With each passing day online activity and shopping is booming now more than ever, and the demand is increasing every minute. Is your business being demanded just as greatly? If not, it may be time to really think big picture and start making some major adjustments. Start with your business’s website and then go from there. Now is the time to really flex your marketing muscles and put your creativity to the test…it may be all you need to catch up to the competition. Here are a few ideas on ways you can keep your business’s website going both this year and beyond that as well.
- Offer Virtual Tours
With many more people being forced to stay at home and travel being the most restricted option, it’s no wonder that virtual reality is growing as a result of these real-life situations. If you still want people to come to your business’s location (whether it’s an event venue, or perhaps you offer real estate), then virtual tours are the way to go. When the technology is implemented correctly, you can permit people to view the insides of homes from 360 degree angles or even venues (think of how Google Maps works and you’ll know what we mean!). This tech is called VR, or Virtual Reality, which we discussed in great length in our previous blog post “Virtual Reality for Websites: Is VR All It’s Cracked Up to Be?“.
Depending on how old your website is or its software’s age, VR can be tricky to install on your business’s website—if you’re not keeping it up to date, that is. If you feel you really want VR set up on your website to improve your outreach to customers, it’s always best to consult with a professional agency and then figure out how to go from there. That way, you avoid unnecessary stalls and problems between the software supporting your business’s website and the new VR software you want to feature, and the end result is tech that everyone (even you!) can use with ease.
- Invest in Videos
With everyone needing to use Zoom as a means of holding meetings more and more frequently, it’s no wonder that videos are increasing in popularity. They were already in heavy use as a means of entertainment, but nowadays you’re most likely to find people engaging with this form of content far more so than ever before.
If you still feel hesitant about moving towards video, perhaps we can offer you some articles to get you started and more at ease with the concept?
- Start here with “Is Video Marketing the Right Content Strategy for Your Business?“
- Next, check out the ups and downs of video marketing in “Pros and Cons of Video Marketing for Your Business”
3. Lastly, the ‘why’ of this idea is worth exploring with our article “Why Videos are Worth Having in Your Marketing Strategy“
Once you’re more comfortable with the idea of video marketing, consider it to be one of your best ways to increase your business’s online presence. Several video platforms are available such as YouTube or Twitch (if you’re more into livestreaming rather than post-video recording). Getting used to being in front of a camera takes some time, but the payoff is worthwhile.
- Open New Communication Channels
In addition to video, consider opening up other means of communicating with your customers online to really amp up your company’s ability to reach them. There’s live chat, either on your business’s website or via Messenger (plugins are available, but at a slight cost). There is livestreaming as we mentioned before, where you can be both on video and live with your intended audience and engage with them as they engage with you in the comment section of the platform you’re using. Social media itself is increasing its own means of communicating with others online.
You don’t have to rely on phone calls and e-mails all of the time, but you do have to use each new channel with responsibility and accountability. If you say you’re going to be reachable on Facebook to your customers, then be there when they instant message you—don’t half-heartedly use it a few times and then never again. At the very least, if you can’t find the time to use these communication channels, then have someone on your team who can. Consistency matters, especially when staying in touch with customers, so at the very least use these new channels as consistently as possible. It will build the trust and loyalty that pays off in the long-term.
- Open an Ecommerce Version of Your Shop
If you want customers to keep purchasing from your business when in-person transactions should be kept to a minimum, opening a virtual version of your shop online can help–besides, online is where a lot of customers are these days anyway. Not only will this shift of moving your brick-and-mortar location to an online one help you weather the current storm we’re all going through currently, but also it will make your company a much more resilient one. Some key points worth addressing before you make this shift are:
- Lay out your COVID and safety guidelines first thing on your website. Let your customers know how you’re keeping them safe and healthy.
- Iron out your shipping and return and exchange policies. These should be crystal clear terms that anyone can find on your website.
- If you have received a lot of questions about how you typically run your business, an FAQ section should be included in your ecommerce site plan.
- “Keep it simple, stupid”—i.e. don’t burden your website down with tough to load imagery or plugins that are incompatible with the site’s software. Make the most crucial details such as forms of payment extra clear on your site so there’s no confusion.
- List in-stock inventory on the site first and foremost. If the idea of uploading your entire catalogue feels intimidating, let your agency take care of that for you.
- Consider adding a curb-side pickup option for purchases. This is a good idea if your ideal target market is local customers who live nearest to you. People can come when their orders are ready as opposed to you having to pay for shipping costs on a local scale.
- Use online communications to inform you’re open for business. E-mails, social media, and updating your Google My Business and other directories are all viable means of making the announcement (once the site’s ready).
Need Help with These Ideas?
Having a functional and fast-loading website that’s supported by the latest software is a must for any business owner who wants to implement these ideas and also take their online presence to the next level. You can get this kind of a website by hiring a professional agency such as V3 Media. Give us a call today if you’d like to get these ideas up and going on your website, but need a new one to really get them off the ground.