What should you do to add your business online? For one thing, you should add the online channel urgently to your business model. Why?
Because, we’re now for months in the devastating grip of the CORVID-19 lock down, and with little relief in sight. As a result, your customers are staying at their homes for most of the time. No ways that they’ll visit your shop to feel good, or to go for an outing. Sadly, no shopping experience for them then…
In fact, there are many obstacles that your customers must endure before they can walk into your shop. Things like:
- Wearing a mask – uncomfortable but essential;
- Getting decontaminated continuously with suspect chemicals;
- Standing for hours in a que to get their essential goodies – because the shops are limited to the number of customers that may be in the store at any time;
- Wondering if they’d picked up the virus this time – because not everyone was wearing a mask…
So, if you customers are not visiting your shop, well, then you should take your shop to them. Indeed, they can do shopping safely and comfortably at home, online, on their phones or laptops. But if they don’t find your business online…
Do the following to add your business online
Liat Karpel Gurwicz, writing in Talented Ladies Club , has recognized the following steps you need to do to add your business online.
Write a business plan
The online business market has its own dynamic and trade rules. So, you’re going to interact with a ‘new’ kind of customer, in a direct, customized and individual way. Therefore, you need to know your customers even more in the online channel. After all, if they have a bad experience their exit is just a couple of clicks away.
A business plan for your online business will help you to do the right things…
Set up your online shop
With your business plan in hand, you can start to open your online shop. You must decide which platform to use and where you will be promoting or selling your products or services.
You don’t need a lot of money to create a website and doing it is not so complicated. Indeed, many web publishing platforms today have a range of professional and customizeable website templates for you to choose from to fit your business needs.
Fitting your online shop
Your website will serve as a shop window for your business. For that reason, you should use the images, videos and content to keep visitors on your site and help them to make a purchase.
The content that you create need to enhance your website’s search ranking and may result in more traffic to your site. Search engine optimization is an important marketing tool and had to do with creating content that people can find easily when searching the web.
Add features to your website
Apart from good content and good looks, your website should have features that will make it user friendly. The WordPress platform has thousands of apps, or plugins that you can add to your website to give its users the full experience.
For example, if you want visitors to fill in forms, you can use the WP-Forms plugin. And, if you plan to sell products via your website, the Woo-commerce plugin is the answer. In fact, there are thousands of plugins available, many of them for free, to help make your website an extraordinary experience for visitors.
Marketing of your website
The basic principles with marketing in the online channel are the same as in the traditional channels. However, their communication channels and tactics differ substantially. Here are the different digital marketing channels 1 you may use to promote your online business:
- Search engine marketing – using search engine optimization and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising;
- Online public relations – syndicated media, company blogs and influencer websites are some of the tactics you can use;
- Online partnerships – include affiliate marketing, online sponsorship and link-building;
- Interactive display advertising – the use of online display ads such as banners and rich media ads;
- Opt-in e-mail marketing – using legal, permission-based e-mailing to prospects or customers who have agreed to receive e-mails from your business;
- Social media marketing – effectively online word of mouth – you can use social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter to get people talking about your business.
Monitoring the performance your website
After you’ve done all the steps to add your business online, you’ll need to monitor your site’s performance. As with almost everything in the online world, there are handy tools that you can use.
The best start will be to create a Google account and link your website with their Google Analytics tool. You will have access to all the important happenings on your site. For example, your visitors’ demographics and which of your content was viewed the most.
To add your business online is, unfortunately, not a nice option to have. It’s now an absolute necessity. The reality is that you will never experience your business again as it was before the advent of the virus…
Good luck for all during this disruptive times.
1 Chaffey, D. and Ellis-Chadwick, F. 2012. Digital Marketing. Strategy, Implementation and Practice, Pearson, England