If you have decided to take your business online, this could be one of the best decisions for your venture.
The past few years of the covid 19 crisis have led to promising changes in the behavior patterns of consumers. The focus of shoppers has shifted from brick-and-mortar retail to online shopping. Venturing out for shopping means getting exposed to major health risks and hence people are preferring to shop online over physical interactions with the shopkeepers.
According to research by Statistica, a total of over 80 percent of consumers across the globe shopped online, in 2020.
While this research shows an increase in online consumers, it also points out the threat offline businesses might face in the coming future. Hence, a strong web presence has become essential for a good brand value. This would give you a higher reach and an increased number of prospects. So if you own a retail store you can earn significant profits with an online presence. And even if you don’t own a store but have great online business ideas, you can start your online store in a few steps.
At first, building an online presence might seem like a technical nightmare. But it is not as difficult as it seems. So, how to take your business online?
Here are five critical ways to transform your offline business to online:
Photo by Anna Shvets
When you start your business online, it is important to identify the right target audience for your products. Understanding the needs of your customers and studying their behavior patterns will improve the overall customer experience. It will also help you to develop new products which are in current demand. This is a critical step towards building a web presence.
Take a look at the table below, you’ll find that there are mainly two types of market research:
To start with your online business, you need an address so that people can find you. Just like the address of your offline store, the visibility of your online store will depend on its address. An ideal domain name would look similar to your business name. You can get your domain name from various domain buying platforms like, Bluehost, Shopify, GoDaddy, and so on.
A domain name is an address where your customers will find you. A domain name comes in two parts-
Online businesses rely on their website copy and design to impress the consumers and build their trust. Building a website from scratch might sound difficult but there are several website building platforms available at your service, to help you build your website for free. They are user-friendly software so making a website is not a difficult process anymore. It takes only a few hours and your website is ready to use.
Here is some free website building software that can help you build your website in no time and start selling right away:
While making a website, keep in mind that it should be mobile-friendly and easy to navigate. When the prospects visit your website they should not feel lost. Moreover, your website should provide a good user experience.
When you are originally a brick-and-mortar business, you have to decide the prices of your products judiciously. The online and offline rates of your products may vary but the change in the prices should not be significant so that the customers feel it is unfair and unjust. Similarly, don’t undersell your products; this would reduce their value in the long run and you will have to face loss in the future.
Once you have found a place online, you need to spread the word that you are here. You can use various social media platforms to market your products. It is a great way of sharing your story, building brand image, and in turn, getting more traffic to your website. Email marketing is also an efficient way of spreading the word about your arrival and increasing conversion rates. You can start by making an email list.
Inform consumers about the latest sale, new product launches, and many more things through email. But don’t overdo it. While sending emails keep in mind that you don’t spam your email list. Spamming will drastically affect your brand image.
Consumer behavior is changing every day. Every business needs to keep pace with the growing demands and the changes which are happening around them. Online shopping has emerged as a comfortable way of shopping for consumers. It has a lot of scope in boosting profit rates. So don’t be hesitant and start your own business online!
Anuja is the Co-founder and CEO of RedAlkemi Online Pvt. Ltd., a digital marketing agency helping clients with their end to end online presence. Anuja has 30 years of work experience as a successful entrepreneur and has co-founded several ventures since 1986. She and her team are passionate about helping SMEs achieve measurable online success for their business. Anuja holds a Bachelors degree in Advertising from the Government College of Fine Arts, Chandigarh, India.