An Opportunity for Retail Rebirth?
In our first post regarding the importance of social marketing to small businesses, we thought it essential to start with a brief overview of some recent research on the use of social media marketing post-COVID-19. Following are just a few reasons that social media marketing and e-commerce are crucial in today’s digital-focused world.
What consumers are buying and how they are shopping has changed dramatically due to the pandemic, and these new habits are continuing to evolve. Research indicates that, in many cases, consumers have used this life pause to reflect on their consumption. They are striving to shop locally to avoid possible supply chain disruptions associated with the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
56% percent of consumers surveyed indicate that they are shopping in neighborhood stores or buying more locally sourced products, with 79% and 84% respectively planning to continue with this behavior into the longer term. Reasons for this vary from actively supporting local stores or national products or a quest for authentic and artisan products.
The return to ‘local’ doesn’t always mean a return to ‘brick and mortar stores.’ Due to the pandemic, researchers found a dramatic rise in the adoption of e-commerce, and there are no signs of the growth from new or low-frequency users, post-outbreak. New services, such as home delivery, curbside pickup, or shopping via social media platforms — expect consumers to sustain these activities into the future.
Did you know? 72% of millennial shoppers will research you via your online presence (website and social media profiles) before they even step foot in your store.
While these statistics paint an improving picture for small retailers, there are some hurdles that small businesses have to overcome to take advantage of the rebirth of local. Currently, approximately 40% of small retailers have no online presence at all. Of those who do have an online presence, a small percentage of these have the capability for ecommerce. Despite the importance of social media marketing and e-commerce, many retailers admit to spending less than two hours per week on social media marketing and have no strategic marketing plan.
So just what can social media marketing do for your brick & mortar store?
- Get more customers to walk into your store
- Encourage in-store purchases
- Monitor your reputation
- Maintain strong relationships to ensure customers come back
- Get insights into the customer experience
The importance of e-commerce and social media marketing to small businesses can not be overstated. If successful brick and mortar stores are to thrive, they must adapt to the new normal and make e-commerce and social media marketing a part of their ordinary course of business.
Stay tuned for more insights. Next, we will examine step one in creating your social media presence: Your Social Media Elevator Speech