Today’s post is a guest post from Eunisse De Leon
5 Sure Ways to Increase Your Brick-and-Mortar Business’ Revenue Online
With the increasing number of people using the Internet to browse and purchase products, more and more brick-and-mortar business owners are now investing in growing their presence on the World Wide Web. However, establishing a name for your business cannot be done overnight and a single marketing strategy is not enough to promote it.
Online visibility allows your business to build your brand and tap into a wider audience, make your information easily available, and be accessible to your customers and prospective clientele 24/7. If you are one of the business owners who wants to take advantage of these benefits, then here are five ways to increase revenue through online visibility:
1. Set up a website
Your website is the representation of what your business is about. It should be visually appealing and easy to navigate through. Basic parts like the banner, menu bar, content area, and footer should be seen.
The banner should include the store’s name and a short description of what your website about. It should also be eye-catching and creative. Use graphics if necessary and apply the basic rules of dark text over a light background and vice versa, so that the information will be readable.
The menu bar should consist of the basics like “About Us”, “Products”, “Store Locator”, and “Contact Us”. Photos of the products should be uploaded to give your visitors a preview of what you can offer.
Also, the address of your business store should be indicated because the primary purpose of setting up a website is to drive prospective online clientele to visit your store. A map is optional but highly recommended especially if your store’s location is not downtown. The business’ email and phone numbers should also be included in the “Contact Us” section to answer all queries and/or receive suggestions.
2. Sell some of your products online
The website you’re going to put up is basically an online store catering to those who can’t personally visit your physical store. Whether they are people who are too busy to drop by to check your items out or simply like to shop online to avoid the hassle, online stores are the virtual way to your customers’ hearts.
When you have already developed your website, the next thing to do is set up a web store. It is an extension of your physical store, which sells the same products you offer or products that are not available in the establishment.
Businesses like beauty salons that sell specialty shampoos can opt to make use of a webstore instead of having customers line up inside their salon just to buy shampoo. Web stores can be a tool for letting your patrons know that you have more to offer.
Create an order form, and make sure that you have multiple and secure payment schemes. The items can be delivered directly to your clients’ address through certified online drop shippers that accept wholesale or retail orders.
3. Take advantage of social media
Aside from your website, engaging in social media is also one of the best ways to create visibility online. More people are spending time on the Internet, and most of them log in their social media accounts first before anything else.
It is advised that a business should open at least a Facebook and a Twitter account to interact with their patrons and potential clients. Pinterest and Instagram are other options especially for design-related businesses. The main idea here is to find out which social site your target market hangs out, and then create your accounts.
While websites contain everything you need to know about the store, social media accounts make netizens feel that they are talking to an actual person behind the website. Updates can be done using these accounts. The administrator can post photos of new items and/or services on Facebook.Customers can also join “live Tweeting” using a hashtag related to your business to gain interest from potential clients.
4. Let other people wear or use your items
Now that you’ve set up your social media accounts, it’s time to make use of word-of-mouth strategy and create buzz within your niche. While it’s better for your items to be seen on a famous personality because the reach is wider, ordinary people can still influence their family and friends to purchase your products.
Take this for example: When people like the vintage dress you’re selling worn by their friend on her profile picture or a quirky mug featured on his “Sunday Breakfast” post in Instagram, they will likely ask where your customer bought it. The customer would then refer your store.
You can ask your customers to wear or use your items and mention your business on their social accounts. Testimonials from satisfied customers are still one of the sure ways of building good reputation to potential buyers. People tend to believe someone they trust rather than advertisements that only show the selling point of an item.
At the end of the day, make sure that the quality of your products is always top-notch, as you have your reputation to build and take care of. If this is always guaranteed, your current buyers will share your products on their social media even without your asking.
5. Contribute to related websites and write advertorials
There are a lot of websites that allow guest posting; some would even let you write articles for them on a regular basis, depending on the quality of your work. It can increase traffic on your website by placing links on the article that leads to your website. Remember to contribute only to websites or blogs that have a huge following and are related to your industry.
You can also write advertorials for websites that allow contributors or for blogs related to your product. With this type of content, your product or website can be clearly indicated, unlike in guest posts wherein promotional links are generally frowned upon.
Keep in mind that it is not enough that articles written for your business are uploaded on popular websites or blogs. The content should be engaging enough to increase awareness of your brand, sustain it, and encourage purchase from long-time customers to new recruits.
The success of your online endeavor depends largely on knowing how to build your brand and tap into current and prospective customers.