We are living in a digital world and although it’s not as common as it used to be, you still hear owners of high street brick-and-mortar store ask why they need to bring their offline, successful business into the online world. Traditional businesses have often been defined as those who are ‘old school’. A physical presence in the high street, a friendly face and an actual interaction with a human being. The thing is, the world of business has evolved massively. The traditional business is now becoming a thing of the past, where more and more businesses are starting out their beginnings in the digital world. Defining your business as a traditional one also often means that you’re solely a business that doesn’t sell any of your products online at all. In this day and age, this is a mistake.
Making the decision to move your offline business into the digital space can be an easy one to decide, but a complex one to begin. Essentially, the steps that you would take to set up an offline business online are similar to the ones that you would take if you were going straight for an online setup. However, if you’re planning to keep your offline business where it is as well as being online, there are some unique factors to consider. It seems extremely risky to move a perfectly thriving business into the online space, but think about it this way: if you’re going to be reaching extra customers by being online, your thriving offline business could explode in ways that you didn’t think were possible. There are some fantastic reasons you should be considering moving your company online and we’ve got eight of the best ones for you below:
Your Company Image Can Be Massively Improved
This is one of the biggest reasons that offline businesses consider an online presence. When you have a brick and mortar shop to work from, you are only ever in the face of your local community. The people who walk past you every day know who you are, and they pop in often, but you have a limited reach. The improvement of your company image should be reason alone to consider getting online and starting a new website with a Shopify Plus agency by your side is going to help your online shop to run smoothly – as smooth as your physical store does. Your website and your online brand is going to show your potential customers how serious you are about your business. You can establish a very successful online presence and use your brick and mortar store to communicate to your regulars that you are moving online. This can help you to start gaining followers, and you can then get your regular customers spreading the word beyond the locals. It’s a great way to get started with an online following and show your brand to the wider world.
Due to people working very long hours and getting less time to be out and about for social reasons, people spend more and more time shopping online into the wee hours of the morning. It’s therefore an essential for your business to be online, so that people can reach you at any hour of the day that will suit them. It’s impossible for most businesses to run a service around the clock, but if you think about the way that ordering food online has changed, and grocery shopping has shifted, you can imagine how much of an impact your business will have if people are able to browse your web store and order online at any time. Most businesses can’t manage a round the clock service, but when they’re online, they can. Even if people don’t want to order straight away, they can learn about you and read about what you do as a company.
Improved Customer Support.
Being online gives you more of a chance to be able to respond to people and answer their questions, host online webinars and solve the problems that customers come to you with, all with very little need for you to do much. Use vlogs on your website to describe in audio what it is that you do and make sure that you offer your customers the use of a frequently asked questions page, so that they can get the most common questions answered for themselves before they contact you. Offer a telephone number, email address, online chat facility and social media links so that people have more than one avenue of being able to contact you. You can provide a much better service by being online and directing people to the correct information. This can mean less phone calls clogging up your lines and it allows you to develop a strong online relationship with people, too.
Low Costs To Begin Online.
There are going to be costs involved, of course there will, but when you consider how different the costs are going to be compared to buying an office space, buying business vehicles, and hiring staff. Most of those costs will dramatically reduce, if not cut out completely. Once you have an idea for your website, either sit down with an agency to dictate how you would like your site built or start building it yourself. The transition from selling offline to selling online can be so smooth and you should advertise and sell the products that you know that you will have a good supply of and putting your company from the offline space to being online, you’re going to have a whole new bank of customers to buy from you!
One Click Away
The internet is the perfect place for businesses, and every customer you will ever have is usually just one click away from your website. You can accept orders via your site and your social media. You can receive payments via very safe online transaction websites, and you can invoice your clients as you need to just with a few simple clicks. It’s important to learn all the ways that you can push people toward your website, as the more traffic you get, the more leads you have and the more conversions you can make. If you plan to move your business from offline to online, you should think about taking a couple of courses so that you can understand how to effectively turn your traffic into sales.
Have A Break.
When you run a shop in the high street, you have to constantly think about having it staffed. There’s never any time to take that much-needed vacation, because you have to think about having someone take over from you. Taking your business to an online store means that you have the freedom to go anywhere and do anything with your life while your business is essentially running itself. Location freedom is something that many business owners strive for, especially if you hate where you live. All you need is a laptop and a solid internet connection, you can work from anywhere with these things. The world has become a much smaller place to be since the digital world picked right up. Your business can adapt to your lifestyle rather than the other way around, and it’ll keep on running behind the scenes while you take a break that is so desperately needed.
Money, Money, Money.
It’s one of the most important things in business, because if you don’t have it you’re not going to get very far. When you run an online store instead of one in the high street, you are going to dramatically lower your costs. Receiving your orders online means that your customer services team and sales teams don’t have to be so large, saving your staffing costs. This then means less need for a huge office space, less office expenses needed, less needed to be spent on utilities and insurance. Each of these pieces has an effect on the next one and a website stuffed full with excellent content can be better than having a full-time person on your books answering every query. You can do so much online, now, from billing to shipping. The more you do online, the less you spend, so the more cash you have in your pocket.
A lovely little store in the middle of a twee town is beautiful, granted, but it’s also not going to make your company a force of nature in the industry. You can go global with your brand when you go online. People can see what you offer from all over the world. They can find you on Google or simply via social media. There’s no limit to the reach that you can have when you take your company into the digital space. If your content marketing is good, and your social media strategy is strong, you’re going to be able to smash through the global markets and increase the way that people respond to your company. Take your time and your business can thrive.