In 2020, Covid-19 meant that every business has had to adapt the way it operates in one way or another. Organisations have had to be agile and open to making changes which, in normal circumstances, they might have taken months, even years, to implement.
Many companies have had to radically change how they approach business altogether. Some have introduced click and collect or delivery services or have needed to introduce a booking system of some sort, perhaps to safely space out customers.
Central to all of this is the website. For many businesses it’s turned from simply being a 'nice to have’ part of the marketing mix to an essential shop window for the organisation. Suddenly from uploading a new blog every now and again, businesses have discovered that they needed to add Covid-19 messaging, change opening hours or ordering information and perhaps add an online shop.
When lockdown hit, nearly every business with a website needed to put some sort of messaging on its home page. Some of these were simple, it’s business as usual, while others needed to include specific information about offices being shut and how to contact staff. And they needed it doing quickly.
What became clear was that the need to easily make changes to a website was paramount. For our clients, this was straightforward and simply involved logging a ticket on our maintenance support system. However, we heard stories about this being tricky for other businesses, who perhaps couldn’t get hold of their web guys at all, while others were given long time scales for changes to be made – by which point the rules had probably changed again...
For many businesses, their website has become even more important during the pandemic as, aside from social media platforms, it is their window on the world. Customers and clients can’t have that face-to-face interaction anymore. People can’t walk into a shop as easily or meet somebody at their regular networking group for instance.
Businesses which, up until now, have survived with a website they might have created themselves have since found adding new content and messaging difficult and have no idea where to start when they need to add e-commerce to that site. In addition, if they hadn’t included SEO in their initial package, then customers probably won’t have found them in the first place.
Many businesses which already had e-commerce as part of their website have ramped that up, while other companies are introducing it for the first time. According the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the Covid-19 pandemic had a profound effect on the retail sector with many stores forced to close at the height of lockdown. During that time consumers switched their spending to online. But, although many shops have now reopened, a far higher proportion remains online than before the crisis.
ONS figures show that, at the height of pandemic restrictions in April 2020, retail sales fell by a quarter compared with pre-Covid levels. While overall sales have now recovered this lost ground, in store sales are still nearly 10% down, while those online are still up by nearly half on the start of the year.
If you need more support from your website team, then give Target Ink a call.