Technology has far become the way of the world we live in now. You can barely walk down a high street without someone with their face glued to their phone. It is ever changing. And it is important to keep your small business up to date with these changes. I get it. Having a small business, you are going to be run off your feet. However, investing some of your crucial time into what technology has to offer can go a long way. Even if you are not technologically savvy, small changes can pay off in the long run, and do your business wonders.
Whatever the question, technology will most likely be your answer. Believe it or not, some small businesses out there still do not have websites. Perhaps they are stuck in their ways, but almost half of small businesses say they don’t need a website.
But now is the time to change that. We live in a completely different world, and it’s time for small businesses to adapt. Think about it, around 7 billion people in the world, at least 6 billion of them probably have at least one mobile device, by moving online, even if you reach just a small percentage of that, your business will benefit.
The evolution of eCommerce
Start off with an E-commerce site. This is pretty much essential if you want your business to succeed. No matter the size of your company, you could be a small local business selling online, or someone like Reid Brothers UK where they sell worldwide . If you don’t, your potential customers will go elsewhere, end of story. Having an online store can help your business grow. People now prefer buying online to save them leaving the house. Why go walk down a cold, wet high street, when you can order something from the comfort of your own home. Ecommerce sales are expected to double by 2020, so if you have not already, now is the time. If you are a unique business, take advantage of it, especially if you cannot get your product on the high street.
The Mobile Revolution
Making your website mobile friendly is just as important as having one. Whatever your business does or sells, having a responsive website is essential. This allows your usual desktop page to adapt to mobile, tablet or desktop, meaning it can adjust to a screen of any size and without losing any effect.
Not having this could lose you major points. Again, like before it could lead potential customers elsewhere. Simple as that. All is fair and well if you are at your desktop, but if your potential clients are on the go, you need to adapt to support this. Another positive is by having a responsive site you are more likely to rank higher on some search engines.
The Rise Of Social Media For Business
Social media is pretty much a given in this day and age, but it is how you use it to your advantage which matters most. Whether it be Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube or Instagram, it is a great way to promote your business and what you have to offer. As much as it helps inform the latest news in your business, you can also use it to sell.
More than 2 million people in the world have at least one social media account, and you can reach a number of them in various ways. You can use the paid advertising services, to optimise adverts to reach a desired audience, or Facebook and Instagram have specific features which let you purchase products without having to leave the app. Facebook’s shop now button allows you to offer your products on your page, making an easy to buy functionality for customers to buy straight away.
The Power Of Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is also an option. Social media has skyrocketed for businesses over the last few years. Influencers such as bloggers, YouTubers, or celebrities that appear on reality TV shows cash in by advertising products to their large followings on their channels. Sometimes they team up with a brand or company to help sell products online. As they have a larger following, they are guaranteed to reach more people, getting into areas you didn’t think was possible for your business.
The Growth Of Marketing Tools
Customers react with companies in different ways. But it is how you connect with the vast age groups. Marketing and communication will help meet the demands of your customers. Start a blog. Blogs create original content and provide value to your customers. Perhaps if you are a load securing company, a how to apply stainless steel banding blog would benefit, or if you are in retail, an insight into what the newest trends for A/W would help. Tip: writing a blog also boosts your SEO. Video marketing. Or even better, live video marketing. Whether it be an edit from a YouTube tutorial or broadcasting live from a company event, it puts your customers right there in the middle of the action, while also encouraging reaction.
Does Email Marketing Still Have a Place?
Email marketing is another option. Collecting email addresses of your current customers can fuel an audience for an email marketing campaign. Believe it or not, email marketing is one of the best ways to gain return on investment for your business. Relating to the point from above, email campaigns must be accessible from mobile as well as desktop. Most people access their emails from their phone, so it is important that they get the full effect. A benefit, also, is that you can target specific groups of customers. So if you have customers in different markets, you can tailor newsletters to suit different sectors, ensuring each email is of importance.
Its All About Customer Service!
Customer service is still important. Technology allows you to keep up with your customers. Through your website you could use the option of a live chat. This allows a member of staff to be on the receiving end for any queries potential customers may have. It solves questions quick and fast, and being live it allows the customer to get the answer in real time, gaining a quick solution.
Popular in 2017 are the AI Chat Bots. Making that change in communication, they are automated robots which learn data, content and products from your company and can chat to your customers in real time. They can provide information such as delivery enquiries or can help find products. It is set up as an automatic chat machine through messenger apps such as Facebook or text message.
Technology is forever changing, and it can definitely help move your small business forward. Although there are still concerns such as cyber security, the benefits of growth will far outweigh. Some of these ideas may not be brand new to you, but it is worth a think about if you have not already to improve your business.