Shopping online pre and post Covid-19 has shown us the need to be able to find and buy products over the internet. Even before Covid-19, our shopping habits have been changing for years. More and more of us are dependent on buying online and there are no signs of this changing anytime soon. In this blog, we will be going through some of the most important statistics to come out before and after the 2020 pandemic, and look at why it is more important than ever for your business to have an online presence.
- People are searching and shopping online more than ever before
If we look back to how we used to shop before the internet, we can see that a lot has changed. Most of us would get recommendations about products and services through word of mouth from friends or family. If we wanted to find out more about a specific product, we might have to go into a shop to speak to a retailer or order a catalogue, or both. Now we get most of our information about companies by reading reviews and blogs online. A recent study by 02 Business and Retail Economics found that during the pandemic 34% of people bought essential and non-essential goods online, and 47% of people intended to increase the amount of time shopping online. This shows that if you want people to find and purchase from your business it is more important than ever to have an online presence.
2. How people search online is changing
As more and more people look for products and services online, we can also see certain trends that are becoming more popular over time. Hubspot recently collated several different articles that examined how people are finding what they want and need online. Several studies have shown is that there is not only a growing interest in people using the internet for online research and purchases but also a growing interest in looking up companies that are situated near them. For example, 46% of all Google searches were seeking local information, and 72% of customers that searched for companies locally visited a shop within 5 miles. Almost all (97%) of people surveyed said that they learn more about a local company online than anywhere else. Above all, ‘Near me’ or ‘close by’ searches have soared by more than 900% in two years. If you are a local business, making sure that your company is listed by online business directories and has a website that contains the information your customers will be looking for will be crucial in the years moving forward. When you write the copy on your website to reflect what your customers are looking for online, this is known as SEO or ‘search engine optimisation’. Using these techniques can be the difference between a potential customer finding you and purchasing from you, or never hearing about you at all.
- The devices we use are more important than ever
As well as being online more often, we are now using our mobile devices for most online activities including shopping and product research. This is why when building a website you need to make sure that it is optimised for mobile use. This means that it needs to both and look good and function well on a range of devices. Research collected by Hubspot showed that 61% of people searching for information on a mobile phone are more likely to contact a business if their website is mobile-friendly. Impressively, 88% of searches for local businesses conducted using a mobile phone resulted in either a call or visit to a business within 24 hours, and 78% of location-based searches result in offline sales. The recent 02 study found that 24% of customers have actually bought products using their mobiles while standing in a brick and mortar shop, and 36% have used their mobiles to price-check items online while they are out shopping.
- The influence of social media
More than ever, people are turning to social media to learn more about brands and their products before making a final decision to buy. For years, social media has been growing in importance, reach, and impact. In fact, according to a survey conducted by GlobalWebIndex just over half of social media users, 54%, use social media to research products. The same survey found that 37% of people had visited a brand’s social media pages in the last month, 36% followed brands online, and 24% had engaged with sponsored or promoted content. Nearly all, 91%, of social media users access social media via a mobile device. Recent research collected by Lyfemarketing showed that almost 80% of the total time spent on social media sites occurs on mobile platforms. Lastly, 71% of people who experienced a positive interaction with a brand on social media said they were likely to recommend the company to family and friends. So, if you want customers to not only be able to find you, but also find out more about you, contact you, and become loyal customers engaged with your business having a strong social media presence is a must.
- Changes are here to stay
While we will not know the full impact that Covid-19 has had on businesses for many years to come, there is one thing that we can be fairly certain about. And that is important for all companies to have a strong online presence. This can be achieved through a professional-looking website that is optimised for your customers to find you, and consistent social media profiles that engage with old and new customers.
At WonConnect we offer a range of options that can help you and your business to build, grow, and maintain an online presence. From website design, to digital copywriting, from SEO, to social media management we pride ourselves on offering a full range of services for all your e-commerce and digital marketing needs. Everything we do is tailored to the specific requirements of our clients, whether this is fine-tuning your current profile online or building from the ground up. As a social enterprise we are also committed to improving digital literacy and online access to vulnerable and elderly members of our community, so you can be sure that by choosing us you will also be helping the lives of others.
As well as our full-stack online services, we also have an e-commerce site dedicated to providing you with a comprehensive number of smart gadgets and home security devices for your home and business needs.