If there were one word to describe 2020, it would be the word disruption.
From schools being shuttered, travel and public movement limited, businesses shut down, and everyone stuck at home, it’s been an educational experience for all.
As more and more demands are being placed on people and workplaces to operate remotely, a business needs to adapt its operations.
For many brick-and-mortar type shops, the old way of doing things is, well, the old way. For a business to survive in today’s reality, being nostalgic in operations and holding on to the traditional way of conducting business may just be a death-blow.
All the disruptions that have occurred did accelerate the move toward a more online business world simply. In other words, moving businesses to a more online presence in e-commerce from the traditional walk-in shopping have been difficult for some but a necessity for all.
Adapt or Perish to the E-commerce Sector
The need for businesses to adapt to a more online presence can be tricky to orchestrate, especially in restaurants and Real Estate, industries that rely on deep person-to-person interaction for a transaction to occur.
Restaurants have had to be creative in the way they attract their customers. Some have pivoted to outside dining, pick-up, and delivery as their best options to survive.
Others have shifted away from food sales as their primary business and have focused on selling gift cards and merchandise online. Others still have focused on their social media as a way to engage, market to, and reward customer loyalty.
The disruption toward a more technological, online world has accelerated in even one of the most person-to-person businesses that exist.
Sales of more expensive items such as cars and homes have adopted an e-commerce model to adapt to the current selling climate.
Car Dealerships and Real Estate Learning Together
Car dealers are notorious for getting a customer onto the lot and keeping them at the dealership as long as possible.
The sales strategy is to engage and slowly break down the customer’s resistance to purchasing. By keeping the individual engaged by test-driving, browsing, and upselling, the sales staff slowly helps the customer through their purchase decision process.
But with all the recent hiccups to the standard way of doing things, how have car dealers been able to adapt?
Car dealerships have learned to take the early stages of the sales process online to mirror their back-end sales process. For dealers, the backend of the sales process was getting, signing, and uploading loan and financial documents from their customers for ease and speed.
The Real Estate market is learning what car dealers learned about their business model and adapting it to a more e-commerce model.
Customers may prefer in-person shopping, but if the business has a streamlined, customer-friendly user experience, a shopper will happily skip the in-person shopping and begin to make the purchase online.
Real Estate has adapted to making much of the shopping for a home as virtual as possible. Many buyers are using some of the “big guys” like Zillow and Realtor to research a home before scheduling an in-person show.
Knowledge of Other State’s Laws is Crucial to Avoid Penalties
As you move to more of an e-commerce way of business, depending on your product offering and where you plan to reach your customer, it is crucial to understand that one state’s laws may not be the same in another.
For example, if you’re selling financial products, you need to understand that there are different rules and regulations in how you package your offering, the terms you set, and more. What that means if you’re providing installment loans in Missouri, if you look to expand to Texas or elsewhere, you need to be current on all the laws and rules for that industry.
The biggest challenges that society and businesses face moving forward are keeping flexible enough with their traditional business operations and streamlining them into a more virtual, e-commerce way of conducting their transactions.
The disruption from the traditional way of doing things is only accelerating as the technology improves, more people become adjusted to conducting business online, and societies adapt to the ever-changing environment we live in.
If there were a definition of what business in the future would look like, not too long ago, we would have said it was some hybrid between online and traditional sales.
The disruption caused us all to learn is that if we are flexible and adopt a more online approach to our business, our businesses are better off. This disruption of the traditional way of interaction is only going to continue and accelerate.
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