It’s no secret, and you’re probably tired of hearing it, but the truth remains: across every industry, COVID-19 has forced businesses to accelerate their digital transformation.
The stats are mind-blowing. Over the first two months of Q2, US e-commerce sales rose from 16% to 27% of all retail sales—growth equal to the entire ten-year period that preceded it.
The pandemic has become a step change event, driving new consumer segments into the digital space where they’ve discovered ultimate convenience and a wealth of available products. Even as we begin to reopen, consumers are continuing to drive direct online sales.
Which explains the panicked email in our inboxes lately:
“We need to go from B2B to D2C, and we need to do it through e-comm… and fast."
"We need to expedite our e-comm plans. Can we have a call about it today?”
For some, it’s a fight to survive. A pivot strategy away from brick-and-mortar shops and onto the sofas of their customers. For others, it’s a bold opportunity to launch a new product or service at a key moment in time.
As we barrel into Q3, and you look to lead the stabilization—and transformation—of your company over the back half of 2020, we’ve compiled our top funding resources that can help get your e-commerce e-volution (did we do it?) underway.
The Business Development Bank of Canada is the only financial institution devoted exclusively to entrepreneurs. BDC Capital exists to help turn great ideas into great companies—and great companies into engines of jobs, growth and wealth creation. And who doesn’t want to be an engine? The BDC has always had working capital loans that cover e-commerce and web development expenses—whether it be staffing, technology, planning or marketing.
For the transition from B2B to D2C, you can leverage their Small Business Loan program for up to $100k and their various working capital programs for financing over $100k to cover consulting fees regarding e-comm strategy, digital sales, and all things related to online growth.
Their COVID-19 working capital solution is meant for companies both pivoting business models and keeping business afloat.
With OnDeck, speed is the name of the game. Applying for traditional business financing can take weeks if not months. OnDeck’s process takes less than ten minutes. If you’ve been in business for at least six months, have an annual revenue of 100k+, they can help. With one simple application, they’ll tailor their financing options for your business up to $300k.
In January, before the world completely changed, Shopify added a new product line to Shopify Capital offering starter loans for US Shopify merchants from $200 to $1 million. In May, they announced that Canadian merchants on Shopify’s platform will have access to Shopify Capital loans, plus an additional $200 million investment into the fund to help small businesses affected by COVID-19. (Thanks guys.)
Canadian merchants will have more limited access to the loan program, with the potential for loans between $200 to $500,000 CAD. Their goal is to fill in the gaps that banks generally can’t satisfy. Shopify Capital aims to provide businesses with the cash flow they need, when they need it most—now, not months from now.
Bonus round! Clearbanc is the biggest eCommerce investor in the world. Since 2015, they’ve invested $1B in 2,200+ online businesses. If you're already in the e-comm game but you're looking to double down, take it up a notch, or whatever cliché you can insert here about dialling up your growth, Clearbanc may be the most affordable way for your to fund said growth with data driven investments from $10K to $10M. The best part? Return funding as a flexible percent of sales.
You may be wondering how best to spend this money everyone wants to lend you. Well, we have a few thoughts on that—from digital strategy and ideation, to full e-commerce store build out.
As consumers are flocking online, their expectations are growing. Digital interactions that are beautifully streamlined, thoughtfully personalized or offer the sense of in-store discovery are seeing payback.
We’re great at payback, and we’d love to help you navigate your funding options.