5 Essential Steps to Grow Your Business Online
Here’s how to stay competitive and find your position in the market when the competition is tight.
Businesses are dealing with tight competition, especially during the pandemic. Many customers are refraining from buying non-essential products, hurting businesses. The result is hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of store closures all over the world.
In fact, in the next five years, one in every 11 stores is expected to close. With all these challenges, how do small businesses stay afloat during the crisis?
What steps should they take to survive the sales slump? Is it strategic to invest more in a time of difficulty? These are the questions this post will address. But first—
Here are five steps you can take for your business to grow:
There are many benefits to going online and conducting business there. It’s cheap. It’s easy. And it doesn’t require a lot of resources, compared to maintaining a brick-and-mortar store.
Going online lets you find customers quickly, expand your business reach, and get sales fast. To do this, you can create a website and configure it to get visitor details so you can get leads automatically.
You can also manage your social media presence— create a business account on a popular social media platform such as Facebook, gain a following, advertise, and promote content there.
Get all the support you need by being transparent
If you have done business with plenty of customers over a period of time, it’s possible that you have gained a loyal customer base.
These are the customers whose lives have been positively impacted by your business— and are willing to take actions to help you survive amid the crisis.
Being transparent is hard. You’re required to be vulnerable and to appear as you are— struggling. But that vulnerability is what sparks loyal customers to become ambassadors of your brand— willing to promote your business at zero cost.
So to grow, allow everyone to participate and help you. Tell them what you need as a business to pull through that week or that month. Sometimes honesty creates empathy and that’s good for your business.
Continue to advertise
There are plenty of case studies suggesting the use of promotion like advertisements during the pandemic. So if you can, focus on your social media marketing and continue to advertise— even if you think that sales are low.
The reason for this is simple: the pandemic is bound to end and people are eager to go back to normal and behave like the pandemic never happened. It’s also highly likely that they’ll be willing to spend more on this. But the brands they’re going to first remember are those that were advertised during the pandemic.
Invest in technology
Engaging businesses online is a totally different experience for the customers, compared to visiting them in-store. For one, customers are likely to get disappointed with a service if it’s without physical human interaction.
Second, it might take a while for customers to adapt to the technology you’ve adopted so you can engage them online. It takes a lot of time and resources to educate these customers and encourage them to use the platforms you’ve provided them over the internet.
This is why investing in technology to expedite transactions done online and make sure everything goes smoothly is important. It helps create a positive online experience for customers— which helps them stay on the platform to do business with you.
Personalize your transactions
During the pandemic, customers are often lost, not knowing how to interact with businesses anymore, especially with the mobility restrictions. Store hours may have been altered and product offerings changed.
If you personalize your transactions like if you send customers emails that contain a list of products that would directly serve their needs and preferences, this will help elevate your service and set you apart from your competitors.
It also makes you relevant— giving customers an impression that your business is valuable to them and that they have to contact you in the future should a need arise.
Here’s how you can automatically send emails to target customers depending on your content:
So don’t be afraid to go online. Make a website and create a social media business page to engage customers there. Don’t be afraid to get all the help you’ll need to survive this crisis.
Continue to advertise and invest in technology if you can— they can bring higher returns of investment than you expect. And don’t forget to personalize your transactions. In a confusing world today— having someone know your needs is a life-changing experience, and it’s the kind of experience you’d want to offer to your customers.
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