In the wake of the year’s busiest shopping weekend (Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday), we know that the way Americans are shopping is changing dramatically. It’s projected that in the holiday season of 2017, more orders are being placed online that in physical stores. Businesses have had centuries to learn how to draw customers into stores, but the online market is still relatively new territory. So, if you’re a brick and mortar business with no digital presence, you have some catching up to do.
Here are some facts about American shopping habits in 2017 courtesy of BigCommerce.com:
- 51% of Americans prefer shopping online
- 67% of millennials prefer shopping online
- Ecommerce has grown 23% each year, but almost half of small businesses still don’t have a website
There are thousands of businesses that exist only online, cutting the costs of a physical storefront. These stores are using social media and search engines to reach millions of leads through big data, converting leads into customers in mere minutes. So how can a physical store without a digital presence compete? Short answer: it can’t, at least not without putting some time and investment into increasing its online visibility.
People who’ve never heard of your business are significantly more likely to find you through Google results or social media than through traditional methods. People who are familiar with your company are looking for convenience, especially around the holidays when the thought of shopping may feel more like Dawn of the Dead than Miracle on 34th Street.
If you’re ready to start building a digital presence for your business, here are a few steps to get you started:
- You’ll need a website to provide information about your company and serve as a convenient way for customers to find you. When designing this website, keep everything consistent with your branding. This will likely be the first impression of your business for most new customers.
- Once you have a website, link it with your Google account to set up Google Analytics and AdWords.
- Google Analytics will give you valuable information about who is interacting with your business.
- Google AdWords is an affordable and versatile way of reaching new customers based on data. This can be especially useful for small businesses looking to stand out against larger competitors.
- Engage your community of customers. Whether it’s on your Facebook page or Google reviews, responding to customers will let them know that you care and help your community grow.
Building a better online presence for your business may seem like a lot to handle, but it’s a manageable and necessary endeavor to compete in today’s market. If you’re looking for help figuring out a digital strategy, building a website, or managing your social media platforms, TruBrand Marketing is a one-stop shop for all your marketing needs.