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Pivot Your Business for the Months Ahead—Get Online

Change can be hard—and when your business faces uncertain times, finding new sources of revenue can feel impossible. As a business owner, you likely understand the challenges of evolving your business to meet the changing needs of your customers. Throughout the pandemic, small business owners mastered the art of the quick pivot—rapidly adapting their stores and restaurants to meet the shifting demands of the COVID business landscape. Now, as we gear up for the holiday shopping season and the colder months ahead, it’s time to consider how you can position your business for success.
 
Did you know 43 percent of all purchases are now made online? As the 2021 holiday shopping season approaches, consider how you can leverage the busy season and expand your revenue streams. More consumers are shopping online than ever before, pushing every kind of business to enter the digital realm—even traditional, local businesses.

As temperatures drop, and the ongoing pandemic continues, give your customers the easy and convenient shopping and dining options they want. And remember, taking your business online doesn’t have to be complicated—or expensive. You don’t need to custom code a website or shell out hefty commission fees to third-party ordering platforms to give your business the competitive edge it deserves.  At Beyond, we’re committed to helping you streamline operations and cut costs—so when we say if there’s one thing your business should do in 2021, it’s consider adding an online store. Here’s why:

Why Taking Your Business Online Is Crucial this Holiday Season

In 2020, U.S. consumers broke records holiday shopping, with online sales rising 20.6% year-over-year. While more businesses are operating in-person this year compared to last year, the e-commerce boom is here to stay. The biggest trend this holiday season is convenience—customers demand options when it comes to shopping and dining. Whether that’s in-store shopping, online ordering, buy online pick up in-store, or delivery, your business needs to provide your customers with options.

While so many consumers are shifting to buying online—88 percent of the adult US market shops online—46 percent of small businesses don’t have a website. Building a website is no small feat, and for many small businesses, it’s a low priority that will just take too much time. For retailers, custom coding a website and adding a shopping cart feature may seem like something that’s just for big retailers. For restaurants, using a third-party platform like Grubhub or DoorDash might seem like an easy option, since they will handle the digital portion, but when your restaurant is handing out nearly 20% of every order in commission fees, it can be hard to stomach the costs. Either way, there’s a simpler solution altogether. Our online storefront is an easy and affordable solution for your online ordering and e-commerce shopping cart needs.

Storefront makes it fast and easy to open an e-commerce store—whether your business already has a website. The intuitive backend makes everything from organizing product categories and adding photos to updating prices and changing order statuses a breeze.​

For restaurants, Storefront will get your menu online and help you start taking orders in no time. Your restaurant can offer curbside pickup or delivery, creating a safe experience for customers, and a cost-effective solution to online ordering for your business.

Put your best foot forward this fall by taking your business online fast. With a stylish, mobile-friendly interface, and easy-to-use menu setup that will highlight your offering, utilizing a cost-effective online solution is a sure-fire way to position your business for success this season.

Hopkinton Village Store Takes Business Online

In a quiet town in rural New Hampshire, business owners Allison and Will knew their general store and deli—Hopkinton Village Store—needed to be ready for the second wave of coronavirus. The 230-year-old village store is a little bit of everything—grocery store, supply store, pizza shop, deli—you name it. When the pandemic hit, owner Allison knew she needed to be ready for whatever was to come and decided that online ordering was a must for the business. After checking out a few options, the owners decided to use Beyond Storefront to quickly get their menu online, and in the future, possibly add online grocery shopping as an option as well.

“What I wanted to do was have a foundation in place where we could pivot our business really quickly if either we decided—or the state required us to—change our model. I didn’t want there to be a business interruption when something changed, even for a few days. We needed to future-proof our business.”

In just three days the Hopkinton Village Store had an online store and was able to start taking online orders.

“I love how quickly I can make changes and test things. One weekend I moved the “fried sides” category up to the top of the online store and ended up selling a fried side with every order. We’re able to test different things to see what works to increase sales.”

Thank you to Allison, Will, and their Beyond Business Advocate Sue Schoenfeld for sharing a little of Hopkinton Village Store’s online ordering success story.

At Beyond, we’re committed to helping local, independently owned businesses find success in even the most difficult times. Get ready for the 2021 holiday shopping season and colder months by working with a partner who you can trust. Learn more about Beyond Storefront or talk to a local Business Advocate today.

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