Ensuring a continuous presence on the Internet is not a luxury when doing business, but rather a necessity. This must for any large company should also be a must for small businesses, whose leaders do not always suspect the impact their way of presenting themselves on the Web can have. Here are two easy tips to implement to improve the digital presence of your business.
Get good ratings – It’s do or die
Gone are the days when we didn’t know what people think. Today, their message is loud and clear and out there for all to see. Whether on Google, Facebook, TripAdvisor or Yelp, it translates into star ratings, which are assigned to you based on the average scores your customers give you. Studies show that 57% of consumers will not bother going to a store that has a score below 4 out of 5 stars, which says a lot about the immense importance of these online reviews. And it's impossible to avoid them: you need to be on Google so your customers can find you. That’s why it is essential that you take matters into your own hands. Otherwise, you run the risk of having the public do it for you.
As a merchant, you must obtain the ability to manage your pages on these different platforms, and once that's done, you need to actively manage them. This involves responding to comments made by your customers, whether they are good or bad. Your potential buyers will be interested in your response to complaints and praise, and this may influence their decision to visit your point of sale.
Beyond the simple recognition you get on the Web, customer reviews have other advantages and you should use them wisely. With reviews, you get to know exactly what your customers don't like, which allows you to quickly adjust. Three people complained about slow service this month? Four others said they didn’t like the welcome at your store? That’s great! You now know what to work on with your team!
Sell online while avoiding the pitfalls
If you are a retailer, it is probably worth considering selling your products online. However, there are a few points to keep in mind if you want to be successful. First of all, the photos of your items must be top notch. A picture that doesn't look professional will make buyers turn away instantly. To present your products in the best light, you might want to use the services of a professional photographer. However, if this is cost-prohibitive for you, there are portable photo studio backgrounds (sold online!) for the modest sum of around $100. You can use them to produce your own photos of your articles on a white background with an almost professional look. All you need, in addition to the background, is the camera on your phone (or any other camera).
Finally, if you have an online sales system, it is crucial to manage your customers' expectations in terms of shipping times. In a world where online sales giants, with Amazon in the lead, are capable of delivering almost anything in less than 24 hours, consumers are used to receiving products at their doorstep in record time. This generally does not apply to small merchants, who often take much longer to prepare, package and ship their products. But with well-structured communications that prepare customers for the fact that it will take a bit longer for them to receive their package, there won’t be a problem. When everything is made clear and expectations are managed from the outset, buyers are more likely to be understanding.
Would you like to be supported in your efforts to improve your company’s digital presence? Feel free to contact us for assistance!
This article was written in collaboration with Sébastien Boirié, Business Development Director at PME MTL Centre-Ouest.