Small businesses, restaurants, and retailers were among the first to feel the effects of the COVID-19 restrictions to control the pandemic. While many were negatively affected, the crisis uncovered a remarkable resiliency within the segment due to technology and digitalization.
The Connected Commerce Council surveyed business owners in May 2020, and 76% reported relying more on digital tools than before the COVID-19 crisis. Nearly one-third of business owners stated that they would have been forced to close all or part of their businesses without adopting digital technology.
Though many small businesses have closed permanently over the last months, others leveraged digital tools to establish their digital footprint, provide contactless payment options to provide a safer experience for their customers.
Many global and local businesses found that the flexibility of being a small operation allowed them to move fast to implement or optimize their e-commerce operations and adapt their business leveraging technology.
Some of the more popular ways to support small businesses during the era of social distancing have included ordering takeout/delivery from local restaurants, increasing the amount tipped at them, and online shopping, all of which are supported by business digitalization.
This was the case for Pimenton – Pizzeria and Birreria in Carolina, Puerto Rico, a small Neapolitan pizza restaurant that needed to shift their sales from in-person to carry out and delivery to ensure business continuity.
Leveraging their Clover® point of sale system and the Dyna eStore e-commerce solution, they were able to complete the transition in record time. Many other businesses activated contactless features on their terminals, providing a contactless payment experience ensuring the safety of their customers.
As small businesses evolved, whether implementing new safety standards or beefing up online offerings and in-person services like curbside delivery, they have remained in play. While these new channels did not make up for all of the lost business from a 100% closure, they certainly helped many businesses stay afloat.