As an online store or a small business, on a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your online presence? Do you think it is weak, average, or impressive? Wherever you fall on this scale, this article will offer tips to help you give your business an improved online presence.
One lesson that the Covid-19 pandemic has taught businesses, both SMEs and big Cos., is the importance of an active online presence. Many SMEs (and surprisingly a few big companies too) struggle to build an effective structure that caters for the online community. Social Media has brought the world closer and proven that it is a global village. To scale your business, you need to increase your market reach. The internet is the most effective platform available to connect to as many people as possible and sell your business to them. According to IMARC Group, a top market research company, global online advertising market in 2019 was worth $133 billion. This data shows how much impact the internet has on the success of businesses. As a small or medium-scale business owner, leveraging on the internet is one effective way to grow your business to scale.
Challenges Faced By SMEs Penetrating The Online Market
Saturated Social Media Platforms
Social media is most often small business owners first point of entry into the internet and online market. One reason for this is because of its ease of access and use. Another is due to the many users available on these platforms. And it is free! Because of this, many small businesses strive to put out their brand to attract potential customers. You can find almost all business types on your Facebook or Instagram, with some more established than others on these platforms. As more businesses effectively employ social media as a tool for business growth, the space becomes saturated. As a result, some business owners are either forced out, pushed behind or have to reinvent themselves to remain within reach of potential customers.
Have you ever asked yourself why big companies spend millions of dollars on their online presence: ads, contents, promotions? After all, they have a strong physical and offline presence. Well, the internet is a level playing ground for all, people and businesses alike. Success offline does not automatically translate to online success for businesses. However, big Cos have the advantage of capital to build their online reputation. They can spend big, unlike SMEs with much smaller budgets. It is why they are way ahead in the online space.
Among smaller e-commerce businesses, there is competition for products, pricing, offered services and the likes. Each one is trying to out-do the other, stay relevant and increase their customer base. As a business, you have to and define your niche so that you can be more effective and thrive amidst the growing influx into the e-commerce space.
Customer Experience And Satisfaction
Good customer experience is key to growing a successful business. A happy customer or user is the joy of every business. Because the online space is different from the physical business environment, e-commerce businesses sometimes struggle to create a seamless experience for buyers online as they would physically. With online markets, customer expectations have increased. They expect clarity in pricing and product information as well as better treatment and precision in meeting their needs. When there are too many hurdles in your process, customers are discouraged.
What challenges has your business faced since you took it online? Please share with us by leaving a comment below. We would love to hear your experience, challenges and how you’ve been able to navigate through this. In our next blogpost, we would address this and provide helpful tips to help you thrive on the online space.