In the age of e-commerce, it is becoming increasingly important for brick-and-mortar businesses to establish an online presence. If you’re thinking of moving your business online, you should consider a few things before taking that leap.
One of the most important considerations is whether this will affect your customers negatively. Will they be willing to shop remotely rather than in person? Is there anything you can do to make the transition more accessible and satisfying? The good news is that many customers will be willing to change as long as you offer convenience and improved service delivery.
Covid 19 pandemic has made it easier for everyone to appreciate the need to reduce physical interactions and depend more on online services. To make the transition easier, here are tips.
Offer Secure and Convenient Payment Modes
One of the primary considerations, when clients shop online is the security of their transactions and information. Offer a secure, reliable payment system to reassure your customers that their data is safe. Outline the security features you have in place and make sure to work with reliable vendors.
Also, don’t rely on only one payment gateway but offer various payment methods to fit customers’ preferences and convenience.
Create an Engaging Platform
One of the most critical steps to take when shifting operations to an online format is to design an engaging website. Create a website that reflects your business values and appeals to the audience you’re trying to reach.
Build trust with clients by providing them with information about the benefits of shopping on your platforms, such as free or affordable shipping, reliable services, and high-quality products.
As you create the right platforms, spend time connecting with your customers, new and old. You’ll have to assure your old customers that the new business model is better while, at the same time, aim to attract new clients. With the right platform and marketing efforts, you’ll attract a broader clientele than you could with a brick-and-mortar business.
Address Shipping Concerns
Shipping can be one of the most frustrating parts of online purchases for customers because it’s purely based on trust. If you offer shipping services, make sure you have the capacity or can liaise with reliable shipping companies to provide quick and dependable services.
Understand What Customers Need Most
Because you don’t have the advantage of physically meeting with customers to talk about their issues or expectations, you have to be more engaging and work harder to understand what works best for your type of business.
At the same time, strive to know what your customers need. Are they more concerned about quick and convenient systems, or are credibility and quality the main concerns? What do your clients say about the transition? Are they satisfied, or is the experience time-consuming and confusing?
To make the transition easier for you and the clients, keep it simple. Let it be easier to locate products on your site and be available to answer questions or to clarify processes. If possible, offer live chat. Customers will appreciate the extra engagement or help when trying to locate products or make a decision. It also builds credibility and connects you with clients.
If you can’t offer live chat, make sure to engage with clients consistently. Return messages in time and be consistent with your communication.
Update Your Marketing Plan
Running an online business requires a different marketing strategy, and it’s time to explore the available options and choose those that offer faster results. For instance, social media marketing is a good option because it helps businesses reach new audiences and engages in a relaxed and interactive environment.
Other options include paid advertising, SEO, and email marketing. Once you discover the right marketing strategies, it’s time to update your marketing plan with specific goals and objectives. If possible, work with an expert who’ll not only make your marketing efforts more targeted but effective.
Work on Creating an Excellent Reputation
Brand reputation can make or break a business. Maintain high-quality standards, keep promises and make your customer service experience worthwhile. Your online reputation will significantly determine whether you attract more customers. Anyone who wants to try your business will first check the reviews and the information on your website.
To build an excellent reputation:
- Be transparent about what your company does and who it serves.
- Focus on communicating clearly with prospects and be open to feedback or questions
- Be polite, listen carefully, and don’t get defensive when asked a question – even if it’s a tough one.
- ● Improve customers’ experience by prompt responses to phone calls or emails, accurate pricing information, and quick problem-solving strategies.
For the best experience, keep your brick-and-mortar business open to customers who still prefer physical interactions. Additionally, having a physical address builds your online credibility.
Brandy Ellen has been a blogger since 2008 and enjoys spending her free time with her family and making the most out of every moment she has. Brandy enjoys sharing personal stories, tips, and other advice based on real-life & work from home experiences to help others live a fulfilling life.