The Corona crisis has not only reminded Danes to remember to wash their hands. It has also reminded the retail industry of the importance of being present online.
Indeed, not being ready to adapt can have major financial consequences. For example, one of Denmark's most reputable booksellers, Arnold Busck, recently had to turn over a new leaf after almost 125 years in business.
Conversely, other businesses are thriving in the new circumstances. I'm thinking of web shops, of course. For example, one webshop has increased its turnover by 300 percent compared to April 2019.
However, the Corona crisis is slowly turning around and physical stores are starting to open again. But does that mean you don't need a webshop? The short answer is: no!
There are several good reasons to have a webshop if you are in the retail business - Corona or not. I give you seven of them in this post.
Tip: Already have a webshop and want to know how to make your online store more visible in search engines? Then I highly recommend you to read my post about SEO in Shopify and other eCommerce platforms.
E-commerce is by far the most significant growth area in Denmark - and this trend does not seem to be reversing any time soon. The downturn for physical retail is different, with shop deaths leading to empty pedestrian streets in even major provincial towns.
But what is the cause of the shop death?
Quite simply, Danes are increasingly shopping online. In fact, 80 percent of Danes have shopped online in the last year. This makes Denmark one of the EU's absolute frontrunners when it comes to e-commerce.
And it's not just the Corona crisis that has driven Danes to digital checkouts. Online retail growth has been constant over the last decade - and will most likely continue to be so in the years to come.
That's why you should invest in a webshop. It's an investment in the future of your business.
A physical store relies on customers being nearby. A webshop does not. Here, the range is always within reach of customers - wherever they are in the world. So your customers don't need to visit your store in person to get their shopping needs met.
In Webamp we have a client who runs the physical wine and spirits shop Østerbro Vin in Copenhagen. But canny as he is, he has chosen to complement his physical store with a webshop - a choice that has given him a target audience that extends geographically far beyond the Copenhagen city limits.
This means that the other day the wine merchant sold a bottle of whisky for almost 700 DKK to a customer in South West Jutland - a sale that would hardly have been possible if the customer had to drive across the country to reach the physical store in Copenhagen.
The point is that with a webshop you can attract customers who are far from your local area. That way, you have a much larger potential audience.
Let's pretend you have a shop out in the physical, analogue reality - which you probably do, since you're chewing through this post.
But in this scenario, your store sells high-quality bags. Unfortunately, in your quest for uncompromising quality, you have neglected the façade of your store, which therefore appears anonymous and uninviting.
Your competitor, who also sells bags, lives next door. However, her bags are not nearly as high quality as the ones you sell in your shop.
Your competitor, on the other hand, has made its storefront and visual marketing a priority - including a compelling storefront with special offers, product pricing and relevant range information.
For the same reason, customers flock to her shop - and they often leave with a new bag under their arm.
So what is my point with this thought example?
Of course, your potential customers are more likely to visit your store if:
The same is true for a webshop. But with a webshop, it's much easier to stand out from your competitors. You don't need a degree in visual communication to be visually stronger.
But you (or your agency) need to know a bit about structured data.
I won't go into what structured data is in this post, as my colleague Peter has already written an excellent and quite educational introduction to structured data.
But I will briefly outline how structured data can make your webshop more visible in Google's search results (SERP) - and not least how it can make it more attractive for your customers to visit your webshop.
An example of visual marketing with structured data
With structured data, you can give your customers relevant information in the search results even before they have visited your webshop - just like the shop owner mentioned above gives his customers relevant information on his shop front.
Ultimately, this could mean more traffic to your business - and an increased chance of sales. In SEO -speak, we call it increasing your click-through rate (or CTR). Or in English: increasing the likelihood of getting more clicks.
Below you can see Permild & Rosengreen's search result on Google. In the search result, the poster retailer has used structured data to give its customers a quick overview of some of the shop's categories. Not least, customers can see that the shop has great customer reviews.
Permild & Rosengreen have made it easy for their customers to decide whether the webshop is worth a visit - even before they have visited it. In this way, Permild & Rosengreen stands out visually from the competition and has increased its chances of attracting more visitors.
If you want your webshop to be seen in the crowd using structured data, you are always welcome to contact Webamp.
Let's imagine once again that you own a bag shop. Every day thousands of people pass by. But very few of them are interested in buying a bag. Even fewer will actually visit your shop - let alone buy a bag.
But what if I told you that every passer-by could be a potential customer?
You have that option with a webshop. Here you have the opportunity to adapt your marketing to specific segments via online marketing - and thus turn all "passers-by" into potential customers.
Both organic and paid advertising allow you to get to the top of Google's search results for specific keywords. This means, for example, that you will be found when a user Googles "bags".
In addition, you can use remarketing to market to customers who have previously visited your webshop without completing a transaction.
In other words, you can tailor your marketing to reach customers at all stages of the buying journey.
So you have more marketing advantages as a web shop owner than you do as a "regular" shop owner.
Would you like to read about a concrete example of a webshop that has been successful because of online marketing? Read how Webamp helped the Butik24 webshop boost sales with extensive online advertising.
One of the problems of having a physical store is that your sales depend on you and your employees being physically present in the store. And you can only be open for x number of hours a day - after all, you and your staff also need to sleep and have time for family and leisure.
To put it crudely, basic human needs cause you to miss out on a lot of sales. But what if I told you that you could have an employee who didn't need to sleep or socialize - and who was ready to serve your customers around the clock?
That employee already exists. And don't be afraid to get the labour inspectorate on your back for letting this seemingly tireless employee work around the clock.
Because the employee I'm talking about is, of course, your webshop. Your webshop is not challenged by trivial physical and social needs. It handles all order and payment processing automatically. So your customers can shop in your webshop around the clock - late evening or early morning.
It's for the benefit of both you and your customers. Your customers can shop at their leisure, whenever it suits them, and you can keep your turnover going - even when you're sleeping, relaxing on the sofa in the evening, or playing badminton on Sundays.
It's a win-win situation.
Now I'm not saying that a physical store and a web shop are mutually exclusive - one can complement the other, just as there are service advantages to having a physical store.
That said, there are clear economic benefits to focusing on online trading. For example, your premises and utility costs will be lower because you won't have to use energy to heat and light a retail space with a rent that is as high as the location is attractive.
But your customers will also benefit financially. For example, they will be able to shop more cheaply because your lower costs will allow you to sell your goods more cheaply.
In other words, focusing on e-commerce is financially attractive - both for you and your customers.
Are you immediately struck by technology fear at the thought of having to manage a webshop?
You don't need coding, programming or web design experience to become a web owner. In fact, there are several user-friendly eCommerce platforms that make running a webshop easy.
In a nutshell, an eCommerce platform is the system where you manage content, sales and payment on your webshop - and there are a lot of them. I can mention WooCommerce and Shopify, which are the two biggest providers by far.
At Webamp , we primarily work in Shopify when creating webshops for our customers. We do this because Shopify has an intuitive and user-friendly control panel where you can quickly get an overview of orders, inventory and sales statistics. The control panel also makes it easy to create new product and category pages and insert catchy and search engine friendly SEO text.
Shopify also has well-developed customer support, full integration with Google Shopping, and no need to worry about updating plugins on your webshop.
And Shopify is stable. So you don't have to worry about the system crashing due to congestion during Christmas, Black Friday and other busy periods.
This is not to say that a Shopify webshop is the best solution for you. This post is not a promotional column for Shopify. There are pros and cons to all eCommerce platforms - ultimately it comes down to preference and need.
If you want an overview of the pros and cons of two of the biggest systems, Shopify and WooCommerce, I highly recommend you read the post "Woocommerce vs. Shopify - which should you choose?", written by my colleague Tobias.
Do you need help with your webshop? We'll be happy to help. At Webamp , you'll find web designers and online marketing specialists ready to get your webshop up and running - and keep it that way.
Whether you're a generalist or a marketing specialist, our SEO specialists have put together some great advice for you on our blog.
Learn more about SEO in Webamp Academy.