A host of proposed professional and personal resolutions are a traditional part of the start of a new year. 2020 has been particularly difficult because the Coronavirus pandemic and ensuing economic crisis, which has many companies focused on rethinking their business ideas in order to improve profitability.
According to a recent Google study, 73% of respondents stated they have no preference between digital and physical channels when buying. This interchangeability makes your business’ presence in both arenas all the more pressing. Every business case is different, but here are a few general tips to help you start 2021 with a functional work plan for your business online.
More online shopping than ever before
The increase in e-commerce has been a clear marker in 2020. Companies have made huge efforts to keep up with this change. Maximising your business’ online presence, whether it be through your website, social media o shopping marketplaces, is a must for survival.
When a consumer enters a brick-and-mortar store, they now do so with more information than ever before: it is likely they have already checked store hours online, consulted product availability, or weighed click and collect versus home delivery. Helping users with these queries is vital to your business’ viability and visibility.
Use digital marketing to introduce yourself to the community
Your internet presence is also an opportunity to reach a type of customer that traditionally did not enter in your brick-and-mortar shop. Reaching new potential audiences is possible through social media and search engine advertising campaigns. It’s also a good time to set up local SEO, which increases businesses visibility to users searching on mobile or desktop in your area. If you need help with your Google My Business profile on Google or local SEO, contact us. If you have an issue with duplicate listings, check out this article.
Can’t compete on price? Make your shopping experience second to none
One thing is clear. Competition is fierce, especially among large companies and brands. However, small business continues to shine in many other respects, especially that personal touch. Often price that is the only determining purchase factor, but also the shopping experience itself is important. Making the customer’s life easier can be a big boon to conversion: speedy response time to customer queries, detailed info for comparison purposes or ease-of-payment are all ways to significantly improve your bottom line.
Here is a real-world example. A few days ago, our family’s refrigerator died. After reviewing numerous brands and models, we honed our internet search for our favourites and were subjected to the typical online shopping annoyances:
- Large chains that featured our preferred model(s) on their website, but in reality, had no stock.
- Websites with very competitive prices that turned out to be much more expensive and confusing once factors such as shipping, delivery, installation or removal of the prior unit were calculated.
Finally, we found an online shop that also had a physical store. We were able to check their online catalogue, confirm price and conditions and decided to visit the brick-and-mortar shop. The personalised attention, speed and efficiency of the transaction and shipment (frozen food waits for no one!) was excellent and made our purchase decision easy.
The lesson here is that a comfortable, convenient, and safe shopping experience is frequently a determinant purchase decision trigger. Do this part right, and your customers will spread the word.
Strength through unity: collaborate with other shops
Many of us saw this principle in action in our neighbourhoods for the first time during the pandemic: some businesses that were considered essential provided assistance to others that had to remain shuttered by receiving and delivering their products and packages. Still others teamed up to do joint advertising campaigns to incentivise residents to shop locally.
Big brands also partnered to promote joint branding campaigns, particularly at Christmas. In Spain, well-known businesses like Campofrío, Nestlé, Kellogg’s,
ColaCao or Codorniu, among others, participated in similar initiatives with the aim of highlighting values such as proximity and innovation. Why not try the same?
Sell abroad? Yes, you can!
Even if you would have never thought of selling beyond your borders, your product may be of interest to consumers further afield. Through the marketplaces we discussed in this previous article, you can expand your horizons beyond your website, accessing many more potential consumers.
Consumer trends: stay up–to–date
Staying informed has practically become an obligation during the pandemic as we’ve all had to keep up with the latest restrictions and rules. But beyond that, it’s a great opportunity to learn about evolving consumer habits and demands in real-time. During 2020, searches for “virtual gym” increased as a result of a new demand for remote exercise. “At home” related searches have also grown by leaps and bounds. Google Trends is a free tool that allows you to study these trends, which may well offer new opportunities for your business.
All of these ideas are intended to help local and online businesses in 2021, as we all continue to navigate a host of societal and behavioural changes. If you need assistance with your revamped online strategy, at All Around Digital we can help!
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