The Covid-19 pandemic struck the world in early 2020. In just a matter of months, it devastatingly transformed the whole world. The pandemic literally trampled everything in its path and businesses took a deep and direct hit. The danger and associated fear of contracting the Coronavirus at crowded places has heavily discouraged people from buying stuff offline from the physical stores. Such an alarming situation has confronted small and mid-sized merchants with just one serious question and that is what choices are they left with?
To answer this question with sheer honesty, there is only one viable choice – moving your offline business to the online mode. Upon hearing this, most of the businessmen come up with the most obvious question, “Is moving my business online going to help me confront the ongoing crisis”. This blog answers this question and also lets you know how you can easily migrate your business from offline mode to the online platform.
Just a fact – The whole world has come to a screeching halt today, yet the only thing that is running is e-Commerce. The Covid lockdown has forced people to stay indoors and shop online. Experts are of the opinion that this shift in customer interest online will soon become the new normal.
5 Ways You Can Move Your Offline Business Online
Here are 5 ways one can take one’s offline business online:-
1. Create a website for your business
For the uninitiated, creating a website for their business might sound like a Herculean task. The reality is, however, on the contrary. Following the below-mentioned simple steps can help you set up a website like a breeze:-
Buy a domain name – The domain name is also known as the website address and it is the entry point to your website. Choose a proper domain extension (try registering the website address with a .com domain extension).
Choose the right website hosting provider – Look for the different server plans being offered by various website hosting providers and choose the one that best suits your needs.
Work on your website’s design – Try to build a descriptive and illustrative website. A good Content Management System (CMS) might help you in this regard.
2. Switch to an e-Commerce platform
e-Commerce platforms are one of the easiest ways to make the transition from a brick-and-mortar store to an online shop. A few basic steps can get you started with your very own e-store. You get to choose from a number of e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, CedCommerce, Business Squarespace, GoDaddy Online Store, etc. However, one of the easiest e-commerce platforms to set up your online store is Bikry which allows you to create your own store/shop within a few seconds and also increases your sales.
3. Social Media Platforms
Social media platforms have not just proved to be a medium to bring people and acquaintances together but they have also emerged as huge online business platforms. Social media platforms have a huge audience, which means that your business (or products) can enjoy enhanced visibility. Besides, if you know which audience to target, it can also mean enhanced sales. As such, social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc have proved to be highly conducive for businesses to
(i) build brand awareness
(ii) increase sales
(iii) form loyal relationships with customers
4. Affiliate and influencer marketing
Affiliate marketing is yet another way to bring leads to businesses. Affiliate marketing essentially spreads the responsibility of product marketing across parties/individuals. Simply put, affiliate marketing is based on an affiliate promoting or marketing a company’s product(s) and, in the process, the affiliate earns a portion of the profit from each sale he/she makes. Closely related to affiliate marketing is influencer marketing wherein influencers (could be people or organizations) who enjoy a certain level of social influence in their field endorse or promote various products, leading to brand awareness, customer engagement, and enhanced sales.
5. Messenger marketing
Although initially intended to revolutionize personal messaging, chat messengers such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Telegram, WeChat, etc have now become a very potent platform for buying and selling goods and services. Messenger marketing entails using mobile chat apps to facilitate business and allow brands and companies to connect with their customers. One of the best reasons to opt for messenger marketing is that currently, the number of active users on messaging apps is more than those on social media apps. This allows businesses to connect with prospective customers, boost the generation of leads and increase conversions. What’s more, messenger marketing is probably the cheapest way for marketers to reach and engage with customers.
Having seen some of the most effective ways to take your business online, it now depends on you which one to opt for. However, one thing that needs mention across all the aforementioned ways is setting up payment methods. Once you take you business online, you also need to be able to accept payments from your customers. With the advent of a number of payment platforms, customers have now gotten used to seeing various ways to pay across websites. Therefore, it is better to offer your customers multiple payment options.
Choosing any of the 5 ways to take your business online and also integrating various payment options for the convenience of your customers, you are sure to give your online shop a great kickstart.