The first few months of the pandemic hit hard. Plenty of people were furloughed and hundreds of small businesses had to close down. But it also became an opportunity for people to pursue e-commerce. Social distancing protocols may have given traditional brick-and-mortar businesses a tough time. But it has also pushed people to adapt and shift to an online business. Even as the pandemic started, people’s demands didn’t change. More people have turned to e-commerce and online retail therapy just to cope with the pandemic.
This isn’t just happening in America, it’s happening all over the world (where e-commerce is available). Statistics show that with physical retail being off the table, online stores have been performing much better. Take Amazon, for example, their sales rose by 37 percent in 2020 all thanks to the pandemic.
So if you’re planning to start an online business. Or if you’re planning to shift your brick-and-mortar business to e-commerce. This is the best time to do so. That is if you do it the right way.
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Here’s how you can do it the right way:
1. Build customer and employee relationships
Prioritize your relationships with both your customers and employees. Because you wouldn’t have a business to run without your employees and the customers. So how can you build your relationship with them? When it comes to your employees, take time to train your staff. Just like you would train them before, but not exactly. plenty of differences exist when it comes to operating a physical store and an online store.
Since you are relying more on digital media this time you might have to use plenty of new software to help manage your business. You’ll have to train your employees on how to use such software.
Aside from that, if you plan on working remotely, not all your employees may have the right resources to do their part. You might have to provide them with resources for them to do their job properly. Don’t forget to check up on how your employees are doing as well. Why not hold monthly support meetings? You can discuss how you’re feeling during the pandemic and what can be improved at work.
Building and nurturing relationships with your customers is also important. You’re not only building a relationship but a loyal following as well. E-commerce is a great place for growth, but it’s also very competitive. Give your customers a reason to pick you over the thousands of online businesses there is. How? By giving them great customer service, relatable ad content, user-friendly websites, fast deliveries, and incentives. Customer’s love getting incentives, why not reward them for reviewing and spreading the word about your products or services. Add tiny freebies in their packages or give them a discount for their next purchase.
2. Take advantage of technology and social media
Due to the pandemic, you have no choice but to rely on digital media, especially social media. It’s the easiest way to spread the word about your business and you can do it for free. But creating social media content isn’t easy, especially if you’ve got plenty of competition. You’ll need a good marketing strategy, engaging content, and a strong online presence. If you have zero experience with digital marketing you can always hire a professional ad agency to do it all for you. That way you’re guaranteed to see great results.
Aside from having a great marketing campaign, you should also take advantage of what technology has given us. Technology was created to make our jobs easier. There is plenty of software that helps manage your online business. From streamlining all your processes to storing and sharing files to managing sales, accounting, and everything finance related. There is software for anything nowadays so take advantage of it.
3. Be competitive, but always be yourself
A little competition is always good. You can learn many things from your competitors. But that doesn’t mean that you should copy them.
You should be striving to be better than them by building your own brand. Make a name for your business. Build your reputation, an image of your business that’ll stick with your customers. Ask yourself, what makes your business different? What makes it stand out? What are your key qualities? Highlight these aspects of your business and build a brand.
Having a brand gives customers something to identify with. It allows them to connect with your business more and is also what keeps them coming back. If you need more advice on building your business’ brand, your ad agency can also help you with that.
The pandemic has been tough, but it has also opened up a lot of e-commerce opportunities. When shifting to an online business, keep in mind these three things to help your business grow.