In today’s modern age, we instinctively rely on search engines – and the internet as a whole – whenever we need anything. We search for a nearby restaurant using Google Maps. We buy groceries from Amazon with a push of a button. We even use apps to hail rides or gain access to entertainment.
For a business, the internet is one gigantic opportunity just waiting to be explored. Many are already enjoying the benefits of having a strong online presence. They get a steady stream of customers from their online stores alone. You, too, can take your offline business online. Here’s how you can get started.
Set Up Your Online Storefront & Presence
Let me be the first to warn you: this is not something you can do overnight. Sure, there are ways to set up an online store in a matter of minutes. You can also rely on ecommerce platforms and marketplaces to reach customers directly. To have a truly strong and sustainable online business, however, some preparations and care are needed.
You can start by establishing your online storefront. This is a website through which customers can make purchases. Thanks to CMS platforms such as Drupal and WordPress, setting up an online store is actually easy. Don’t forget to pick up a domain name that represents your business properly.
The next step is to secure social media profiles. Try to get the same handle or username as your domain name or brand. This will help with promotions later. You can also search for variations of your brand name in case an exact match is already taken.
Spread the Word
The next step is to tell the world that you’re online. Do you know the most effective way to get started? By doing promotions offline. You already have a store and a stream of customers: all you have to do is tell them that they can now make online purchases. Add the address of your site to paper bags and product packaging. Install a large sticker on the front window so people can see your new online store’s web address.
At the same time, start engaging customers on social media. Produce contents that relate well to your target audience and attract traffic to the site. If you’re selling sporting goods, for instance, you can talk about the latest sports news or tips on how to exercise at the office. This content is not promotional – it doesn’t try to sell products directly – but it can bring plenty of traffic to the new online store.
Retain and Maintain
Getting visitors to come to the new site is just the first step. The next one is to convert them into customers, particularly returning customers. There are plenty of ways to do this. You can, for instance, bundle products together and sell them as subscription boxes. Auster, a well-known retailer of vaping supplies, successfully boosted their numbers of regular customers by offering vape subscription boxes.
At this point, you should have a relatively good online presence and an online store capable of taking orders from customers. You have successfully taken your offline business online. Of course, this is just a beginning. To learn more about how to grow your online business, stay tuned for more articles right here on My Retail Media