An online business today definitely has a clear edge over the pure brick and mortar models of yesterday. These benefits are evident by its wider customer reach, savings in overhead costs, 24*7 customer availability and efficient inventory management. Now there are certain measures that can help an online business become successful. Experts list out the following ones:
- Website: This is given in today’s digital age. A website symbolizes an online, professional presence of the business. Lack of a virtual presence translates into a huge revenue loss. An online platform helps customers connect better with the product brand and make an informed purchase decision. Further, it also reinforces customers’ trust in the brand because as the proverb goes ‘Seeing is believing’. An updated website with detailed information about the product categories, pricing and promotional offers would help achieve higher return sales. The customer would be able to compare with other online portals and zero in on the best deal.Some important components of a website are:
- Separate pages: A well-categorized website with a landing page or home page, headings like contact us, about us, features and benefits, customer testimonials, etc. would be more appealing
- Design: Attractive images, logos and tickers would help increase web traffic
- Security aspects: The webpage should be enabled with highest security frameworks and encryption standards
- Knowledge centre or blog: This section has undergone a dramatic transformation in today’s information age. A blog should not be mistaken as trivia. The blog contains educational and informative pointers to help educate the reader about the latest trends in product categories, the unique selling proposition of the product offering, details of product launches, interviews by subject matter experts and any other topic of interest to a potential or existing customer to make an informed choice. Blogs are a very effective way to communicate with the customers and showcase the online business in a positive light. It also contributes towards enhanced website search-ability and piques the interest of readers on search engines. A very powerful tool in this regard is search engine optimization (SEO) which helps push websites with relevant content to the top as per the search request.
- Social media: Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter help bring together a community of people with similar interests. It serves as a useful marketing channel. Thus, one can attract potential customers by uploading informative posts, videos, polls and other relevant material to engage readers and attract their attention to the business’s products and services. Besides providing good networking opportunities, this medium can be leveraged for business promotion. Some common details comprise:
- Company logo, description, navigation to the address via maps
- Description of products
- Link to website
- Hashtags and tags
- Eye-catching content, images, videos, and gifs
- Link to the payment gateway: This is an obvious inclusion as the business is mainly interested in the sales conversion ratio. Integration of a payment gateway process to enhance the buyers’ experience will go a long way in higher sales realisation. A customer can conveniently pay for the products anywhere and anytime. This reduces chances of cart abandonment or rethinking a potential purchase. However, the most critical aspect of this feature is the security aspect. The payment gateway should be a widely accepted, secure mode of payment and should have varied options like credit cards, debit cards, internet banking, and wallets. Further, in case of a failed transaction, debit of money from the customer account without acknowledgement, or network error, there must be provision for immediate customer support. Some customers also prefer to save their card details on secure websites to enable recurring transactions with the same vendor.
A frog in the well approach would not work in today’s highly interconnected, digital age. Business enterprises would do well to adopt the above digital marketing tools to effectively and efficiently grow their online business.