SMB Retailers and Customer Service Outsourcing Companies – Prepare for The Holidays

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The past two years of the pandemic devastated the retail industry (among many others – but that’s another blog). And while businesses have slowly reopened, the new Delta variant has reintroduced another layer of uncertainty into the retail landscape. The good news is that e-commerce has never been more robust and underwent an astonishing surge as COVID-19 locked down the world in early 2020 – as evidenced by its increase of 32% over 2019 Some other interesting statistics have emerged. Online businesses that offered curbside pickup saw a 49% higher digital sales increase compared to a 28% digital sales increase for those that only offered in-store shopping. By November 2020, e-commerce sales surpassed $100 billion for the first time in history, and overall online sales for the holiday season reached a staggering $188.2 billion.

Fast forward to 2021, and SMB retail should most certainly anticipate a big push toward e-commerce – especially considering the emergence of new variant concerns. In order to win the online retail game, business owners need to undertake rigorous preparation. Your website is your store, and the more compelling and appealing it is, the better. This means including features like beautifully presented product photos, engaging descriptions, well-laid-out specs, robust purchase capabilities, competitive pricing, substantial inventory, a range of shipping options and a secure payment portal. As a business owner, you need to allow for the cost of upgrading your online presence to these standards.

For some SMB, the cost of upgrading your holiday-ready online platform might be challenging – for those business owners, there are a few options. For example, although the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) ended on May 31, 2021, you may qualify for loan forgiveness if you’re an existing borrower. Small business loans frequently feature low-interest rates but may not be an option due to the timeline – if you’re needing funds prior to the holiday season, these loans typically take 60 – 90 days to process and may not work for you. That said, merchant cash advances can sometimes help you access funding quickly, but you may need to deal with a high APR. Sometimes you need look no further than a home equity investment – with no interest or monthly payments to worry about and a quick timeline, this type of funding might be the answer to expanding your online presence, boosting your shipping capabilities, or investing in high-quality photography.

No matter where – or how – you decide to invest in your e-commerce activities, it will be an investment worth making – the data speaks for itself. Online sales are here to stay and will continue to account for a major piece of the retail market. An additional way to support this effort is to consider the advantages that come with successful customer service outsourcing companies. A twenty-year veteran in the highly competitive customer service industry, Anexa specializes in the integration of new channels and broadening their scope. Our skilled agents are trained in fostering and retaining customer loyalty and providing customer-centric solutions that reflect your voice, your values, and your brand.

Reach out today and see for yourself – Anexa.