Coronavirus Will Change The Way Americans Shop
This virus will accelerate what is already a fast changing sales environment. People who never considered shopping online are now testing the waters. As more people try out ordering products and services online a growing percentage will remain online shoppers. Physical location shopping will become more and more limited to entertainment and medical services. Even within these two categories remote services will become more common and in higher demand.
Today businesses have to adapt to marketing changes faster than any other time in history. Just as small towns only a few miles off Route 66 lost their customers to new businesses in view from the new highway, customers will by-pass your business to your competitors because they have built a better internet marketing highway. Being complacent with your business marketing can leave your business out of view and in the dust.
How Quickly Things Are Changing
If you think you can stick to the same old marketing plan, consider how quickly things have changed over the past 30 years.
- In 1991 the first website was launched
- By around 1997 Search Engine Optimization becomes a thing
- In 1999 Nokia launches the first widely available cell phone with internet services
- In the year 2000 Google was born out of a strategic alliance with Yahoo
- 2005 the first video on Youtube
- 2005 voice recognition software widely available
- 2009 deep learning voice recognition introduced. Today we talk to our computers, phone and cars.
- Near 2010 Social Media was emerging as something that could become big. Ten years later Facebook alone has over 2.5 billion active users!
- In 2015 mobile search exceeded desktop search
- 2020 there are 1,744,517,326 websites, adding over 800 million websites in just 4 years!
If you think you can wait to make changes, don’t wait long. Study your competition. Study your clients. Learn all you can about the future of marketing in your industry because it can change in just a few years.
The Reality of Online Marketing in Today’s World
It is true that internet marketing will never be as easy or as cheap as it once was. As you can see in the cart below it appears that saturation of websites occurred in 2017. Just two years before in 2015 there were 30% fewer websites competing for business online. In the years leading up to 2017 it was pretty easy to develop a website and start driving in leads. Today the competition is much greater and there is no more space on page one of search results than there was before. Some might argue there is less space because there is really only one or two winners in mobile search.
As the internet grows the need for large shopping malls has declined. Shopping is turning into a task rather than an event or luxury. People want to pick up something fast rather than shop for hours in large malls. Since tasking is not fun society will move towards automation to relieve people of tasks. Businesses that move in that direction will have more success while those that cling to the past will continue to decline and eventually fail.
The industrial revolution started in 1760 and continued for over 60 years. Assembly lines and mechanized production changed business models forever. The information revolution has and will continue to transform how consumers shop and purchase needs and services. Marketing a business has changed so rapidly that it is barely recognizable to what was done 20 years ago.
“The only constant in life is change”-Heraclitus
Change is accelerating, so to navigate these changes you need to partner with innovative companies, like WSI, that can keep up with these changes.