As the COVID-19 pandemic shapes our entire world. We've all become accustomed to the negative headlines.
- or bad news about that beloved restaurant.
Businesses are still battling to break even.
That being said, The T-Shirt Bed Co. and STRONG has been able to buck this trend.
In fact, we've tripled our business output when comparing year-on-year.
As an all-female run, completely online retail business, there's more than meets the eye to this success.
We've decided to compile a list of what we think has helped us catapult The T-Shirt Bed Co. and STRONG to become a COVID-19 trend-bucker.
Online Has Finally Won Over South Africans
Statista says the South African eCommerce market is projected to make an estimated revenue of around US$4,057 million in 2020. That’s around R68 billion.
This is a large jump when comparing year-on-year results. It’s a 24% increase.
“We’ve been able to triple our sales compared to this time last year,” says Jackie Wilson Lowe, Co Founder of The T-Shirt Bed Co and STRONG Loungewear, “Currently we’re as surprised as the general public about the boom.”
While some may argue this jump in online shopping is due to increasing numbers of internet users in South Africa, according to Statista, this isn’t the case. There’s only been a 8.2% growth in new users, year-on-year.
“In my personal opinion COVID-19 has been the instigator for dramatic change in shopping behaviour, locally.
South African shoppers are having to shop online, as spending time wandering around stores seems an unsafe exercise.
Also, loungewear has been the must have clothing item for the lockdown” says Lowe.
Over the last few years, the domestic uptake of online shopping has been a gradual process. But now things are changing.
“If you can transfer your service offering to an online platform, I’d strongly recommend setting it up now. Creating a solid digital footing takes time, and many businesses locally have taken these beginning steps already,” says Tamzin van Staden Co Founder of The T-Shirt Bed Co. and STRONG Loungewear.
We’ve Made Shopping For Bedding And Luxury Loungewear Easier
Simplifying a consumer’s journey will always result in new clients for your business. It’s often an overlooked important aspect for businesses.
“For us, we realised pretty quickly that consumers purchasing bedding are looking for standardised items.” says Lowe.
“Yeah, we figured that by simply supplying them with a quick and efficient shopping alternative to sorting through the piles of bedding, we’ve allowed them to search and order their items in seconds. And for the loungewear, it’s just so much nicer to do it from the comfort of the couch” says van Staden.
Also, this limits the room for error when ordering bedding. Nothing is worse for the consumer having to return to the item.
“With our online platform we rarely encounter any mistake orders. The fact is, the user experience we offer is simpler, faster, and more efficient,” says Lowe.
“We still accept returns on orders with both our brands, and we make sure to follow all the COVID-19 protocols, but honestly we experience very few returns,” says van Staden.
These user experiences, or shopper experiences, can be streamlined in bricks and mortar establishments as well, and don’t just live in the digital realm.
Creating an easier shopping experience is as simple as building an environment that is easy to navigate so the customer finds everything they were looking for by the end of their shop.
T-Shirt Bedding Is A Good Product Even During COVID-19
If business is slow to take-off, or dipping, you do need to take another look at your product offering. When you’re not sold on your product’s offering, no one else will be. This is true for every industry.
And before we move on, as we touched upon earlier on, the world has changed due to COVID-19. Entrepreneurs need to take a good look at their product offering and establish whether it’s still relevant in the new world.
“The loungewear culture has really just exploded during lockdown, and becoming more acceptable for professionals to even wear.
Just log onto any social network platform and you’d be surprised how this fashion trend has just started to blow-up,” says van Staden.
This being said, it’s not just the loungewear gaining more attention.
“With more professionals working from home on a permanent basis, we can only assume many want to create a beautiful home environment that’s comfortable.
While the loungewear culture has taken off - so has the T-Shirt Bed Co,” says Lowe.
There are other reasons for both product ranges taking-off, they‘re incredibly comfortable, wash easily - which during a pandemic is crucial - stretch, and are made of a luxurious and ultra-chic material, which is 100% cotton.
“Because the world is moving at a new faster pace, the fact all the products are 100% non-iron makes it irresistible for South Africans who are without their home executive's help.” says van Staden.
At the end of the day, succeeding through COVID-19 means that businesses need to evolve with their clients, make shopping experiences easier, and ensure that their offering is still relevant.