Many business owners are finding that the progression of their brand is slowing and profits are winding down towards a gradual halt. Most will begin to come concerned, questioning where they are going wrong. After all, they haven’t changed their business approach so why would consumer demand or sales reduce? What many will fail to understand is that this lack of change is the root cause of the problem. The marketplace is rapidly changing and your brand needs to evolve with it. If you stay stuck in your ways, chances are that you’ll find yourself filing for bankruptcy or dissolving your company sooner rather than later. The first step in this process? Accepting that we are currently living in the age of the internet. We are part of an online generation and this needs to be reflected in your business’ practices. Here are a few tips and tricks to get you started.
Why take to the net?
First things first, it’s time to set up your website. People are spending more time on their laptops, tablets and smartphones for various purposes: work, socializing, research, gaming. The list goes on and on. One of the main areas people are showing more interest online? E-commerce. So capitalize upon this! Allow potential customers to shop with you from the comfort of their home, on their lunch break or on the bus or train home at the end of the day. Taking your business to the web means that the consumer market has access to your products and services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This means they can buy from you outside of your operating hours and it also encourages impulse purchasing. If someone has to travel to your brick and mortar store to buy goods, they’ll have plenty of time to reflect on their purchase and begin to have doubts and question whether to make the investment with you or one of your competitors instead. Operating online also opens your products and services up to an international marketplace. All you have to do is offer overseas shipping and the world is your oyster!
Building a Functional and Appealing Website
So, now you know why to set up online, here’s how to go about it. First things first, you need to set up a website. There are various ways to do this but the most effective by far is to invest in small business website design packages. Chances are that you don’t know how to code or create CSS content yourself and that you don’t really have the time to start learning as well as fulfilling the rest of your business responsibilities. So, outsourcing this area of work is the most sensible and feasible option for most. A dedicated team will be able to put all of your ideas down on paper (or, more accurately, screen). They will have plenty of previous experience, so will be able to offer you examples of sites that work particularly well and may also be able to give you a little creative inspiration. They will also ensure that the end product is functional, aesthetically pleasing and simple to navigate. Perfect!
Creating an Aesthetic
In the same way that you furnish and decorate a brick and mortar store to reflect your brand’s aesthetic and vibe, you need to create a brand specific atmosphere on your webpage. This can be achieved by using a consistent color scheme, typeface and layout. Work with your web designer to make this a reality.
Incorporating Features for Good Customer Service
Use your website as a platform to engage more directly with your customers. When operating online, you lose out on the face to face customer service that comes with brick and mortar stores. But you can make up for this. Add a contact form page on your site to allow customers to be able to send questions and queries. You can also offer a mailing list, allowing you to alert potential and existing customers to special events, sales and new stock or collections.
Adding High Quality Content
Once your page is set up, it’s time to start showcasing your wares and goods. It’s time for high quality content! Work with a professional photographer to take beautiful and flattering stock photos that will display your products in the best light. You can also team up with copywriters to create high quality content such as product descriptions and brand blog posts.
Expanding your business to the web by following these steps will ensure that you are engaging with as many potential customers as possible, offering them a smooth online experience of your brand that will hopefully reflect itself in increased sales and significant profit for your company.