While we’re talking about the concept of “new normal” these days, trying to survive this pandemic tidal wave in terms of business is becoming a lot trickier. One thing is for sure: online business is not “a new normal”, it’s just normal. It’s been a while since people got tired(ish) of waiting in lines to pay for something, or it’s just that work-life balance hit hard: we have to decide where we spend our time, and queuing doesn’t count as quality time.
These are the times for online business.
Let’s start out with some general pieces of advice:
- Don’t copy famous businesses: follow their model, but use your story and your voice.
- Don’t try to be everyone’s cup of tea, because you’ll end up being no one’s. Have a niche, and find the audience for that specific niche. Your online marketing depends on it, and your business depends on your online marketing. It’s important.
- Have the best possible website, like the ones created by the design experts at a web design company in Houston, Texas.
- To that end, leverage social media, still, make sure your website is the pillar of your online business. Using other’s platforms is brilliant, but make the foundation yours.
- Create a digital marketing plan.
- Focus, work hard, and keep going. Don’t be afraid to succeed, and don’t give up. 2 P’s: Patience and perseverance.
Two Other Important Points to Consider
First and foremost, it’s trust. Ask yourself: how do you know you can trust an online shop? Is it because of social proof, i.e. testimonials, a large banner saying how many satisfied customers the shop has served, or maybe user experience (comments and reviews)? Go after those qualities. But there are some businesses that don’t have any of the said, yet you intuitively trust them. They seem professional. Their product description is honest and thoughtful. Go after those qualities, as well.
Then, there’s a safety issue, in terms of confidentiality. Test those thoroughly, fix whatever infrastructure needs fixing, and do it often: links that are broken, privacy issues, imagery, and description that is not aligned with reality. Moreover, make sure the trust seals are visible at the checkout, showing your customers that their finances are safe with you.
Trust and safety are two significant factors for business growth, due to the simple fact that ANY human relationship is based on the two.
Trust is fueled further by your company’s story: for me, I always check the “About…” page when checking some business. Even just for fun. It is relatable to read the success stories and anecdotes of others, even more so if they are largely successful. It also adds to the authenticity, which also draws people closer to you.
The Importance of SEO
SEO is your passport to virtual (omni)presence, and in time, your business growth. You want your products or services to be seen easily and quickly. This is by no means a quick strategy, it takes time and continuous effort, but it is essential.
When it comes to your website, make sure your products have SEO-friendly names so that they appear before others. Do thorough keyword research for those, and utilize them in strategic meta-descriptions. Great power lies in keywords, don’t waste it.
Have a powerful blog on your website, as well, with appropriate, appealing, problem-solving content, and update it regularly.
The Three Requirements
1. The website needs to be quick. People’s attention span has shortened significantly and you’re about to lose the potential customers if your page fails to load in a couple of seconds.
2. The website absolutely needs to be mobile-friendly. It’s staggering how many of them fail to meet the criterion. Many people research/compare/decide/buy from their mobiles, so it’s unacceptable not to have the scalable version.
3. The checkout part needs to be optimized as well. People don’t have time to queue in real stores, so they move online. If they have to do the same, they’ll change the store. This means you have to shorten and simplify the procedure as much as possible, so much so that the least tech-savvy person can complete it successfully. Test it for free with your older family member.
There are only so many business activities that cannot be repeated with the same customer and that require a constant hunt for customers: for example, the wedding and funeral industry. Even for those, referral goes a long way.
For most other businesses, old customers are true gold, and therein lies the gist of a customer-business relationship. Nurture that relationship through various forms of online marketing, and try to attract new leads as well.
Innumerable online businesses are competing to be seen on various search engines, mostly Google.
What you need to sustain your business, and eventually grow it is godly stoicism, unshakable tenacity (even when the road gets bumpy- and it will), and of course, a proven and efficient online business strategy.
That’s your online business growth cocktail. Shaken, not stirred.
Author Byline: Liam Collins is a tech pundit and Web enthusiast working at TuiSpace.com. He spends most of his time reading and writing about the current affairs in the world of information technology. When he isn’t working, he likes going for long bike rides and walks in nature.