Creating an online business is a great way to save costs and improve your visibility. It’s also particularly useful during these challenging times where many businesses have had to adapt in order to continue selling to their customers.
Not every sector is able to go digital, however, there have been many industries (such as food delivery services) that have launched new websites and upped their social media game significantly.
The pandemic has urged businesses who were previously apprehensive of the internet to finally make that much-needed transition. Local cafes have launched online menus so that they can over takeaway and delivery services, and small local shops have utilised platforms such as Facebook Marketplace and Etsy in order to continue trading.
If you’re still unsure on how you can go online, this article is here to help.
Food is something everyone needs, and in today’s digital age, many consumers enjoy the convenience of being able to order their food from home. Additional, many bars now sell their spirits and bottled beers, and some even offer entire cocktail sets for customers to get the same bar experience at home.
There are several factors you need to consider if you’re moving your food distribution and ordering online. Firstly, you will want to streamline your website so your customers can see all items and the pricing clearly. This will make it easier for your shoppers to navigate your products and more likely to buy through you.
Secondly, you need to consider delivery. As already stated, food delivery services such as UberEATS and Deliveroo helped many businesses move online, even offering discounted start-up fees to support small businesses. You can link your chosen delivery service to your website so your customers can browse your site and then purchase.
However, restaurants in more rural settings would have to set up their own delivery service, creatively using the resources available to them. For example, many used their waiters to deliver, allowing the whole team to be part of the transition. Without using designated food delivery services, you will need to adapt your website to allow for purchasing and delivery.
If you want to sell your products online, then you’ll need to send them to customers, and for many businesses, this means finding a quality courier service. However, you don’t need to feel limited to a delivery courier – self-delivery is also an option for those shopping within a localized range.
Your customers will also enjoy seeing a familiar face delivering their goods. Self-delivery is an excellent option for smaller shops such as wineries, book stores, or clothing shops. However, this is dependent upon stores being able to factor in the extra time to deliver or choosing whether to pay the price for a courier.
As you’re moving your offering online, you will need to build a website that is high quality for your new customers so they can still get the same in-store experience, online. Hiring website designers can be expensive, so you may benefit from building one yourself. The process can be a lot more simple than you think, as laid out in this handy website guide from Wix. As long as you do your research and follow the necessary steps, you should be able to build a brand new site that will keep your business moving.
Even if you still have a physical store, you can use your website to update customers on it. For example, if a second wave occurs, then you can update customers on the measures that your business is taking to keep them, and your staff, safe. Be sure to display the new avenues that your business is taking.
Customers will enjoy seeing photos of your premise, detailed descriptions of your COVID-19 measures, and mentioning your team of employees, so they feel more confident in using your business, even as restrictions ease. This personal touch will allow your clients to feel like they’ve just walked into your store and, therefore, make them more likely to purchase through you.
If all of your sales were previously in person, consider creating an e-commerce website to handle your online sales. This approach allows your frequent shoppers to continue buying, and creates an easier way for new shoppers to purchase your products.
Social media is a brilliant and free way to connect with your shoppers so they can see how your business is adapting on a personal level.
If you’re leading up to sharing your new business plans or a new product release, then doing a daily countdown with small teases of what’s in store will build up the excitement amongst your customers.
Sharing videos on your social media of the COVID-19 measures you’ve put in place in-store will also help shoppers feel more confident about shopping with you in person too.
These tips can be beneficial for any small business looking to move their offering online, particularly if they’ve not considered it before.