During an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, she said, the digital world has given entrepreneurs, independent brands and small retailers an edge over large companies if they know how to use it. âCOVID-19 saw 150 million people try online shopping for the first time, so habits are changing, but it has also helped develop social platforms and make the world smaller,â Ms. Mehta said. âThe possibility for consumers to discover brands in all regions of the world is becoming easier.
âConsumers today, when they go online to discover brands, whether it’s on social platforms or elsewhere, they’re looking to connect.
âThe first thing new marketers and direct-to-consumer brands really need to think about, and that’s the superpower they have over big retailers, is their story,â Ms. Mehta said.
âAuthentically tell your story as a brand, the story of the founder, what values ââdo you carry? Talk and learn about your product. Your storefront is the heart of your business, it’s where you own the story and where you can tell your story.
âThis is what humans are looking for, we connect to stories and we connect to brands.
âThe founders might not want to share their specific name or their story, but what are they talking about, what the brand is all about? If it’s about sustainability, tell the story of your product, where you buy it, the farm where the cotton used in your t-shirts is grown, âshe commented.
âIn 2020, sales increased 27% from $ 4 trillion in online purchases globally. At Shopify, merchants generated $ 20 billion in international sales. In the UK, over a third of web traffic to UK Shopify merchants came from overseas.
âSelling internationally is a huge opportunity for UK traders, but there is a lot of complexity and a lot of intimidation when it comes to selling internationally. Thinking of things like “How to localize my store in local languages”, “How to localize my store in local currencies” “Who is the consumer that I should be targeting” “What will resonate in others country ? “”
Sustainability has seen a surge in popularity during the pandemic, and Ms. Mehta attributed this to consumers’ free time during the lockdown:
âAccess to information about products and brands has become easier because the world has become smaller, so consumers demand more from the brands they support and they expect more transparency. Don’t use things like sustainability as a buzzword unless it identifies with your brand.
“We’ve all been sitting at home for a year and a half, we’ve had the opportunity to be online and learn about brands and really think about the world and that’s going to continue.”
Along with that, there is the growing trend towards entrepreneurship, and the rise of these one-man armies could cause problems for large retailers.
As Ms. Mehta explained, large companies have a lot of bureaucracy in their decision-making process that small companies can avoid altogether.
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âA platform like TikTok didn’t even exist like six years ago and has now become one of the most important places for commerce and small businesses and independent retailers can so grab these trends. . They will be able to jump on it and figure out how it can work for them much faster than a large retailer or a global brand.
âIf we look at truly established brands, they have an opportunity to be successful but they need to make sure they pivot in this new digital world,â she added, however, that is if they know how to do it. use.
Ms. Mehta continued, âI see her as two categories: resilient retailers, who are those who understand what the world looks like today and who are pivoting to create cultural and digital transformation internally. They’re really thinking about how to integrate their data and build a true omnichannel experience to better understand their customers.
âThen there are the resilient retailers, they may not be the ones who survive. “
With so much competition in the consumer market, brands need to make sure they are doing everything possible to stay âup to dateâ and up to date with the latest trends, which the next generation of entrepreneurs can do very easily.
âThere are also native digital brands, those that started online with the youngest. They can pivot and learn quickly, that’s their super power. They are small teams but they have agility and speed.
âUntil 12 years ago, the power of the brand was in the hands of retailers because you had to go to them to know their products and make purchasing decisions. Once the (phones) got into our hands, the power shifted to us, the consumer. It is therefore always a matter of remembering that the consumer is in control and that is where he is going to be that we must meet him.
This technological uplift is benefiting young entrepreneurs who have stepped into the digital world very easily and in turn, technology has provided them with what they need to start a business at a younger age than ever before.
âAs we see with Shopify, by removing these barriers to starting, building and growing a business, we are seeing younger and younger businesses succeed.
“They might not have the training or the business expertise, but they have the technology and everything else can be learned along the way, which is really great.”
Ms Mehta also added some essential tips for new entrepreneurs and business owners: âIt would be important to focus on a few other areas where I think we need to make sure we meet consumers where they are. What I mean by that is making sure we’ve provided people with how they want to pay, giving them the convenience they want. Buy online and pick up curbside or buy in store and have it shipped home.
âAnother thing is to make sure you’re really consistent with your story and your data, and that you understand your customer’s journey with you across all of your channels.
âAre they going to Instagram to take advantage of the rich and beautiful content that you post? Do they go to Facebook to find deals and shop? Do they go to your storefront to learn about the intricacies of your product? “
New traders also tend to have a ‘do it all yourself’ mentality, and Ms. Mehta explained that this doesn’t have to be the case.
âOne of the things I tell a lot of traders is; be great at what you’re good at, and then get help with the things you’re not.
âIf you are intimidated by or don’t understand what it means to operate digitally, there are agencies and partners to support traders in all areas that they haven’t understood.
âYou can find Shopify experts among the hundreds of thousands who rely on Shopify and who can help you in areas like SEO and SEM, determining your social media strategy. The most important thing to remember is that you don’t have to know everything and you can outsource.
She said that Shopify’s latest development, Shopify Markets, is aimed at entrepreneurs looking to go international without any issues. âWith Shopify Markets, we want to remove as much complexity as possible so that they can focus on other parts of their business. We will present actionable information directly in the administration to our merchants on how to make these decisions. We will help them transparently create the international storefronts and automatically calculate these import duties and charges.
âWe’ve taken the friction out of every aspect of the business, from building the showcase to shipping. Within the app, merchants can manage their shipments, which of course allows easy integration with tracking so customers can be notified when their package is dispatched, âshe concluded.