Now is the time to take that business online
With the digital economy firmly taking root in our everyday patterns of handling business, there is an increase in the need for businesses, either small or big to have an online presence. However, building an online presence is not only a necessity when you render online services or sell online. You might have a physical shop and your goods and services are not available online. Regardless, you need to have information about your business online so that potential customers can discover your business and find out more information about the goods and services you have on offer before visiting your physical location.
For example, a coffee shop that is listed in a digital directory is easily discoverable by a potential patron who has dealings in the area and needs coffee; he takes out his mobile phone and search for ‘coffee shops around me’, the shop information is listed among the results displayed, and since he is just around the corner, they can follow the map’s directions to the shop. And there you have it. An offline customer, discovered through online means.
A good online presence potentially has more upsides than just contact information and directions. From listings in digital directories to content published on social media pages, or establishing an e-commerce platform, to a website that showcases videos and reviews about services rendered, a good online presence might just be the next break needed for your business to get noticed by the generation of customers that rely more on the power of information gotten on the internet than an over-reliance of word of mouth. Let us further delve into some of the reasons your business needs to have an online presence:
Potential customers can easily reach you
Like earlier explained, most people rely on the information they can get on the internet about businesses before making a purchase. Even if you have physical customers that trust you enough to make referrals, there is a high possibility that the person they are talking to about what you do will ask for your website or social media handles so that they can have a feel of what you do, it is what they find online that convinces them or not to bring their business to you.
Marketing your brand is easier online
For instance, let’s say you have a local cake shop for example, ‘ChopChop cakes’ and you know how to make really tasty cupcakes but you have not been making as many sales as you would have hoped. Don’t you think that you are experiencing this because you have not harnessed the excellent marketing tools that social media gives? You could have a blog that talks about your new cake recipes, newsletter marketing that lets people know when you have freshly-baked goods available, an Instagram page with pictures of your finger-licking cupcakes. All these can be done and would reach customers miles away since most people have access to the internet and online content can be easily shared with people you don’t even know; all you have to do is sit back and handle people’s orders as they come in.
Relationships can be easily built with customers and potential customers
With the internet and social media as the go-to for most people, making sure that your business has an online presence is a guarantee that your brand will have a voice that can be easily related to. With your brand out there, you can interact more with your customers on a personal level and even forge new relationships that can be sustained over time. With the internet, you can communicate with your target customers and pique people’s interest in your brand as long as you are sending the right messages across.
One of the most important investments that any business can make is to have a strong online presence. Don’t forget, having an online presence for your business could be getting listed in a digital directory or having a website, it could also be running a social commerce platform or curating a social media page. In fact, it could be a combination of all the above, as long as there is something concrete that pops up about your business when people search for the services that you offer.
Do you have experience in helping businesses create an online presence? Or perhaps you have some interesting ideas on the topic? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or just tweet at us. Let’s work together and grow commerce across Nigeria and Africa at large.