The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we do things – from rethinking the way we work to learning new ways to socialize amid physical distancing.
Some thought leaders would say that we have sped up our transition into a largely digital no-touch economy with the need to adapt. And one sign of this landscape shift is the rise of online businesses.
With almost everyone stuck in their homes and with many left struggling with forced leaves and “no-work-no-pay” office policies, it easy to understand how online selling swiftly took off as a way to augment income.
And this boom has not gone unnoticed. In fact, the government is reminding online sellers that they must also register their business and pay taxes.
“Most of these habits will stay even after the pandemic,” said Lana Macapagal, Business Development Manager of Rakuten Viber, during her talk about hyperlocal online communities in a Web Wednesdays webinar held last May 27.
Macapagal detailed how online business habits under COVID-19 – whether its consumers engaging in more online shopping or it’s turning “quaranthings” (i.e., baking) into businesses – will most likely carry on even when malls go into full operation and face-to-face transactions will be possible again.
According to Macapagal, noticeable during these times is how consumers are exploring and trying new brands and services. Many may be able to use this digital boom as a window to set up their own business.
She attributes this patronization of online business to a “lack of distraction.” While many are working from home, they are less exposed to billboards, display ads, and other traditional forms of advertising. Many from consumer purchases come from personal recommendations and word-of-mouth advertising seen in niche groups on social media and their own communities.
“So in a way, there’s fair play with brands and more opportunity for smaller businesses to shine,” Macapagal explained.
To maximize this opportunity for existing and aspiring online business entrepreneurs, Macapagal recommends the following steps moving forward amid COVID-19.