Many businesses are using e-commerce for the first time thanks to the pandemic

July 15, 2020, 10:00 PM UTC

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As brick-and-mortar retail shops were closed at the start of the pandemic (then reopened and then reclosed in some areas), many businesses have tried to replicate their in-person sales in digital storefronts—some for the first time.

GoDaddy—the market leader of web hosting platforms, according to Datanyze—has seen a significant rise in the use of the company’s e-commerce products. According to the company, there was a 48% increase in new paying subscribers from February to April.

“There’s a huge entrepreneurial spirit happening right now,” Heidi Gibson, the senior director of product management at GoDaddy, said during a Q&A hosted by Fortune.

GoDaddy's Heidi Gibson
GoDaddy’s Heidi Gibson
Courtesy of GoDaddy

Gibson works on growing GoDaddy’s website and marketing products, with a special eye on helping small businesses use the products to establish their digital presence, and she brings a personal passion to helping small business owners: She’s one herself. In 2009, she founded the American Grilled Cheese Kitchen, which now has two locations in the San Francisco area.

The bump in new customers is coupled with growing sales on its platform, as well. GoDaddy said the number of products ordered from its sites grew 141% from February to April.

And that move to online sales is sorely needed: Even though retail sales are up from April, which saw the worst sales decline in history, it’s still below 2019 levels. With coronavirus cases continuing to spread throughout the country, leading some areas to lock down in-person shopping again, companies will need all the help they can get to starve off further layoffs and bankruptcy.

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