In March 2020, when COVID-19 had businesses closing their doors and people shopping from home, e-commerce became more critical than ever. April’s U.S. online sales showed a 68 percent increase over the previous year. Companies with existing e-commerce sites took on this heavy increase in traffic, while those with no online shopping option missed a big opportunity, or worse, closed altogether.
The experience of a quarantine and the ongoing pandemic is a wake-up call for businesses to meet shoppers where they shop, which is increasingly online with no sign of slowing down. Is your organization prepared?
Here’s how one company found success by working with an expert team on a customized e-commerce solution.
From idea to urgency in the time of need
In 2020, retailer WG&R Furniture had plans to add e-commerce capabilities to its site. Once the pandemic arrived, it accelerated the effort to meet the sudden need for online shopping. But, the complexity of its business called for more than simply adding buy buttons to product pages. Offering financing options, variable discount codes that worked with inventory in real time, delivery and pick-up service of new and old furniture, and integrating complex tax logic for different locations are some examples of its need for customized e-commerce.
Working directly with its team on a customized solution, these capabilities were tested and implemented as quickly as possible. Furthermore, a feature like intuitive search, a dynamic drop-down menu that autofills with product options based on what the user searches for, was integrated to help visitors find products more quickly. In the absence of in-store, face-to-face sales and service, this kind of feature was essential.
Overall, the right partnership and capabilities paid off for WG&R with immediate, significant results. Adding e-commerce to its site provided customers a virtual showroom they could shop after hours, during inclement weather and even during a rare pandemic.
Successful e-commerce goes beyond technology
With a skilled team in place to integrate proper user experience knowledge and web design expertise, this technology can seriously improve your business, offering an efficient alternative to in-store shopping. When done well, e-commerce can even become a preferred method of shopping for your customers.
Companies who work with trusted e-commerce partners will be the most equipped for implementing new ideas based on customer behavior or trends that arise. Establishing a relationship with experts that understand your business, products and objectives will give you the ability to provide your customers the experience they want and expect — no matter how that changes throughout the pandemic and beyond.
About the Author
Lance Peroutka is the principal and agency director of Element. He has spent more than 20 years in business development, account management and marketing strategy. As Element’s founder, Peroutka’s foresight has helped the agency and many businesses achieve measurable success through creativity, strategy and data. Please contact him at [email protected]