How will Kingston’s Businesses cope with COVID-19?
COVID-19 is affecting Kingston’s businesses in ways we could have never imagined.
Ontario Premier, Doug Ford announced that all non-essential businesses must close effective March 24th. If you have a business that depends on in-store traffic then those words could of very well been your death sentence. If you’re deemed essential, possibly a restaurant – of which Kingston has plenty, you may be spared. However many still closed their doors after being allowed to stay “open” due to lack of demand. Regardless of industry people are cautious to go outside, shop and interact.
Businesses that properly recognize this shift and offer online purchasing solutions will be the ones that survive.
COVID-19 induced e-Commerce
Up until 2020 e-commerce was simply a “nice thing to have” for most SMB owners. Some saw the potential and integrated it allowing customers to buy products or services. Others took a step towards e-commerce and allowed site visitors to ask for quotes or inquiries. These weren’t actual transactions but precursors that could then be pursued by an employee. Some business owners did not adapt and have yet to integrate e-commerce into their website at all. These business websites serve as purely informational. They do not elicit calls to action and if they do, they are benign and have little sway in our decision-making process.
You now NEED e-Commerce.
Can I add e-commerce to my site?
If your site is built on a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress, Joomla or Drupal then, Yes. You may need to perform several updates but you’re on the right path. CMS Plug-ins like WooCommerce can easily integrate product galleries, cart checkouts, and shipping options on your site.
For businesses that don’t have a CMS-built site or e-commerce enabled and sell physical products the sad truth is they will likely not survive a prolonged recession. As with all times of intense change those who are unable to adapt – whether by choice or not – are typically the ones to perish first. Many businesses all over South-Eastern Ontario will sadly become the “dodo” of our generation due to COVID-19 and the resulting measures taken.
There are entire platforms dedicated to e-commerce such as Shopify. Shopify is a great tool for beginners to get a site up and running. However, when it comes to SEO, Shopify, Wix, and FourSquare have severe limitations. You cannot access the majority of files needed to elevate your SEO due to restrictive design and coding permissions. Therefore you are stuck at low-med SEO strength forever = Hello Results Page 2, 3 and beyond…
SEO & e-Commerce are now the most important tools for your business
For businesses that have or are in the process of integrating e-commerce into their website, they too have an uphill battle. The influx of “remote” and “from home” online searches, is quickly changing the world in which we buy products. The competition will become more intense. Websites that have existed in this e-commerce space have a huge lead on the newcomers. Years of historical data, hundreds of product pages and links have created high domain authority, an authority your new site doesn’t have yet.
In that struggle lies opportunity. Older sites may have decent traffic numbers, but their SEO could be poor. SEO is a constantly evolving process, after all as our habits and searches change so must Google’s algorithm. What was good practice in 2016 could be hurting a site’s standing in 2020. By building a new site, or an extension thereof with 2020 SEO best practices in place could be the deciding factor in attracting clicks online, making sales and keeping that revenue stream open.
The Ultimate Call to Action
Do you want your business to survive?
Contact Us today, our team is fully operational during this difficult time. WDK team members are currently working remotely from home and well-equipped to handle all inquiries, development and post-launch services just as before COVID-19.