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COVID-19 has already dealt massive damage to the majority of SMEs, especially family-owned and local enterprises at the early stages of the pandemic. Digitalization has been on the verge to becoming a requirement for business survival, instead of an option, regardless of the current crisis, so what’s the best time to go digital if not now? In this article we guide you through turning a family-owned enterprise into an active competitor of the tech world and (hopefully) see your #sales #go #boom.

Don’t read on if you’ve already beaten the pandemic.

1. Choose Your Online Headquarters

Set. Up. A. Website. It may sound cliché, but user-experience design, or the way your website is set-up and designed with respect to the overall experience you provide your customers with while they are browsing your site is crucial to digital survival. 3 important factors to consider while measuring your website effectiveness for your local store are…

  1. Load-time: how quickly your website loads its static and dynamic content, i.e. text, images and animations
  2. Ease of learning & mobile: how easy it is to navigate on your website. Is it mobile optimized?
  3. AIDA: does the content on your website creates attention and interest and leads the user toward making a purchase?

Imagine that your business is a gigantic pitch with one entry and one goal-line. Your customers start from the entry point, and they have to make it to the goal-line. At each step they take, a new door appears right next to them and it’s you who’ve got to convince them that it is worth staying on the pitch and aiming for the goal at the end.

If they are on your site, they are already interested. Gain their desire.

If your customers are on your site, you have probably already managed to raise their attention and potentially create interest for them to enter your pitch at the first place. However, if you let them loosely run around and do what they want, then you are systematically increasing your dependence on luck, which you don’t want to do. Your website should be set-up in a way that you actively push your values and products onto your prospects so that you turn their interest of kind of wanting a product that you are selling, to desiring your product and no one else’s.

53% of website visits are abandoned if page takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Long load times negatively influence your image.

Once your web-design is done comes optimizing your site. This is done in two steps. First, you have to ensure that your site takes no longer than 3 – 5 seconds to load, from blank white to being interactable under average download speed. Be slower than that and customers will bounce back to searching for another site where the solution they are looking for does not take a lifetime to load.

4 out of 10 people shop on mobile devices, expected to increase rapidly.

The second step is mobile optimization. According to Statista, 52% of online traffic comes from mobile devices, with a devastating 3.8 billion people owning a smartphone in 2020, and 54% predicted to make at least 1 purchase per month by next year, with 34.5% already making one. With a local or family-owned business these numbers change, as a great number of purchases are made upon receiving a positive word-of-mouth, or simply due to friend recommendations. Still, mobile optimization is crucial as, if your site is difficult to navigate on while browsing from a smartphone your potential customers will simply not care to do it and switch to someone else.

#lead #them #to #yield #them

2. Choose Your Communication Channels

Once you have made sure that you at least exist and have the best website this world has ever seen then you should decide where do you want your customers to actually reach you. One advantage of owning a local, physical store is window-shopping and free exposure, as people always walk by and see you for free, free from an advertiser’s point of view. Imagine the online world as having all of the stores from across the planet being stuffed into a single city market, where everything exists at the same time. Search Engine Optimization, or SEO ensures that you place down virtual road signs for your business, so that you give yourself a chance to be found. However, THAT’S NOT ENOUGH.

Facebook and Instagram correspond to most shopped-on social media sites of 2020.

With SEO you only exist within a certain district of this gigantic city market where everyone else exists as well. And this district is pretty clustered, too. What you want to do is reach out to other sides of this huge market, to those communication channels which are being used and shopped on the most as of by 2020. To get you started, set up a Facebook Business site for your store, and create an Instagram Business account too. These two will ensure that you exist on the most popular streets of the digital metropolis.

Informative ads work best for dynamic content for product showcases.

For that, make sure to use high quality photos and have dynamic content too, such as how-to-use videos or practical guides of application. Keep them short enough so that you’d be willing to watch them yourself, but make sure that they are informative and fun to watch so that watching them does not feel like a waste of precious time. These contents should achieve a level of trust that your prospects would willingly entitle you to be their problem solver and they’d provide you with money for your service.

#guide #them #to #your #store

3. Where to Buy Your Products

Once your online existence and exposure is done, you have to ensure that you guide your customers to not only looking at your product, but actually buying it. Similarly to UX design, if you just let them running around freely on the pitch you should not expect them to behave as you’d like them to do so and make a purchase at your store. In order to get them to purchase, your ads should guide them to your sales channels.

A sales channel in this case is an online site where your potential customers can make a purchase in your store. Your main channel, your headquarters is your website itself, more specifically the catalogue page of your site. Not the home page, not the “About Us” section, the catalogue. Your side-channels in this case are Google’s search engine via SEO, Facebook and Instagram. There are many other channels where you could sell, but for a local or family-run business these do the job quite well. Make sure that you are clear and neat about your shipping policy, return policy and your cart is easy to handle too, as missing one of those would turn a positive prospect into a lost potential customer.

#dont #sell #make #a #sale

4. Final Words

COVID-19 could hit your business really hard, especially if your business model follows a localized, rather than a globalized approach to selling. With excellent UX design and a neat Facebook and Instagram page, as well as the corresponding ad spend on SEO and advertising you increase your chances to succeed on the digital market.

DISCLAIMER:

We hereby expressly do not declare that we are the author of the post or the content it contains. It is our intention to summarize the essential information from several sources and to provide our site visitors with knowledge about our services.

REFERENCES:
Advids. 2017. “20 Product Showcase Video Examples To Inspire You”. Accessed 20th July.
BigCommerce. n.p. “Your M-Commerce Deep Dive: Data, Trends and What’s Next in the Mobile Retail Revenue World”. Accessed 21st July.
hobo-web. 2020. “How Fast Should a Website Load”. Accessed 20th July.
HubSpot. 2019. “Push vs Pull Marketing. How They Differ and Work Together”. Accessed 20th July.
Neilpatel. n.p. “How to Optimize Your Facebook Ads to Drive More Traffic and Sales”. Accessed 21st July.
Oberlo. 2020. “Most Popular Social Media Platforms in 2020”. Accessed 20th July.
Statista. 2020. “Number of smartphone users worldwide from 2016 to 2021”. Accessed 21st July.
Statista. 2020. “Percentage of mobile device website traffic worldwide from 1st quarter 2015 to 2nd quarter 2020”. Accessed 21st July.

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