Following the social movement restrictions and subsequent economic impact of Covid-19, businesses need to review; or even create, their online profile. A quality online presence supported by effective Social Media Marketing are essential for any type of retail business as more and more people use their mobile phones to search for what they want to buy. "Mobile First" websites are essential as voice-activated searches through devices like 'Alexa' or apps like 'Siri' are also becoming more commonplace.
Why is This Important?
Whilst this may not be obvious for a more traditional "bricks and mortar" retail business, many times the ability of a potential customer to find a product or service in a local area can mean the difference between you making or losing a sale.
The objective is to entice the customer to enter your shop or business reception, at which point you can have a face-to-face interaction, satisfy their needs and make a sale. This won't happen if people simply walk past your door, or worse still don't even realise your business is there.
What Can You Do?
Creating a static webpage which includes an enticing "shop window" of your product or service along with a Google map and contact details is the minimum level of online presence. Produce a short but informative summary of what you sell or the services you provide and include some key features or unique selling points to differentiate you from your competitors.
I Already have a Website
Make sure you review it with your webmaster on a regular basis to ensure the content is up-to-date and use it in conjunction with your social media feeds to promote seasonal offers, sale items etc.
The most important website features are:-
- Ensure it is "mobile-friendly". It is easy to check this by simply logging into your site from a smartphone and scrolling through the content. Sites which are not responsive will show content which is designed to be read on a desktop PC / Mac
- ensure it has an active "Security Certificate" - "https" (not http) which also displays a "safe" padlock at the start of the URL in a browser
- Google changes its search algorithms on a regular basis to ensure sites are compliant and are kept up-to-date.
- Load speed, mobile responsiveness and the amount of time a visitor spends on your site are some of the key factors in the current version
I don't know how to do any of this and rely on my webmaster to do it for me. That is fine, but you should really learn the basics so that you can communicate effectively with your webmaster and see the results you want.
You can browse the wide selection of online business training courses and choose one which best suits your needs. Most are pre-recorded versions of live classroom presentations, so you can view them during quiet trading periods.
I don't have the time to do any of this. Hmm; that's a bit tricky. How badly do you want to stay in business?
- You can always outsource all the work, but design and marketing agencies can be very expensive
- You may not be fully satisfied with the end result
- The cost of this comes off your bottom line, so how quickly you can recover your investment is a key factor
- You can outsource the "technical" parts, but retain control over the content. Modern website editor software makes it easy to have access to your own website, make the changes you want and see the end result straight away
- Review your business activities to find out where you spend your time right now. Consider what you can do to make it more efficient, so that you can pay more attention to your online presence
I trust you found this post helpful.
Please see the Business Services section of digitalupskill.co.uk for more details.