Featured photo by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
It is no longer worth debating whether or not it makes sense to establish an online presence for a business. The numbers are there for all to see. As a business owner, you must move your business online in order to remain competitive in your industry.
As a business owner, now more than ever, you need to start thinking about having an online presence. Several studies have already proven how important it is for a business to be “on the web.” In fact, according to a study by B2B research firm Clutch.co, approximately 64% of businesses in the world have a website.
What does that tell you? Business owners around the world are starting to heed the signs. Follow the tips in this guide to move your business online and get your company to the next level.
Entering the Digital Market
First and foremost, you must determine how best to move your business online. There are lots of options available for transitioning your brick-and-mortar store to online commerce. However, the choice you make will depend on the nature of your business.
While websites may be effective for some businesses, they may not be the best entry strategy for others. For some, going to platforms like Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and other online marketplaces might be the best way to go online.
Consider a restaurant owner, for example, who wants to transition to online ordering. The best entry strategy for may be “digital partnerships” with established online delivery services like Uber Eats, Google My Business, Grubhub, or any related service provider near you.
Entrepreneurs who sell handicrafts, handmade items, and artwork may want to consider Etsy rather than an independent website. On the other hand, if you deal with creating quality photos and other visual content, you may be better off posting your products on platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.
Keep in mind, though, that you might need to buy Instagram video views or Facebook views to get your products seen by people who might be interested in patronizing your business.
In summary, your decision to move your business online must consider the best online platform that aligns with what your business goals are.
Moving Your Business Online and Attracting More Customers
Knowing where to go is just the beginning. You need to know how to bring people to your business in order to convert to sales. For that, you’ll need to establish a marketing strategy. The strategy you adopt will depend on the platform you’ve chosen to use. Different platforms require different strategies for attracting customers.
For example, if your business is online via a website, you might need to invest in techniques such as SEO, content marketing, or guest posting to draw traffic to your website. However, if your business is online via a social media channel like Instagram, you will need a social media marketing campaign. Social media marketing tools include sponsored ads, paid ads, and the buying of likes and followers.
Businesses utilizing online marketplaces like Shopify, Amazon, and eBay need influencer marketing, sponsored product ads, and SEO listings.
All your efforts to move your business online are in vain if you cannot get paid for your products and service once you get there.
- Does the platform you choose have an built-in payment system, or do you have to create your own?
- Will you be offering a pay-on-delivery kind of service, or are you running a payment-first system?
Questions like these must be answered in order to truly function in an online world.
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Naturally, most people who patronize your business online will prefer to pay via credit cards, prepaid cards, and debit cards. So you must make sure that you have a system in place to accept most of the cards your customers might be using.
Furthermore, we now live in the cryptocurrency era. As such, some customers might choose to patronize you using digital currencies like bitcoin or ethereum.
In summary, be sure to identify how your audience likes to pay online before you integrate any payment service. Plan ahead and you will prevent your online business from turning people away because it doesn’t accept their preferred payment methods.
The debate is finally over. In order to succeed, you must move your business online. Get started with these tips and welcome your next level of success.