We think it’s safe to say that 2020 was a waste of a wall planner but when it came to ecommerce, around a decade of growth was packed into a single year…and it’s Shopify that is steaming ahead, especially here in Liverpool.
With many of us locked down at home and the high street all but shut down, shoppers were forced to change their shopping habits drastically which meant businesses had to keep up by either upping their online game or going online for the first time.
Liverpool businesses of all sizes have had to embrace and adapt to a new way of delivering their products and services and the good news for those who went all-in is that ecommerce growth is set to continue (albeit at a less drastic pace).
Global Reach, Local Focus
Making the move online not only increases the geographical area that you can serve, but it also pits you up against the larger companies who have millions to spend on their online presence.
Don’t let that put you off though, one of the positive results of the pandemic has been a shift in shopper loyalty and rise of the #shoplocal movement.
Shoppers are increasingly wanting to use their spending power to support smaller, local, independent businesses – for everything from food to fashion.
Consumers are savvier than they have ever been and have more of a conscience than they’ve ever had. They’re happy to spend time researching local businesses and making considered purchases from retailers who align with their own values.
Research by Nucleus Commercial Finance found that the majority (96 per cent) of consumers support their local independent businesses and 63 per cent of those have made a conscious effort to do so since the pandemic started.
71 per cent of consumers intend to spend more with their local businesses than they did last year, and more small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have already noticed more support from local customers with 42 per cent feeling better supported by locals since the pandemic began.
As we become even more aware of the world around us and the impact our actions has on it, the smaller brands with a strong corporate social responsibility will be the big winners – especially here on Merseyside.
One of the things we love most about being a Liverpool Shopify agency is seeing the upturn in shoppers looking to support their local businesses.
Scousers stick together like no-one else so bragging about your local credentials must be a key element of your online marketing plan.
Upping Your Online Game Plan
Moving away from the major retailers and spending with small, local businesses isn’t just becoming popular, it’s becoming on-trend. It’s a symbol of solidarity and one that local retailers can really tap into in order to grow.
There are some key things you’ll want to implement if you’re looking to level up your online game which include:
- Invest in a good ecommerce website which is easy to use and saves you time. Using a platform such as Shopify means you can showcase your products and services, manage your invoicing and inventory and communicate with your customers directly through the platform.
- Sticking with the local theme, choose a Shopify agency in Liverpool such as Blaze Media, and we can help you create a completely bespoke store that is stylish, quick and easy to use for both you and your customers.
- Ensure your information is up to date on your social media channels, Google My Business and any directories that you’re listed in.
- Offer click and collect or simple delivery options – and be up front about any delivery charges. This doesn’t only apply to restaurants, do what you can to make the buying options as easy as possible.
- Consider partnerships, affiliate schemes and ambassadors. Reach out to other independents here in Liverpool who complement what you offer and create some joint offers and promotions. Offer a reward scheme for people who love your brand and are happy to help promote it. Not only will this help your own business but it also helps other local businesses and helps keeps the money in the local economy too.
Experience is Everything
When it comes to your online store, remember that your customers’ lives are just as chaotic as yours.
Think how frustrated you get if you land on a website and you can’t work your own way around or it takes forever to load.
How many times have you added something to a cart but the check out process was so awkward that you just left it and bought it somewhere else? The things that annoy you on other websites will be the things that annoy others when they land on your ecommerce website if it’s not done right.
We’re all more impatient than ever and Google emphasised the importance of a user-friendly site by adding page experience to their latest algorithm for ranking websites.
The importance of taking the time to understand what your customer needs and how they will navigate around your Shopify site can’t be underestimated. It needs to be quick, clear and easily accessible.
Mobile friendly is also a must – more and more people shop from their phones or tablets and Google checks out mobile sites before desktop versions now.
And make sure your site has a simple check out process and ability to store details for future use, not forgetting a range of payment options including Apple Pay, PayPal, Klarna, ClearPay etc.
Liverpool is Leading the Way
When it comes ecommerce then the only way is Liverpool.
We’ve a proud heritage when it comes to retail and online shopping, from a stunning array of small, independent businesses through to multi-national, multi-million-pound organisations.
In 1932 Littlewoods pioneered mail-order retailing here and grew to become the largest private company in the UK. The Liverpool City Region is also home to the likes of Shop Direct, Park Group, AO.com; N Brown (JD Williams); and The Hut Group (Zavvi).
We mentioned algorithms before, well did you know that the University of Liverpool’s computer science department is recognised as the leading centre in the UK for world-leading research? It has a focus on algorithms and artificial intelligence and also offers an Electronic Commerce Computing degree course.
And we know that drones will play a part in the future of online shopping with a certain online retailer already trialling drone delivery…another tick for the City here with Liverpool John Moores University fast becoming a hotbed of research into drone research. They already offer a masters course in Drone Technology!
Want Your Piece of the Ecommerce Pie?
2020 was a big reminder to expect the unexpected.
Maybe you’re not ready to take on Littlewoods or Shop Direct just yet, that doesn’t mean you can’t get online and get selling.
If you’re itching to change career and work for yourself or you want a side hustle, then ecommerce could be the way to go.
Simple Shopify sites can be set up in a weekend by anyone with just an ounce of tech knowhow but if you want to make a real go of things then you need to engage a Shopify agency to help you.
Not only can we build you your own personalised online store, we can help you create and grow your brand, scaling your site up ad you scale your business up. We can even provide content writing to help you with blogs or product descriptions.
The time has never been better, and it’s never been easier to get online and build a new business so if you’d like to chat to our Liverpool based web design team about how we can help you get in on the action then contact us now.
Oh, and if you’re looking for inspiration on what to sell or what to add to your existing store then check out the 12 products that are trending on Shopify right now…
- Household storage containers
- Kitchen towels
- Bike saddles
- Handheld device accessories
- Toy kitchens and play food
- Motor vehicle carpet and upholstery
- Bookcases and standing shelves
- Temporary tattoos
- Needlecraft patterns
- Hair styling tools and accessories