Launching an online business has been made easier in today’s digital age as more and more people have access to the internet. Social media, in particular, has been playing a huge part in everyone’s day to day lives. This is why the entrepreneurial minds of this generation are taking advantage of the benefits of online presence to boost their businesses.
When you log into Instagram or Facebook, it is noticeable how small business utilize these online platforms to reach their clients. Most of these online business actually do not have physical stores. They are just that– online.
If you think about it, there are so many benefits that come with setting up an online business. First is that you’re free from lease of space for a physical store. Rent takes up a huge chunk of the profit that you could have used to revamp your packaging or stock up your inventory. Online businesses enjoy the freedom from lease expenses while being able to market their products equally.
Secondly, setting up a website and social media pages cost far less than constructing an entire store. The back-end of websites can easily be customized to suit your preferences and your online business requirements. Tools can be added to track orders and manage inventory automatically.
Lastly, everyone shops online and you can reach a wider global market. The possibilities are endless for online businesses. Most of the success stories started in their own homes, serving only their cities then eventually became global brands shipping internationally.
If you’ve been thinking about venturing into an online business, here are some tips and tricks to get you on the right track.
1. Come up with a unique product line
Procure quality materials for your products and come up with unique designs that you feel your target market will appreciate. Sourcing is key to get the best deals, however, never forget to ensure that production has quality assurance. After all, the brand’s reputation depends on the quality of the products.
2. Think of a catchy name
Remember that you are competing with thousands of online businesses and it’s easy to drown in that pool. Come up with a unique, catchy name, that is likewise easy to remember.
3. Create a solid brand guide
Now that you have a name for your online business, it’s essential to create a brand guide to avoid getting lost in communication. A typical brand guide includes the key message of your brand, the tone of how you speak to people, and the visual identity. This will keep all of your content and marketing efforts aligned and in check.
Studies found that well-branded businesses thrive from all the publicity and traffic they receive in their online pages. In the internet, aesthetics and content matter.
4. Maximize the power of social media
Social media pages are both for boosting your online presence and accommodating inquiries. This is the first touch-point with consumers for any online business so it’s best to leave a good, lasting impression.
Maximize your presence in social media through consistent posting of engaging content. Come up with repost-worthy content, use the right hashtags, and utilize Stories on Facebook and Instagram. Set KPI’s on engagement and followers so you can accurately gauge the effectivity of your posts.
Recent studies found that Instagram has been a huge source of sales for most online businesses. Instagram now enables you to post as a shop wherein you can tag the product’s label and price. This makes it more convenient for consumers to find the information they need on your products.
Another tip is you must consider is allotting budget on social media advertising. All online businesses begin with investing in this. You may opt to start conservatively and target your immediate communities or cities first to test the market and get a hang of your operations before proceeding to boost it to accommodate worldwide shipments.
5. Develop a user-friendly website
The end goal is always to become a global brand, thus, a website is essential to accommodate more inquiries. Having a website also makes it more convenient for your consumers to view the product line and all the details. It will also be much easier for them to be able to complete their transactions through online payment systems that can be plugged into your website.
Apart from being well-designed and branded, make sure though that your website is also mobile integrated and user friendly. User experience (UX) matters highly when it comes to online businesses.
The website may also be advertised through Google Ads. Eventually, you may consider investing in SEO efforts to further increase the website traffic. This will help in gaining more awareness on the product which could translate to sales.
6. Make sure that your back-end operations is flawless
The back-end of any online business is as essential as the website’s user experience and the social media presence. CRM is extremely important as this is the consumer’s first correspondence with your brand. Inquiries must be answered in a timely manner. Likewise, questions or follow-ups after any transaction should be appropriately accommodated.
Part of the back-end is the packaging and the shipping. According to most online businesses, these are actually the most challenging parts of the whole sales process. Work with a courier you can trust will deliver. Most complaints are because of delayed shipments, which is sometimes beyond your control especially if they are international deliveries. Nonetheless, commit only what it feasible and ensure that the products will arrive in mint condition.
7. Engage clients to leave reviews
On top of everything, remember that the most successful online businesses thrive in good reviews from their clients. Reviews add a sense of credibility especially for online businesses that just launched, without any affiliations to big brands. Primary considerations of consumers are quality, accurate products shipped, and timely shipping.
Clients would gladly leave a positive review if their experience from viewing, purchasing, and receiving their orders are seamless. They can even go as far as recommending you to their friends and family, or post about you on their personal social media pages. Any form of awareness and positive testament to the quality of your product and service is basically free advertising.
It all boils down to how happy your clients are with the products and the service delivered by your brand. It is the overall experience that they consider on whether or not they will support your online business. From the product selection, how attractive the brand looks, the quality of goods, down to the service and delivery– these are the elements that would make or break the brand.
Most importantly, remember to enjoy the experience of building a brand and launching an online business. Good luck!