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Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

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3 Tips for Transitioning to an Online Business

 

As everyone around the world has learned recently, life can change quickly without warning. Many businesses are now in challenging positions due to COVID-19, and must face large hurdles with no promise of when things will go back to normal. 

 

But as obstacles present themselves, we must learn to adapt and overcome each one. One thing many business owners are learning? Digitalizing a business is a great safety net against unforeseen market changes.

 

If you’re looking to transition your business from brick and mortar to online, we have some tips to make this a smooth transition for your company. Armed with the right strategy, you will go digital smoothly and experience less of a blow when your storefront is forced to close.

 

1. Target Your Customers Digitally

Since you now need to market to a different audience online, you’ll want to be strategic about who you’re targeting and how you’re doing it.

 

If you were brick and mortar previously, you dealt with customers face-to-face and maybe employed some window advertisements or direct mail campaigns. As an online business, you can’t necessarily rely on those types of marketing to bring in the same level of sales. Instead, you need to meet your target audience where they already are: online!

 

If you don’t feel confident setting up your own Google Adwords or SEO campaign, that’s where an experienced digital marketing agency comes in. These agencies will do all the heavy lifting for you, so that your online business will have the best shot at recruiting and converting loyal customers. 

 

2. Stay Active on Social Media

You must provide clear messaging and regular communication to your customer base through digital means. Today, 66 percent of Facebook users are following brands on a social media platform. That’s a huge audience base that you have the potential to tap into with the right kind of social media presence.

 

As your business transitions online, let your customers know about the changes that will be taking place in the coming days or weeks. Keeping them in the loop will prevent brand alienation and reinforce their relationship with your business. Try not to be too salesy, as that can become a turn off (especially right now). 

 

Don’t leave your customers waiting and wondering what is going on with your shop. Update your online presence across the board so that your loyal customers can follow along as you implement these major changes. 

 

One great place to start? Your Google My Business listing. Google is offering special update capabilities for businesses right now, including reduced hours or curbside pick-up options. It’s a quick and easy way for someone to get the 411 on your company.

 

3. Find a Way to Sell Online

Whatever you were selling as a brick and mortar, find a way to sell it online. For example, if you’re a retail owner who sells fine soaps and bath products, try to get your products set up in an online store that you can run from your house. If you are a skincare specialist, create a way for clients to book virtual appointments to address their skin concerns. 

 

You might even want to come up with novel ways to make a buck or two while you’re functioning online-only. Maybe you’re a designer who can sell resume templates. A tanning company could offer self-tanner packages to be shipped to your door.

 

?Now is the time to get creative!

 

Adapt to Succeed

Any good business will have to adapt to succeed, as evidenced by our current times. While market conditions may not be ideal, there are still creative ways to keep moving forward. By transitioning online to continue serving your clientele, you’ll keep your head above water in tough times and be better for it in the long run. 

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