There has been a 20% increase in digital signals stemming from shelter-in-place mandates, and this surge of data creates opportunity for agile businesses to modernize their models and push even more deeply in to digitally-enhanced servicing and ecommercei – are you ready to take advantage?
Start by analysing your current business profile and asking questions like:
Using your answers, you can start to think strategically about identifying capabilities and weaknesses and then setting priorities, goals and realistic timelines to transform and adapt your business to the online environment.
Decide what your ideal outcome would be. Is your intention of your customer to buy, order or book directly from an online store or is it to educate your audience on who you are and what you offer and where they can access your products?
Identify your audience by mapping the traits that your current customers have. Are there common industries you service? Do your products or services address specific needs? Is there a common profession amongst your client contacts (i.e. senior managers, office managers, purchasers)? Do most of your customers fit into a specific generation?
Over 690 million professionals are on LinkedIn globallyii. It can be a great place to start when you are a B2B company.
Where else can you look?
If you sell to retailers, Facebook and Instagram could be helpful to identify opportunities. YouTube and Vimeo are used by businesses and enthusiasts alike.
Odds are your ideal customer uses google, so are your website and social media accounts easy to differentiate?
Your call to action should be shaped by your ideal customer. What and where are you looking to communicate? If you’re communicating about your authority on a subject a podcast, webinar or article is great. YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook can help you broadcast live events like webinars, LinkedIn can host articles, Vimeo is great for sharing pre-recorded material. If you’re trying to engage people on personal social media short videos and written or photo posts may be more suitable.
Decide on your brand ethos and identity. Are you caring and supportive or authoritative? Does your brand encompass a sense of humour and tongue-in-cheek, or are you straight up and direct? What do you pride yourselves on? i.e. quality, sustainability, being longstanding, being progressive/modern, etc. You most likely already have brand colours or logos on your labelling, so incorporate these into your e-Commerce design.
When choosing a platform for your website there are some very important variables to consider. Not all platforms are equal and using your answer to Step 2.1 above will help you to narrow down the providers that may be suitable for you.
If you want to achieve an online store where people can complete a transaction Shopify or Squarespace could be a great place to start.
If you don’t need a checkout and would prefer a website to educate your target audience about your products and have them submit an expression of Interest or Contact Us form or make a booking, a provider like Wix, Squarespace or BigCommerce could be a fantastic and affordable option.
If you want to sell to or educate non-English speaking customers you may need to research – or ask – your potential provider if they offer multi-language sites, or support plugins to offer this feature.
If in doubt, remember that the Ai Group BIG Hub has a number of prequalified consultants that can help you successfully take your business online.
This factsheet has been created using content from our BIG Hub consultant, Nicola Feeney.
i. Lin H, May 15, 2020, ‘Get Recovery Ready: What Brands Should Prepare Now and Next’, MediaPost Agency Daily, accessed 12/06/2020, https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/351478/get-recovery-ready-what-brands-should-prepare-now.html
ii. Microsoft, Apr 30, 2020, ‘LinkedIn Business Highlights from Microsoft’s FY20 Q3 Earnings’, accessed 12/06/2020, https://news.linkedin.com/2020/april/linkedin-business-highlights-from-microsoft-s-fy20-q3-earnings