Operating a business on the high street certainly guarantees you a healthy footfall in your area, but could your location mean that you’re missing out on a big chunk of potential business? Yes, it could and it does!
Whether you are located on the high street or in a busy mall, if you don’t have an online presence, you are missing out on many, many possible digital sales. Why? According to a report by EPiServer, 38% of British shoppers do their shopping online at least once per week. That’s a good few extra sales you could be making, just by having a digital presence.
“What about the cost of going digital?”
One of the first things small businesses say, when approached with the question of “why don’t you go digital?” is that the cost is too high. Having a digital presence requires an e-commerce website, time to keep the site updated, content, and potentially even more staff members to handle the increased workload. Long term and high street bank loans aren’t appealing to every entrepreneur, but serious entrepreneurs who need a bit of extra cash to make the digital transition affordable, should check out a merchant cash advance. This is a loan alternative that allows a business to receive a lump sum with low interest attached. This is repaid by means of a small percentage of each sale that goes through the card terminal. That means on months that you have minimal sales, your loan repayment is minimal too.
4 reasons to take your business into the digital realm
For some, the 38% statistic just isn’t enough to take the digital plunge. If you are one of those entrepreneurs, there are a few more reasons to consider taking your business to the next level (the digital level). Take a look at these 4 reasons why going digital is the right choice for your high street business.
1. Measure success with precision
Online sales can be tracked with absolute precision. Online metrics can have you clued up on exactly which advertising efforts are paying off the most, who your customers really are (exact demographics), where your sales are coming, and how each product is doing in comparison with the next. Online sales are a great way to truly measure where the success of your business is coming from. Then you can work on enhancing those areas to make the most of them.
2. Develop a personal relationship with your customer base
According to Statista, the UK managed to bring in 2.8 billion dollars in sales revenue from social media advertising. Why are businesses spending so much money on social media advertising? The simple answer is that it really works.
Customers like to feel as if they have a relationship with the people they are doing business with. A lot has changed over the years. Quick and easy transactions are a good selling point, but customers want to receive that personalised message, they want to read helpful content on products they are interested in, and they want to interact with like-minded people who validate their interests and life-view. What better way to do that than by having a digital presence on social media. Here you can interact with your customers, form relationships with them, and wow them with the type of content that makes them remember you (and that keeps them coming back for more).
3. Know exactly what your customers want
When you have an online presence, you place yourself in a great position to get a sneak peak of what your customers are looking for. You can then enhance your offerings to ensure that you are giving them precisely what they want. How can you do this? First of all, by browsing around the social media platforms and forming a relationship with your customers; you can see what they are talking about, posting about, and responding well to. You can use this to your advantage. You can also use your own e-commerce website to your advantage. Every time a browser inserts a product or search term into your website’s search box, the website makes a recording of it. You can then browse that list to see what people are searching for on your website. This can help you to better serve your customers.
4. Being “open” 24/7
Consumers follow a completely different shopping style than they did 10 years ago. Perhaps 10 years back, it was the norm to get in your car and head to the high street to find what you were looking for. Nowadays, busy lifestyles make it impossible to get all the research and shopping done in the few hours left after each work/school day. People turn to the online world to do their shopping while they are commuting and while they are even lying in bed. And yes, you guessed it, they are doing it online. According to an article published by the BBC, there are 50,000 fewer high street businesses in the UK than 10 years ago. These statistics are telling…businesses are going digital…and for good reason! When you have a digital presence, your business is available to your customers, even when you snug asleep in bed. Customers can find your website, read all the important information on your products, and even make an online purchase. When everything is automated, you can make sales even when you aren’t available. What’s not to love about that, right?
If you want to get the digital aspect of your high street set up, look into the most affordable digital marketing packages available and take the plunge. You won’t regret it.