Statistics have shown that future global e-commerce revenue continues to grow at an annual rate no lower than 15% for the next few years. Businesses who have yet to move online are definitely missing out on their share of the pie! If you- a business owner who is still debating or simply stuck in the process of establishing your online presence- are reading this, we have listed here an easy step by step guide for you to follow:
Step 1: We need a plan!
Research, research, and more research! Find out what has already been established in the online market of your industry and where you can fit into. Armed with this information, think about the factors that made your business successful offline and if they would work the same way – online.
Unlike the usual brick-and-mortar shop, there is no in-person customer service nor a thoughtfully decorated storefront in an online business. This is where you need to rethink how to build your distinctive brand identity online. There is a possibility that you may have to rebrand your business, from changing your target consumers to redesigning your brand logo to be more outstanding in a colourful digital world. After brainstorming and laying out these areas to be adjusted, it is finally time to establish your business strategy!
Don’t have an in-house team to help you with building a strategy? Don’t worry! There are many business consultant agencies out there who can help you through the entire process. If hiring agencies are out of your budget, there are also lots of quality skilled freelance consultants who will be able to help!
Step 2: Find your online storefront
Secure that domain ASAP. Whether it’s a free or a paid service, try to select your own domain name, not one that is an extension of someone else’s. Moving domain names in the future would be quite a hassle and can also result in you potentially losing your established audiences and traffic.
After you have found the right platform, it’s time to design your online storefront! This step is of the same importance as you designing and decorating your brick and mortar store. An appealing and tastefully designed online interface not only increases customer’s time spent on your website, but it also signals to potential customers that your business puts in the effort to the online store which improves overall credentials and boosts sales.
Step 3: Promote your online store to the world
Now that you have your online store ready, the next step is to advertise your products and bring in the customers! Unlike physical stores where potential customers can be part of human traffic just casually strolling by, it is much harder to capture attention online. You will need to carry out search engine optimization to increase your website rankings on search result pages, which is essential for bringing in traffic to your online store.
Other actions you can take to promote your store is to create meaningful content that will attract targeted customers. In addition, send occasional emails reminding customers about deals and promotions. Also, consider paid ads on popular platforms like Google and Facebook where you can reach out to specific audiences within targeted demographics.
These all require some serious digital marketing techniques which can be difficult to manage on your own. Luckily, there are also a lot of freelance digital marketers on Gigworks who can lend you a hand!
Step 4: Review and improve
The internet is a fast-moving environment. Hence, constant improvements will be required to ensure that your business is keeping up in the industry! Not only should you always be on the lookout for new trends and ideas, but analyzing data on your website is also crucial for reviewing and planning future growth strategies.
For example, your initial business strategy has identified your business’s targeted audiences, but were these people successfully reached with your marketing methods? If there is a major difference between the two, something must have gone wrong in your marketing plans and should be modified as soon as possible.
But, how do I REALLY start?
If you still feel overwhelmed by the steps listed above, it’s totally normal! We understand it’s difficult for most businesses to have the capacity of all the above-mentioned expertise and skills, but don’t worry! From business consultants, web designers, graphic designers to digital marketers and marketing analysts, these jobs can all be filled by freelancers who not only are experts in their individual trades but also charge lower prices compared to many larger agencies out there.
Freelancer platforms like Gigworks harbour numerous talent from different categories, so embark your journey of online expansion today by browsing for all the skills you need at Gigworks – the Freelance Marketplace to get all the services you need, at your fingertips!
Download Gigworks today!