It’s no secret that the future of business is on the Internet. As the biggest online stores like Amazon and eBay are being joined by hundreds of thousands of smaller players that are selling a variety of goods and services through their virtual stores, it’s no surprise that eMarketer predicts double-digit growth to continue through 2020, when sales surpass $4 trillion.
If you are still doing most of your business through a brick-and-mortar store then now is as good a time as any to venture into the digital media. However, if your business is already available on the Internet, then also you can check if you have the following tools that are indispensable for a sustainable online business:
1. A Premium Website and Online Payment Modes
It goes without saying that you need a good quality website to make your business truly sustainable. However, it’s important to pay attention to the details. For instance, if yours is an e-commerce store, then you need to set up by the basic features like shopping cart, automated bill amount calculation, etc. You also need to learn how you can make your website responsive in nature and how the UX (User Experience) can be improved.
Finally, you must try to give your customers as many online payment options as possible. These include credit and debit cards, mobile wallets, etc.
2. Branding Suite
Branding is key to the success of every online business. You can’t stand out from your competition unless you have a strong and unique identity, which is created through good branding.
What you can do to get started is find an inexpensive but good quality logo maker tool such as Tailor Brands, with which you can create a company logo that represents your business in an attractive and professional manner. You also need additional branding tools for social media banners, business presentations, etc.
3. Digital Marketing
To make your business sustainable on the Internet, you need marketing tools that are meant for the Internet. These tools can be encapsulated by “digital marketing” and include:
- Emails and Newsletters: Did you know that the average ROI for email marketing is $40 for every dollar spent? Thus, there is no reason why you shouldn’t invest in it. Newsletters are another great way to promote your business and interest prospects into buying your products. We can recommend MailChimp as a good tool for sending periodic newsletters.
- Digital Ads: PPC search ads, social media ads, etc. deliver excellent results for a lot of businesses. So, you may want to try them yourself as well.
- Content Marketing: Put interesting/informative content on your website, and you can easily attract new website visitors. What’s more- a portion of these visitors could also convert to customers.
- Webinars: It can be a great idea to host a webinar, maybe once a month or so, to attract new people towards your business. You can share valuable information or give some tips that can help them. You can also subtly link the webinar to your own products so that the audience is inclined to look into them. Cisco WebEx can be a good starting point for all your webinar needs.
- Lead Generation Tools: If you are willing to invest a modest amount of money into something that can expand your customer base dramatically, then an automated lead generation program is a good option. Not only it can minimize the need for cold-calling and other kinds of ineffective marketing methods, but also improve the conversion rate as well.
When you run your business online, you compete against other businesses for search engine rankings. This is because a large portion of your customers will find your business through popular search engines like Google, Bing, etc. So, when they hit a certain keyword, such as “cheap Nike shoes Chicago”, you want the search engine to display your website link on the first page itself, as it’s rare for them to check the next “results” page.
In other words, you need to make sure your website ranks well on the search engine pages. For this, you need to apply SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques on your business website.
In conclusion, running a business on the Internet can be tough; especially if you have limited knowledge about digital marketing and website development. However, if you are dedicated and can find the right people to help with the business, there is no reason why you can’t take it to new heights.