2020 was a tough year for both small and large businesses. The sad thing is, most businesses were forced to close their doors across the world because of the COVID-19 Pandemic. These businesses were used to doing in-person business.
Now, if you run such a business and you didn’t shut your doors, you might be trying to find the best way to increase your revenue, and keep your business running. Moving your offline business online is one of the best strategies to keep your business running during this period. This strategy can help your business to retain customers. Besides, it’s one of the most effective ways to attract and retain new revenue streams—but only if you manage to make a successful transition.
Business owners seeking to move their offline business activities online might have these questions:
- Where do I start?
- How do I move my offline business online?
- How will I start connecting with my customers and driving revenue?
If you’ve been searching for new and better ways to increase revenue for your business, or you want to move your offline business online, you are in the right place.
In this post, we shall discuss how an offline business can start online activities. By the end of the post, you will have the insights you need to move your business online.
Define the products or services you want to offer
You should organize your product or service range before you start worrying about web hosts and domain names. The best way to do it is to use an excel sheet—especially if you are starting from scratch.
Here is how to go about it:
- Make a list of all your products or services—add the product/service name, description, and price.
- To warrant the shipping costs, consider minimum order quantities or package deals.
- Take photos of your products—make sure you have a plain background (preferably white—you can use a white bed sheet. Also, you will need a bright light or lamp if you opt to use an in-house photo studio to take the photos.
- If you are a service business, consider service bundles—like consulting time or service packages that help to solve certain customer needs.
All in all, ensure you keep everything simple and clear, especially if you need your clients to self-serve themselves through your online platform. Please note that, if your clients cannot determine your products or services, or their costs, they will move to another online seller.
Get a domain name
This is the next thing to do after determining the products or services you need to offer online. When choosing a domain name, choose one that has the same name as your business. Failing to do so will confuse your customers—and this can cost your business a fortune.
Please note that buying a domain name is an essential step towards taking your business online. Here are a few guidelines on how to do it:
- Consider using .com since it’s the most powerful and popular domain extension
- Avoid adding numbers and hyphens to your domain name
- Local domains like .us, .uk, or .ca work best for local businesses
- Avoid trademarked domains since they can land you in legal issues
Create a website
You can proceed to create a website once you buy and register your domain name. A crucial step when creating a website is selecting a platform where you can host its content. Here, you will need to consider your expectations before choosing the best software or platform.
However, if you plan to sell your products or services through your site, consider registering for an eCommerce platform, since they are easy to use on the client-side. You only need to create an account, build your website, and start selling your products or services right away.
Once you determine what you want to achieve with your website, it’s time to choose the platform that will help you achieve your goals.
Add content to your site
Content plays an important role when transitioning your offline business online. Since you won’t be interacting in person with your clients, adding content to your website gives them a good idea about your business.
Adding content to the main pages of your site allows people to get more details of your story, and familiarize themselves with your services or products. Although you can create unlimited content for your website, you should focus on the following pages:
- Home page
- Product/service page
- About Us page
- Contact US age
- Returns & Refund page
Choose your payment options
Lastly, choose your preferred payment options for your online business. Ensure the options that you choose are user-friendly and secure. Your customers should always feel safe when purchasing goods or services from your website. If they don’t feel safe, they will not buy from you.
Therefore, choose a payment option that:
- Protects the sensitive financial information of your customers
- Makes your customers feel secure
- Ensures there are no delays during the payment process
While moving an offline business online seems like an uphill task, following these tips will make it easier for you. Once you move your business online, you will need to interact with your customers. Therefore, choose different platforms that allow your clients to contact you seamlessly. Also, you will need verification tools—both phone and email if you’d wish to market your business via these channels.
Verification tools, such as the email validation tool by Byteplant ensure you reach the right target customer base and saves you a lot of money in your marketing strategies. With that said, taking your business online is one of the best ways to ensure your business thrives during this period.