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As COVID-19 advances throughout the world, many businesses continue to suffer. But what about online businesses, how are they doing?
Before the pandemic, small and medium-size businesses (SMEs) made up around 48 percent of the U.S. economy and, according to the World Trade Organization, over 90 percent of business in the world. To put it more accurately, SMEs, like you, are the economy!
The new normal in consumer behavior since COVID-19: the future looks digital
Since ordinances require consumers to stay home much of the time, shopping online for everything from food to beauty products is becoming the new normal. In numbers, this is a 19% increase or $4 trillion. By moving your brick and mortar business online, you have a chance of becoming part of this new trend while growing profits.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) gave a survey to 3,700 persons across nine countries asking about online shopping habits since the pandemic. They discovered that not only have people turned to online shopping but for many survey participants, this trend is permanent.
With trends comes data and Digital Commerce 360 has collected stats on the impact showing where customers want to see growth. Let’s look at some standout future trends where your business can shine:
Pick-up or curbside options: 64% of respondents want mobile and contactless pickup options, with 79% saying contactless store pickup is very important. 60% want curbside pickup options.
Home delivery: 90% of respondents said they prefer home delivery over a store visit, especially during COVID-19 stay-at-home orders.
It goes to show you that online and ecommerce doesn’t mean you are selling and shipping internationally. Going online with your business and adding that extra service for locals can be a winning combination!
What you need to know to take your business online
First and foremost is to create an online store, which is fundamental to transitioning your retail business online successfully. You should have in place:
- A website or landing page
- Good images or videos
- Clear descriptions of your products and/or services
After you decide what you are going to sell from your existing offerings, consider the following:
- Are you service based or do you have physical products?
- What are your top-selling and lightweight items?
If you have physical items consider using dropshipping tools to help you find suppliers who can handle everything from storage to delivery. Some carriers have changed their policies due to COVID-19, so stay up-to-date.
Letting your customers know that your business is online
You’ve set everything up, so what’s next? You need to let your customers know about your business. This is where social media comes into play and paid advertising.
Social media – how to promote your business
First off, if you don’t have one already, create a Facebook business page and an Instagram account. To market your business successfully, integrate Facebook pixel to your website or landing page to track your ads.
Use Google My Business to get picked up in Google Search and Google Maps. Here again, a good description of your business, link to your site, and photos of your products and services helps you appear in Google’s search results.
Now you are ready to market your business! Getting more eyes to your online business is easier and cheaper than you think. Your online store is more than just a place for consumers to find and purchase goods; it is one of the most powerful resources you have for building and growing a digital brand.
Paid advertising – how to drive traffic to your online store
Marketing online not only gets your business noticed, but it is an integral part of brand building. Consistent, good ads build trust and that’s exactly why digital marketing is important for all businesses, no matter how big or small.
Today, digital marketing is how businesses get noticed and on a much wider scale. You can target your audience by location, age, interests, buying habits, and other categories.
Seems overwhelming? It can be if you try it on your own, and you’re not a professional marketer. This is where Nanos machine learning technology can help. You can build a campaign and have it go live across multiple platforms simultaneously.
Nanos powerful technology helps you craft creative ads for your campaigns:
- The AI generates multiple versions of text for your ads. It’s like having a copywriter at your side anytime, anywhere.
- Based on your product, the machine learning technology behind the application suggests different keywords for Google for your ads and suggests the best platforms to use.
- During your campaign run, our AI reshuffles your budget, discarding the lowest performing platforms allocating your budget along the way. It’s like having your own agency, 24/7!
- Just log in and check the dashboard where your campaigns are displayed.You will be able to follow all changes and optimizations in real time!
To be successful in today’s digital world during and after COVID-19, it takes more than setting up a website; you need to get people to see it. Social media and paid ads go hand-in-hand with online awareness. So, consider taking the steps above and get your business online with your brand planned out and let Nanos help you with the rest so you can enjoy online business success.