When the states start their respective lockdowns back in March of this year, one recurring theme we discussed internally was that businesses that had not previously developed any competency in direct online sales would have to get good at it very quickly or suffer from possibly losing all access to their customers. With almost three months under our belts in learning how to navigate this new reality, it’s clear that the concept of turning a retail space into a fulfillment center is here to stay. Whether you call it “E-Commerce”, “Click-and-Collect”, “Ship-From-Store” or “Curbside Pickup” or something else, 2020 has shown that there is both a LOT more that can be managed from your store-front AND the demand to justify it as well. According to some very recent data from VISA International, the pandemic has accelerated a growing reluctance to use cash, and in turn creating huge increases in use of online ordering previously unseen. Their data reflects this trend worldwide – with E-Commerce sales rising in the US by 49% in April (versus the baseline in March prior to most states shutting down) and in other regions like Latin America where 13 million users tried online ordering for the first time already this year.
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