Today marks one of the busiest online shopping days of the season – Cyber Monday. Started in 2005 by the National Retail Federation, Cyber Monday offers the savvy shopper deals on soft goods such as clothing and personal care items as well as electronics. Cyber Monday does not have to be only for retailers. With shoppers scouring the internet for deals and great finds, today can be a day to connect with old customers and introduce your brand to new clients.
According to a U.S. Census Bureau report released in early 2018, E-commerce retail sales increased by 16% to $453.5 billion in 2017, accounting for 8.9% of total retail sales for the year. This number is expected to continue rising, reaching an estimated 13.7% of sales by 2021. With the current and expected number of customers opting to shop online, it is of the utmost importance that small businesses get in on the fray, invest in e-commerce solutions and market their goods and services on the world wide web. As a small business, you may not have the luxury of an in-house marketing team to promote your business. Below, we provide you with some effective ways to update your online footprint, to build your audience, increase traffic and generate leads.
- Upgrade Your Web Presence: Your website's landing page is the lobby or living room to your business. Whether intentional or not, it tells a viewer who you are or who you are not. Tailor your landing page to garner viewers' interest and to help them see what sets you apart for the competition. Review the rest of the pages on your website with a critical eye. Is the information stale or dated? Update your content, refresh your site design and replace older images with eye-catching high-resolution ones. Also, ensure that your company pages across all of the social media platforms are also kept updated.
- Get Social: More and more businesses are opting to create ads on social media pages. Currently, facebook ads are the popular avenue to attract audiences with eye-catching and click-worthy ads. The adds can be tailored to target your ideal customers.
- Create a google Business Listing: Create a Google My Business profile. This is a simple (and free) way to promote your business. This profile will appear when potential customers search your business' name. Your profile can provide viewers with your location, hours of operation and explain what you do. To get started, visit https://www.google.com/business/.
- Be Search Engine Friendly: Optimize your website so that your content and site codes are found in search engines. The goal of search engine optimization is to have the search engine spiders not only find your site and pages but also specifically rank the page relevance so that it appears at the top of the search engine results.
- Create Promotions: Promotions are not always about offering a discount; they can be used to attract customers and create a buzz for your business. Local events and groups can present great opportunities to promote your business by offering your goods and services to the general public. Ensure that your promotions strike the right chord with customers and are interesting.
- Avoid the Junk Folder: Most businesses send their customers emails, texts or mobile application notifications as a means to stay connected. To avoid turning off clients with too much or unnecessary information, ensure your content is interesting and relevant. Use key trigger words that will stand out in your customers' inboxes, send communications when you have important info to share, not just because.
Having a great product or service is an excellent foundation for any small business. However, a business with a great product but no marketing plan, promotions or sales will not be able to sustain growth. The good news is technology makes it easier for small business owners to create an online presence. Remember, there is no one size fits all solution. Occasionally review your strategies and responses to communications to ensure you are engaging your intended audience. With little time and capital invested, you will get your business the attention it deserves so that it stands head and shoulders above the competition.