“Adapting to the New Normal in Retail: 5 Ways to Improve Your Digital Presence” by Nicole Leinbach Reyhle via Retail Minded

“Adapting to the New Normal in Retail: 5 Ways to Improve Your Digital Presence” by Nicole Leinbach Reyhle via Retail Minded

The COVID-19 pandemic shifted consumer buying behavior to the online world, forcing retailers to adapt quickly. Even as the world recovers from the pandemic, e-commerce still has a stronghold, so it’s crucial for retailers to cater to the needs of consumers who prefer to shop online.

Since customers are now more inclined to shop at online retailers than offline brick-and-mortar ones, a digital presence is a must. A solid digital presence will help you get discovered. There’s no point in having an amazing product when people don’t even know about it.

To make your product more visible to the audience, you need a good online presence. There are many channels through which your audience can find your company – an online ad, search results, social media posts, cold emails, etc. No matter how they find you, their first tendency is often to visit your website.

According to a consumer survey, 56% of respondents said they don’t trust a company if they don’t have a website. This speaks volumes about the importance of having a digital presence.

A digital presence is much more than a website that functions as an online brochure. Today’s businesses use a robust set of tools and technologies to maintain a digital presence that attracts their ideal audience, facilitate seamless transactions, and provide post-purchase support to boost customer loyalty. Companies like Argano can help you identify the right technologies and create a fully integrated digital foundation to support your e-commerce business.

Investing in the right technologies is key, but there are other steps you can take to improve your digital presence as well. Let’s take a look at a few ways to enhance your company’s digital presence and ensure your success

Develop a robust, effective website

Your business might already have social media presence, but you cannot have a professional image without a website. However, having a choppy website can do more harm than good. That’s why it’s crucial to invest in expert web development services to build a comprehensive website that engages your audience and makes it easy for visitors to shop and checkout.

Additionally, your website platform should allow your in-house team to add content easily without enlisting the help of your development team or IT department.

Your website design and customer experience tell a lot about your company. Make sure your contact details on your website are up-to-date and in sync with your social media pages. Once you have a website, you can use different types of marketing techniques such as SEO and SEM to promote your business.

Create good content

Whether you’re promoting your business through your website, blog, or social media pages, you should have good and engaging content on it. Interesting, informative content with high-quality product photos and other aesthetically pleasing visuals can help customers relate to your products better.

Whether you create text, audio, or visual content, it should be simple and easily understandable. Your content should be in line with your vision. What should your customers think when they hear your company name? Should it have a casual or serious feel?

While your content should be engaging, it should also appeal to search engines. Does your content make your website easily searchable? Consider all these points before creating content for your digital presence.

Get active and collaborate

Your audience likely is on social media, and that’s where you should be as well. Get noticed by collaborating with others. You can work together with influencers, brands, and small businesses to boost organic growth.

There are many social media influencers on social media today, allowing businesses to find the best influencers who are active on the right platforms and relevant to the company’s niche. Collaborate with them and use their channels to promote your products. This will improve your digital presence, and you’ll grow your audience.

Podcasts and web events are a great way to reach new audiences and show off your products. If you can get media coverage, that’s even better. When you’re a vocal member of the community, more people will know about your business, and you’ll have a bigger customer base.

Give special attention to mobile optimization

Most people access the internet on their mobile devices instead of desktop computers, and a growing number of customers are shopping on mobile as well. When you design a website, make sure it’s optimized for mobile screens. Developers should pay special attention to how it looks on the variety of screen sizes consumers use today.

Statista estimates that there will be about 8 billion smartphone users by 2027. This is a huge number, so it makes sense to tap into that market. Most website development platforms offer mobile optimization features.

Mobile optimization is also considered by search engines. If your website doesn’t perform well on mobile platforms, it will not show up in the top search results on Google. You can also consider developing an app for your business with shopping functionality. The presence of an app can help to solidify customers’ trust in your brand.

Run online ads

When you create an online presence using a website and social media platforms, you don’t automatically start gaining followers. You need to be seen. And for that, you can run ads.

There are different types of ads depending on the platform you’re on. For example, you can run Instagram ads or Facebook ads. You can also run Google ads to be seen on the search engine results pages.

However, running ads will cost you money, so make sure you create ads that will produce results.  This often requires trial and error to discover what resonates most with your audience and attracts the right visitors. If you don’t have in-house experts, you can hire third-party agencies for this.

When running an ad campaign, consider the frequency and seasonality of your ads. When you place ads on a platform, it will let you choose your audience. It’s best to narrow down according to age, sex, location, etc. so you reach out to the most relevant audience.

Improving your retail shop’s digital presence isn’t a one-time activity but an ongoing process. Investing in the right technologies to create a seamless customer experience throughout the buying journey is key to getting it right. Following the strategies outlined above will help you attract your target customers and entice them to follow your store online or make a purchase.  

Retail Minded is an internationally recognized industry blog and publication that is committed to delivering quality news, education and support specific to independent retailers. Founded in 2007 by retail thought leader and influencer Nicole Leinbach Reyhle, Retail Minded introduces retailers to leading industry resources, merchant specific news and timely education to help independent businesses – both online and offline – thrive in their unique retail goals. In addition to Retail Minded’s ongoing retail research, Retail Minded provides content services to companies looking to communicate to retail audiences.

If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($100/yr.) Membership via this super simple join form