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We are just a few days away from the end of 2020. It is a wonderful year to put behind us, and a lot to learn from too.

how has COVID-19 affected web development and digital marketing

It is hard to talk about any of the benefits because so many people have had it so bad. We are living through unprecedented times and pray for the safety of our fellow Americans.

From a digital standpoint and an eCommerce standpoint, it has been an incredible year, across many channels, every single day. There was a period from end of April through July, where most eCommerce businesses were doing record numbers. It was like it was Black Friday every single day.

As much as we want to say it is because of skill, the case is that the consumer landscape has just changed. People were accustomed and forced to buy online. Retail stores did not get the foot traffic they once did, and the dollar shifted online. Anything to do with health and wellness, anything to do with home improvement, financial services, these just skyrocketed.

How COVID19 drove changes in eCommerce during 2020

Ad dollars went up. Ecommerce companies could not keep up with the demand. Their biggest problem is that the manufacturing was not able to keep up with the demand.

No one saw it coming. Especially for anyone who imports from overseas or China, the delays on the shipments just put things back months.

Getting your website and digital marketing strategy on point has moved from being an afterthought for some businesses, to just not being an option anymore. It’s an absolute must. There are no options. The days of it being not well-maintained, or maybe not up to date, have gone away.

Regarding retail, restaurants, being able to make sure that they can take payments online and process orders. That’s definitely had an increase.

Where are these trends heading? What is going to happen over the next couple of months?

We believe things will continue for the time being as a status quo. Being uncertain of what the winter is to bring, as lockdowns continue or start up again. We think that the landscape of retail has forever changed. You take a look at rent prices in premium places. The rents are down significantly, to the point that it will be a very long time for them to recover.

How to navigate small business digital marketing into 2021

People are not only accustomed, but happy, to order online. So many brands are spending more time, effort, and resources on improving the experience, whether it’s grocery delivery in-house, trying to ensure and put quality assurance in place where someone is not going to get something that they’re not going to want, and it’s going to ruin the experience. It takes very little to mess up that customer experience.

And even if you go into industries that have larger items like appliances or furniture, where it’s a bigger purchase, you can’t just put it back into an envelope and return it. It is not very uncommon to see the resources that are getting applied to improving the experience where people can touch and feel, whether it is through AR or VR or better customer service on chats or bots. Brands had so much time. Some sat back and just waited. Others were diving in headfirst.

How consumer behavior changed in 2020

The need to ensure that you have a fully realized digital marketing strategy is essential… One that is flexible. These days you must be able to pivot, not etch into concrete exactly what you are going to be doing for the next three to six months because, frankly, who knows what’s tomorrow might bring. But the power of digital marketing stratagy means you can pivot quickly based on market demands and data.

Having a strategy, making sure that we are touching upon some of the cornerstone aspects of digital marketing from social media to pay-per-click, to SEO. There’s a bunch of areas in which we could spend the time and improve what we’re doing.

At the same time, we need to stay realistic. Nobody has a crystal ball. We don’t know exactly where we are going to be tomorrow, but we do know that there are tried-and-true ways in which we can stay relevant. We can continue to do our best to serve our customers, no matter what industry we are in, and continue to provide the best support possible, no matter where we are.

The uncertainty for so many businesses was palpable. Some were afraid to invest online, and they are trying to catch up. It is a very difficult road to play catch-up on, because once you get the customer, as more brands are direct-to-consumer and less third-party retailers, it is even more difficult to start to try to acquire the customer that, in theory, your competitor has already acquired.

Now the focus is on optimizing for profitability more than anything else. The one takeaway is, it’s never really too late. So, as you are wrapping up the year, you can start putting things into place. Maybe this is the time to reevaluate what you are doing and selling and discover new techniques to improve your business.

We wish all our readers a happy holiday season and new year ahead. Thank you for following us. Thank you for staying at home to protect yourself and others during these crazy times.