The replay of our A Leap in Lockdown Webinar

Posted: Jan 11, 2021
Simon Brownbill

The business – and consumer – response to the pandemic has seen the pace of technological change gather momentum, and digital innovation is set to accelerate further during the next 12 months. On Friday 10th December HURST and Barclaycard, hosted a Zoom Seminar: A Leap in Lockdown – five lessons from a five-month digital transformation. Attendees gained an insight into consumer behaviour during 2020 amidst the Covid-19 pandemic and also heard first-hand experiences from an individual business owner who reassessed his entire business model and digital strategy in response to the Covid-19 crisis.  

Partner and Head of Practice Development Simon Brownbill introduced the webinar by explaining how COVID has spurred business owners to look more at digital sales and marketing, key topic that we are talking to clients about more and more, weas on the agenda but has increased rapidly, brought plans forward and looking at it more when they had not really considered it.

Emerging trends for 2021

Christopher Challoner, corporate sales manager at Barclaycard – talked through the changes in the ecommerce/digital trading landscape and the impact of COVID

Rise of e-commerce, working in the north west with businesses that may have requirement to update payments, more and more need for online payments through ecommerce website, some major challenges to, a lot of our merchants.

  • Innovation and modern ways of taking payments and it’s great to be helping businesses to adapting these, one in three transactions handled by Barclays
  • General retailers – such as butchers, greengrocers, up 30.7pc in October, people want to support high street and local shops
  • Shift to online spending
  • Just over 45 per cent of spending was online in October – retail
  • How is the market and merchants adapting – lot of businesses quick to adapt and adopt new methods of payments, and reaped the benefits
  • Essential retailers had had to close – bars, restaurants, shifting emphasis on online and continuing to trade
  • Click and collect – 87 per cent of businesses say it’s their fastest growing method of delivery, larger and local high street retailers, pubs, doing home deliveries, it’s allowed them to continue to trade during this difficult time
  • Touchless commerce such as Uber etc – bars and restaurants can pay via mobile app rather than queuing at the bar, reduces contact
  • Retailers looking to adapt more and more to touchless commerce, expected as a result of the pandemic
  • Delivery drivers being able to accept payments – mobile solutions
  • Contactless limit increased from £30 to £45 from April, more of a cashless society

Five lessons from a five-month digital transformation

Dale Agar, Founder of Wine&Something

  • Began selling to trade – restaurants, corporates, venues, retirement villages’ bars and restaurants
  • With a vision to get to the consumer
  • Had £250k stock at first lockdown, then no clients, no revenues but offices, storage and staff
  • Rethink of strategy to survive
  • Brought forward our digital transformation
  • Developed a far more dynamic brand, new brand online, can changed your brand and continue to make yourself relevant
  • Building a social media following

1. Know your niche| Going digital and manage costs and efficiencies, grow revenues and a scalability.

Dinner parties, people introduce friends to the platform, social circle, discounts, people to switch, retain customers.

Generate content for digital platforms.


2. Money matters, Intelligent fans, lighting, investing in ecommerce, angels.

3. Prepare for scale.

4. Be picky with your partners – partnership with Fluid Ideas.

5. The launch is the start.

Cloud based service – small business wants to use software on demand

  • Working with Fluid Ideas on brand, digital marketing, you cannot afford to take your eye off the ball from a marketing perspective – social media, PPC, SEO and email marketing.
  • The journey is only really starting, driving our customer acquisition and retention.
  • Key metrics – conversion rates, driving up visitors to website.
  • By driving same amount of users' conversion rate makes an enormous difference to the success of the business, don’t advocate making huge changes, small tweaks go a long way, then evolve, continually working and use data to your advantage.


Digital marketing preps for 2021

Ben Meakin | Head of search and social at Fluid Ideas

Innovation in digital space | COVID and the direction of digital has accelerated some interesting changes and fantastic opportunities for brands and businesses to take them to the next level.

SEO – old tactic, is the gateway to internet whether you are researching, or looking.

Google from a marketing perspective is the holy grail – rankings.

90.63 per cent of all content gets no clicks form Google, people fall off the first couple of pages.

New trick - April 2021, Google will introduce core web vitals – make sure websites that rank high up deliver the best performance so people keep coming back to them.

All doing us a favour and making the internet a better place;

  • Make sure Loading time fast, interactivity on the website comes into play quickly, visual stability – slow load, page moves, click something wrong – Google watching these and will downgrade them.
  • Essentially will make the internet a better place but Optimise websites to be high up on organic rankings.
  • Old tactic – social media – incredibly power for businesses, businesses built on social, FB etc important as a channel for business.
  • New tactic social commerce Instagram, platform to buy shoes probably the biggest shift in terms of social in the western world, next phase of digital shopping, never leave platform, seamless on the platform, shopping button on Instagram, new functionality to WhatsApp called cart, virtual shopping cart, make purchase, do not need to go on the actual retailer website.

Leaders in this are China – blazing a trail

Old – TV advertising – hit people who are not interested, new Sky AdSmart – TV platform, main benefit is cost of entry, £3,000 entry and incredibly targeted, demographics, data, postcodes and incredibly powerful.

Old – Kim Kardashian and celebrity influencers; put out of reach of most.

Do not go chasing the big numbers New is nano 1-5000 Instagram followers or micro with 5-10, cost of entry high to take products have loyal fan bases, showcase products to their followers, will go through each comment and reply, nurture community of followers, their followers do go out and buy if recommended, it is a great opportunity. Expand audience, work with East Midlands Railway, using influencers to reach new audiences, massive leap of impressions than they usually get on a daily basis.

Five tips to boost your digital marketing – install, check and use google analytics, it’s an incredible source of information to find out which channels are driving traffic to your website, any major issues to flag – dwell time on website.

  • Incredible amount of data pinging around Install the Facebook pixel and or LinkedIn insight Tag on website and cookies that track you around the internet, remarketing, can reappear on someone’s social feed – improve conversion rates, constantly in front of people.
  • Employee advocacy, if you don’t have a great brand presence on social already, this could be a great tool to really showcase your brand and extend your reach.
  • They have social profiles, may be really active = one really great tool is easy advocacy on Instagram, e.g., launching new product, share LI, Facebook, Twitter button sent to them, suddenly brand awareness on social is vastly increased.
  • It’s the research your industry on google trends, what terms people are searching for, launch new product, getting into new space, see how popular or people searching for that product, great from a research perspective and to see whether there is a gap in the market.
  • Spy on your competitors, Facebook Ads library – can get super addictive, can check what ads any company is currently running; if they are not doing it, have the edge over them.

Missed HURST Accountants Zoom Seminar | You can view the recording below via our YouTube channel.