In order to remain competitive in today’s dynamic marketplace, companies must innovate every day and have a good idea about their customer’s needs. That said, all companies have their unique way of doing business. However, what might’ve worked a couple of years ago, may not work in current times because of the constantly evolving business environment and ever-increasing customer demands. So, the best time to realize that it’s time to change is before even thinking that a change is needed. After all, if you wait for your consumers to inform you that you should move your business online, it might be too late for you, and you will lose them to your competitors.
While going digital is great and all, the customers’ buying behavior will also likely change, making the transition even more tricky. Not to mention, taking your business online will allow you to access a diverse, more widespread market. However, moving your business online will require a lot of time, money, resources. Still, you can simplify the process by following a few tips. We’ve listed some below.
Utilize a CRM
One easy way to grow and retain your customer base is to communicate consistently with your customers. However, that usually starts from an expected place- your offline business. So even if you’ve closed down your brick-and-mortar location, it is still a vital source of information for your consumers. For instance, signage on the doors or windows can direct your customers to your business’s website, online store, or social media page.
Communication is essential since it allows you to share changes with your customers as you take your business online. For instance, you might switch payment processing tools, or you might change your website’s layout. If you haven’t already done so, consider purchasing a customer relationship management system. Sure, you must always compare these CRM tools at Digital Supermarket rather than buying the first one you find. However, a good CRM system will enable you to share changes via emails and newsletters to ensure your customers remain well-informed of the offline-to-online transition. You must also switch to using online tools for business operations and whatnot.
Do some marketing research
It would help if you never forget that the marketing needs of an online business will vary from those of an offline one. However, chances are you might already have a few hundred customers. Some of them might become online customers if you utilize the correct techniques.
Still, digital marketing techniques will include building an online presence, spending on ads, being active on social media marketing, and emailing, to name a few. However, before you consider marketing your business online, you need to identify your target audience and budget options. So, perform some detailed marketing research to determine the expectations your customers have for your business.
Create a business website
When taking your business online, you should first consider building a business website, i.e., if you don’t have one already. It is a low-cost, easy way to switch to the online world without any hassles. In the digital world, your website is your brand, and developing a high-quality website will enable you to put a firm foot in the arena of online businesses. Ensure that your website is user-friendly and responsive.
If you want to switch things up, ensure your website is SEO-friendly too. Doing so enables your website to rank higher on SERPs, especially Google, increasing its visibility on the internet and the traffic it gets.
Develop a solid maintenance plan
Business owners often get a little excited when thinking about taking their business online for the first time. They think about making a business website just for the sake of earning profits. While such an approach is okay, it isn’t enough to develop a website, nor does it guarantee profits. Instead, you must ensure the website operates smoothly every day.
Hence, it is essential to maintain it to improve its functionality and performance. After all, a website is not a one-time investment. You have to constantly invest time, money, and resources on it and keep adding new features to attract more customers in the future. So, consider setting up regular intervals for maintenance and checks. You will never turn away your customers with broken links or outdated product information.
Don’t forget to add multiple payment methods
Three essential elements will help you make incredible online sales- the product descriptions, product images, and, most importantly, the payment methods you offer. More often than not, online businesses focus entirely on adding excellent product images and descriptions but end losing customers when it’s checkout time. It sucks to fill your cart only to realize that you can’t complete the transaction because the website doesn’t accept your most used mode of payment. So, ensure that you provide your customers with different payment methods such as cash-on-delivery, credit/debit card payments, PayPal, Google Pay, etc.
Moreover, whatever payment methods you decide to incorporate, your customers expect their financial information to remain protected at all times. So, work with reputable payment processors and ensure that you’re constantly updating cybersecurity to keep sensitive data safe.
Align online and offline prices
In order to build ever-lasting relationships with your online consumers, it is necessary to keep your pricing strategy consistent. For example, if you’re a ‘bricks and clicks’ online business, you will probably have an inventory at a physical store location while you continue to sell stuff online. However, you need to ensure that the product price you usually ask for at your brick-and-mortar location is the same when you sell them online.
If there is a massive difference, chances are, your customers will prefer the cheaper option. So, keep them the same unless you want to use a difference in price to force an offline-to-online shift in purchases.
Initially, taking your offline business online might seem like a daunting task, especially if you’re trying to make a fast switch. However, as we move into a world where living with a pandemic is the new norm, more companies are going digital. So, follow the tips mentioned in this article if you want to move your business online and leverage the benefits digitalization offers.