As normal life begins to come back in the UK after an extraordinary year and a half and small business in high streets start to reopen their doors, you’d be excused if you thought this meant bringing an end to online services that have thrived in these conditions.
However the growth in the use of digital isn’t likely to go anywhere, with post pandemic Britain much more content with the convinience of online shopping. This is incredibly obvious given Amazon’s continually growing digital behemoth of a shop.
Although the pandemic is now edging further away from impacting our day to day lives, the lasting effect it has had on how we interact with others, work, and purchase goods. Small businesses need to take advantage of this by utilising the growing reliance on digital and opening their brand to a wider market, to help grow profits and sustain the traditional brick and mortar premises.
The issues that we saw early on in the pandemic, with online orders backlogged across big business, showed that everyone has yet to properly invest in digital means. There’s some infrastructure there but it’s not a thriving logistical network – not Amazon size.
This opens up a good gap for small businesses to take advantage. Why not use online as the new high street? Social media has created avenues to help make this a reality.
Amazon is powerful because it has a market place, as does eBay, Wayfair, etc. The big business requires the growing community of business big and small to ensure success. Sadly these big players are unlikely to go anywhere because they, at the moment, are incredibly good at evolving.
Small businesses however, by nature, are better at it. No cumbersome processes to overcome and the ability to create a growing network of other businesses. Essentially, the future of digital businesses isn’t several shops selling singular items, it is a small business supporting market place.
Social Media has given an excellent opportunity to work with other small businesses and grow communities. However what these communities haven’t yet led to, as far as I’ve seen, is a growth in sales. Mostly businesses chatter amongst themselves and purchase from one and other but very rarely do they grow outside of that.
Bolstering an already growing online community as we go through 2021, it will see a return to normal life but also a need for small businesses to adapt. Utilising the smarts of different partners to create a digital high street outside of the big players of Etsy and Amazon. Something to sell outside of the communities that are already building and growing.
A singular point to purchase, to promote and to grow that is managed by existing small businesses for small businesses is the way forward.