Local e-commerce, or neighborhood eCommerce, will save small and medium-sized businesses from the economic crisis caused by Coronavirus. Find out why proximity e-commerce could help you right now.
The Local eCommerce – eCommerce proximity or proximity commerce – is an integrated e-commerce model that small and medium-sized enterprises develop in synergy with the physical store to sell products or services online to an audience of buyers is in the vicinity of their home.
Before the COVID-19 epidemic, proximity e-commerce was almost a rarity. The great giants of online commerce grew steadily. Merchants who bravely chose to open independent e-commerce risked flop, engulfed by a purchasing model that tended to a global dimension and no longer looked local.
The Lockdown Has Turned The Tide: with nearly 4 billion people locked up at home, online shopping has changed face in record time.
The regulars will undoubtedly have continued to buy on the big websites, such as Amazon or eBay. Still, at the same time, they have started buying fresh food and consumer goods from their trusted shopkeeper, who, in the meantime, has hurried to open local e-commerce or has upgraded what he already had.
Some bought online for the first time during the pandemic – according to a Netcomm survey in Italy, 75% of people had never shopped online before the lockdown – and often did so directly from the neighborhood shop, requesting home delivery or picking up in the store after the purchase to avoid queues and all the inconveniences that involved leaving the house in full quarantine.
With the hope of not succumbing to the economic crisis, many small and medium-sized enterprises have digitized themselves to meet the new needs of consumers. They have launched local e-commerce for “neighborhood purchases.”
The Topic of this Post
- 2020 = Boom of eCommerce
- Local Ecommerce: 3 Tips to Convert to Commerce 2.0
2020 = Boom of eCommerce
Ecommerce has helped us tackle the crisis caused by the pandemic and aggravated by the lockdown as a secondary tool to shop retail. Retail means retail. By definition, it is the sale of goods or services by a business to a consumer for personal use. A transaction at … has become an indispensable ally for everyday purchases.
For this reason, in 2020, e-commerce and local e-commerce have registered a growth that, under normal conditions, they would have achieved in many years.
According to the Global Digital Report by We are social and Hootsuite – the report of data on digital trends of the year based on users’ online behaviors worldwide – e-commerce was the king of 2020.
At the top of the ranking, we find the Fashion and Beauty category, with 665 billion dollars in turnover worldwide, and Food insurance & Personal care, which recorded + 41% compared to 2019.
The rise of e-commerce in Italy is on the average of global data with the Consumer goods sectors at + 24%, Fashion and beauty + 24.4%, and Food and Personal care at + 38.7%. A real revolution considering that in 2019 almost no one was shopping online.
Instead, today 7 out of 10 Italians have a shopping app installed on their smartphone and, according to Everly’s Annual Report, e-commerce growth in our country has reached + 208% compared to 2019 on-site and app purchases.
Local eCommerce: 3 Tips To Convert To Commerce 2.0
2020 changed our lives forever. Nothing will return precisely to the way it was before the pandemic, and with each passing day, work, socializing, communicating, and shopping are tenaciously stabilizing online.
Merchants, as well as digital and IT professionals, should give due consideration to this transformation.
Leaving aside the initial doubts – which, however understandable, should not scare as a few years ago – opening local e-commerce is an excellent opportunity that small and medium-sized enterprises can exploit in their favor to grow even in a period of crisis such as the one we are living.
Creating e-commerce for free and in full autonomy is possible, but asking a specialist for advice is an option to consider. Only an expert will give all the necessary information and recommend the best platform according to the business to create successful e-commerce.
Here are 3 tips for converting to commerce 2.0 with proximity eCommerce.
Choose a Hybrid Solution
While the average shopper will have no problem buying online and waiting for delivery times, the traditional customer – the one most likely to choose a proximity eCommerce – may prefer a hybrid shopping experience that includes the ability to collect. locally for the goods already paid for or to order the products online and pay them directly upon collection on site
Covid restrictions permitting, the real challenge for those who open a local e-commerce today is integrating the online store with the physical store.
For this purpose, it may be useful to provide customized payment solutions, such as buy now and pay later and guarantee the customer both the possibility of collecting the goods in the store without queuing up and home delivery in a short time, preferably within the day.
According to forecasts, the physical store has been transformed forever and, when the new normality arrives, only those who remain “hybrid” will be able to compete.
Put the Customer First
Involve: those who open a neighborhood eCommerce must first pamper the customers they have. But never rest on your laurels.
A well-designed page on social networks can help merchants find new customers. How? During the “great quarantine” of the first lockdown, many restaurants in Italy made video tutorials on preparing bread and pizza at home or the main dishes on the menu.
The intention was to demonstrate closeness to repeat customers, but there was also a long-term goal: to lead generation. In digital marketing, we use a …, that is, find new potential customers.
Neighborhood e-commerce can replicate an equally effective model with themed video tutorials based on the type of store. Backstage content, such as photos or live stories with staff members preparing goods for delivery, also creates a lot of engagement. Engagement, from the English “involvement,” is a term that indicates the level of involvement of users concerning a company or brand, often used in the field of Social Media Marketing. There is … because they humanize the company.
Give the customer a traditional experience: those who rely on proximity eCommerce often already know the shopkeeper and the store, but this is not always the case. For this reason, it is good to show online, on social networks, and above all on the website, the shop as it is in reality.
You could propose an immersive in-store experience with an augmented reality video and let the customer choose his shopping while virtually strolling among the shelves or, more simply, constantly updating the catalog, making it browsable.
Offer assistance: the customer who chooses the neighborhood eCommerce expects the staff a direct and more human dialogue than the anonymous emails of the e-commerce giants. And when he has a problem, he prefers to solve it in real-time. Setting up an effective customer care network on every channel where local e-commerce is present is an excellent strategy without neglecting voice assistance, of course.
Because human contact always wins and builds customer loyalty.
Remember that your brand is never too small.
According to Shopify’s The Future of Commerce report, in 2021, they will win the game brand. A Brand is an identification symbol, trademark, logo, name, word, and/or phrase that companies use to distinguish their product from others—a combination … independent, authentic, transparent, and responsible.
According to Shopify, today, 62% of young consumers prefer to buy green and sustainable products from independent companies, while 32% have chosen independent retailers since the pandemic began.
Regardless of age, 65% of consumers openly stated that they support small businesses.
Although the retail giants and large online marketplaces will also dominate in 2021, independent businesses – even the smallest ones – could gain ground above all thanks to the new habits acquired in the pandemic.
We have withdrawn into an introspective dimension in the long period of uncertainty that we know well, reconsidering priorities, desires, and preferences. And as consumers, we have rediscovered ourselves as more authentic and selective.
It seems that soon we will be more willing to buy from transparent and responsible brands, no matter how cool they are.