Five Hacks For Small Businesses To Get Out Of The Pandemic Resilience
A lot has changed for small businesses in the past year as the pandemic changed the retail and commercial landscape. Many small digital businesses saw dramatic growth during the pandemic as consumers switched to digital channels. On the flip side, many small businesses that were first physically first saw their sales drop, some so drastically that they were forced to close. After the pandemic, small businesses need to quickly adapt to new consumer behaviors and expectations. Here are five things small businesses can do to prepare for success as the world quickly adapts to digitization.
Create a smooth (front and back end) omnichannel experience
According to an industry report by IBEF, e-commerce has changed the way business is done in India. The market is expected to grow by $ 200 billion by 2026, up from $ 38.5 billion in 2017. Much of the industry’s growth is expected to be driven by an increase in internet and smartphone penetration. In addition, the number of Internet connections in India increased significantly to 776.45 million by September 2020 as part of the “Digital India” program. Even so, many small businesses still lack an online presence. Even among businesses that have an online presence, many lack seamless omnichannel experiences that connect their various sales channels. By delivering seamless omnichannel experiences, small businesses can better meet changing consumer expectations. This does not suggest the need for different systems for online, mobile, and in-store commerce as this can be fraught with many issues ranging from inventory, order management, or a separate payment and checkout experience. An omnichannel experience means having a networked experience in both the front and back end.
For example, consumers would like to add an item to their online shopping cart and then have it tried on in their store. Or vice versa, you want to try something on in the store and, if the right size or color is not available, have it ready for purchase in the online shopping cart.
To make this easier, small businesses should make sure their backend integrates things like reporting, payments, inventory and order management, and seamless integration with third-party providers.
Make your business and your customers’ information foolproof with robust fraud protection measures
As businesses and customers go online, so too do the opportunities for fraud and fraud. Cards and digital wallets are replacing cash as the dominant payment methods in e-commerce. This has led to several types of fraud, from online shopping scams to identity theft to tax fraud, and the cases are increasing as the number of internet users increases.
According to a recent report from the Ponemon Institute and PayPal, companies are recognizing the need for digital transformation to stay competitive in this digital age, but 81 percent say it has made them more vulnerable to online fraud.
Therefore, SMEs should always monitor their transactions and customer accounts in order to identify any warning signs. If the company encounters inconsistent shipping or billing information that does not match its records, it indicates unusual activity on its account that should be investigated.
Businesses can also help prevent fraud by requiring their customers to create a strong and secure password using a minimum number of characters, including a special character.
Offer your customers alternative and flexible payment options
It is very important to always keep the customer first. SMEs should give their consumers choice and flexible payment options so that they can make purchases the way they want. Businesses should enable their customers to pay with alternative sources of finance that can help increase consumer purchasing power.
Work with trusted partners to focus on business
Small businesses need to get a lot of things done. This could include managing their website, marketing to prospects and customers, managing their back office, hiring, managing their employees, customer service, and so on. This is where the role of trustworthy partners comes into play. Partners can make a lot of back-end work easier, like setting up the company’s e-commerce site, managing accounting, marketing, and more, which allows small business owners to focus on what they do best.
Make data-driven decisions
After all, it is very important to use your data efficiently to make informed decisions. Your data can give you an insight into your customers and their preferences and thus lead to better customer experiences. Data can also be used to create targeted offers, drive pricing strategies, and encourage more customers to buy. In addition, efficient data usage can also prevent fraudulent activity and increase customer trust and security. Ultimately, by using data effectively, you can also drive good marketing campaigns and thus increase sales.
The pandemic may not be here to stay, but many of the new trends that have emerged are. These five tips above can help your business get out of a position of strength in the pandemic.
The author is SVP, Omni Payments, PayPal.