The COVID-19 crisis has initiated a mass digital transformation boom across B2B and B2C businesses. In the UK alone, some 85,000 businesses launched online stores or became members of an online marketplace during the second quarter of 2020. This trend was not limited to B2C businesses. According to Wunderman Thompson Commerce, even B2B businesses experienced growth in ecommerce.
Moreover, according to research conducted by Barclays Corporate Banking*, in the UK, 15% of all assessed companies created a role especially designed to increase digital sales. Add to this, the fact that more than 30%** of all expenses were allocated to digital marketing, and it is clear that businesses across the board realized the need to adopt new technology and online marketing.
Only in the UK nearly 750,000 businesses were forced to close down the doors of their physical stores due to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. Businesses in nearly all sectors realized the need to adapt to the new normal and transfer their focus online. Besides the already well-known ventures that dominated the online industry, some new and unexpected rivals established their well demanded online presence. Since February 2020 the Fashion and Apparel business managed to transfer a significant part of their operations online with 8,665 companies that started selling digitally and even accepted wireless online payments. Manufacturing enjoyed 7,129 businesses jumping into the online sphere, Food and Drinks retail- 4,156, and Agriculture, Fisheries and Industrial Food Production with 3,767 newly established online stores. Perhaps the industries with the most surprising digital improvements are the Pharmaceuticals with 9.3% of them switching to alternative online stores and contactless payments, and the Professional Training with 6.8% launching online ways of selling. ***
How To Get Started and Establish an Online Business?
Perhaps the very first step of switching online is to check what percentage of your offline products and services have potential for adequate profitability. Examine various niches where you can place your offerings and find problems that can be solved by your business. By conducting a more segmented market research you may evaluate the trending products to evaluate the potential of the niche.
Nowadays quite some ecommerce website solutions are available on the market. Instead of jumping into expensive and time consuming in-house development, businesses can use a subscription based plan to build their online presence. According to Ecommerce platforms and their research on the best e-commerce solutions, their top three picks are:
In their article they have made an interactive table showing what is available as a solution according to your budget and needs. Ecommerce platforms are easy to use and integrate and provide features suited to your individual requirements.
Let’s now imagine you are all set up and good to go. Having in mind the huge amount of businesses online it is important to differentiate from your competitors and outline the uniqueness of your business proposition. The question here is how to optimize online presence against competition? It is a matter of conducting a competitive analysis to check on the keywords you can use to rank high online. Search engine optimization is vital to perform if wanting to perform well and be recognized online. Not to say it’s a must.
One way to reach target related audiences is to create and support a blog post section on your website. Besides informative purposes for new products and releases, you can integrate the keywords you want to be found by in your text. This will help you reach wider audiences and improve your company brand and recognition. Having a content schedule to follow is important to be able to estimate workload and to make Google and your readers know when you post new stuff. Make the habit of publishing news around your brand such as blog post content, social media posts and email marketing campaigns frequently and on the same day of the week. Speaking of social media, it is important to be present in the networks your users and potential customers are in. If they are on Facebook- make a profile there. If your ideal client happens to be on Twitter- be active there. Client is King is not a cliché. Don’t go look for them where you are, go figure out where they are and join that network, be active, engage through comments, posts, news sharing, add people to your network, make giveaways to promote your brand and so on. There are a countless amount of social media marketing techniques to be used. Just make sure you are out there for your customers.
The digital world nowadays is highly competitive and time consuming. One of the most popular strategies companies use to reduce costs and improve results is to outsource certain functions. This is a way to have less expenses for internal hiring and higher expertise working along your strategy. If you wish to start your online business you can either start on your own or seek assistance from companies who specialize in developing digital companies. We, at Aloha.digital, specialize in helping businesses that already have online presence but are not yet able to achieve their full potential. By creating meaningful organic marketing strategies we scale your traffic to overcome issues and deliver tailored solutions. Schedule a call with us to get a free consultation.