest ones had to lay off several employees.
Unemployment is one of the major problems the pandemic has caused. According to a Congressional Research Service report, the unemployment rate reached up to 14.8% in April last year and in April 2021, “unemployment remained higher (6.1%) than it had been in February 2020 (3.5%).”
Aside from the obvious health impacts of the virus, unemployment is definitely causing people a lot of stress and anxiety. Yet, other people still choose to see the silver lining. From loss, others created opportunities. Once companies started to let them go, some people used their free time, utilized their creative minds, and started to set up their own businesses.
The Boom of Online Businesses
Just amongst my circle of friends, many have started making money through creating their own products and selling them online. A lot of my friends have turned their baking hobby into a profitable venture. Some have turned their passion for fashion into selling clothes online. One of my friends who started small and used to make hand-painted pillows is now making his own pieces of furniture.
These stories are inspiring and give other people a sense that there is light at the end of the tunnel. No matter how much the pandemic tries to put us down, people will remain resilient and find a way not just to survive, but thrive. One of the major factors that help these small businesses thrive despite social distancing measures in place is the internet.
In the time of coronavirus, e-commerce has undeniably boomed. Using the internet allows small businesses to transact with customers while minimizing the chances of putting both ends’ health at risk.
Technology is your friend.
Some may think that during this time of the pandemic, the internet is already being overly used by businesses to their advantage. But the truth of the matter is, some new small business owners have yet to utilize the internet to its full potential.
A study published by Walden University discusses some online marketing strategies that can be used by business owners. This includes the use of Google Alert and Crazy Egg to measure visitor traffic and gain knowledge on what people look at when they visit a website. Doing this will help owners understand consumers better— what they want to see, and what they demand from the market. Knowing your website traffic is also necessary to gauge if the site is catching your target market’s attention. If it’s not, don’t panic. It only means you need to employ strategies to increase traffic.
One way to increase traffic is through paid social media ads. This means you pay a social media site to advertise your product or service so more people can see it. If a social media ad is effective, this will direct customers to your website. Once you have successfully lured the audience to your website, the next step should be audience retention. How do you keep your market glued to your online store and attract them to buy your product or service?
This is where good content comes in. Content must be adjusted based on your audience. If your market is for moms, put content that will fit the audience’s tastes. Content doesn’t only mean blogs and articles, but even the images and the design of the entire website. Creating your website is like creating your store in the digital space.
Undeniably, nothing beats a physical store. But there are ways to catch the online market’s attention and make them feel as if they are walking into a real shop, touching a real product. Reliable sources such as capchella.com note that a good way to do this is through augmented reality. Through 3D representations of your products, customers will get a feel of how it really looks in real life. This will give your business an edge over the competition in the online space.
Continuous Evolution Technology does not evolve on its own. Technology evolves because there is a demand from the people. The pandemic has certainly created a higher demand in the digital space, especially as people had to distance themselves from one another. It has been a way of communication for some, while for others, it has become a way for sustenance.