Is Your Business Idea Too Late for the Pandemic-Inspired Online Gold Rush?

Sharon Muniz
October 14, 2020
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Is Your Business Idea Too Late for the Pandemic-Inspired Online Gold Rush?

It’s 2020. There’s a global pandemic. As many choose to stay at home, consumers are turning more and more to online shopping to get what they need.

The stats are overwhelmingly indicative: According to Adobe Analytics, 2020 online sales will surpass total 2019 sales by October. BigCommerce notes that between panic buying, retail therapy, and the simple practicality and accessibility of online marketplaces, consumers have changed their shopping habits overnight.

In other words: It’s 2020. Now, we shop online.

The Trends

Similarly, the pandemic is remaking the housing market. Scientific communities are scrambling to publish new findings about the virus each day. This new normal is forcing company after company to invest in a hastily-assembled online storefront.

Some people are calling this the online gold rush. (This is mostly metaphorical; however, in some cases, this pandemic-inspired market swarm actually concerns real gold.)

Stay ahead of the competition.

Our economy is teeming with frenzied activity. This can lead to competition overload. You might wonder: Does this bode well for your business idea?

Ultimately—it depends. It definitely means that you need to play to the current times and strategize well. Here are a few pro tips to keep in mind:

  1. Don’t rush in. Have you already missed the initial flood of quarantine e-commerce launches? Fine. Don’t hurry now to make up time, as intuitive as that may seem. Instead, pause, and do your market research. Hone your business idea so that it’s meeting a real need that real customers are requesting – and take the time to make sure that your solution is the best.
  2. The cream always rises to the top. In other words, quality will always stand out. Does it look like many other companies have managed to morph their business online at the speed of light? Big deal! Customers will still be willing to pay for a more creative solution to an existing problem, particularly if it’s marketed well and is offered for a fair price.
  3. Invest in customer or user experience. If it seems like abnormal levels of online competition are crowding out your business idea, take a second to think outside the box. Given that most people are at home now, perhaps now’s the time to invest in better shipping, more beautiful or environmentally-friendly packaging for physical objects, or quicker response times for online services. There’s always a way to improve upon the competition: You just need to find it.

It’s true: The current flood of businesses rushing to provide online solutions may make standing out a little more difficult. However, with a bit of creativity and a growth mindset, you can see this obstacle as more than just a confusing problem.

It’s an opportunity to grow—and an opportunity to help your customers even more.

It’s not too late.

So, you didn’t get your online business started right at the beginning of the pandemic? No problem. Take advantage of the fact that you have more data to review and more time to perfect your idea.

Avoiding that initial online rush can actually give you the time you need to prime your product. It might take time, but ultimately, you will launch your business—and you will strike gold.


About the Author

Sharon Muniz

Sharon Muniz established her software development consulting firm in Reston, VA after 15 years of working in the software industry. NCN Technology helps clients implement best practices and software to drive their business to success. Ms. Muniz is skilled at strategic planning, business process management, technology evaluation, project and agile software development methodologies.

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