How to move your business online

As a digital presence becomes more important than ever, we look at how you can transform your offline business.

The benefits of an online presence have become increasingly clear in recent years. But while some businesses have digital plans in the pipeline, others have no intention of making the leap: either because they don’t know how or they simply don’t think their business can work online.

In reality, embracing digital can help just about any organisation – whether it be reimagining operations, or simply making current services more efficient.

So with that being said, here are some considerations for moving your business online.

Translating your services online

If you’re a shop, opening an ecommerce website can be a relatively simple jump. But what if you’re not in retail? How can you move your business online if you own a gym, or a restaurant, or a consultancy?

The simple answer is that you have to think outside the box. During the COVID-19 crisis, many personal trainers began offering home workouts via video conferencing tools like Zoom. Pubs and restaurants, on the other hand, have been offering takeaways with online ordering.

Think about your products and services carefully, and examine what digital tools and platforms are at your disposal to help you mirror them online.

Choosing the right online platforms

You’d be surprised by just how many consultative businesses can replicate their people-based services via conference call, using tools such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams.

However, there is a world of other platforms out there. Amazon and eBay offer a great entry point for ecommerce – and they represent an important point of sale, even for those who already have their own online shop.

Businesses like Deliveroo are ideal for restaurants offering takeaway. And you can’t forget the likes of Instagram and Facebook – both of which have account options specifically for businesses.

Remember that building a website is surprisingly easy, so a good plan might be to integrate the above platforms with your own site tailored to your business needs.

Moving existing customers online

Of course, moving your business online opens you up to a new audience, but you’ll need to continue appealing to your existing customers too.

So many more people are now experimenting with broad online services beyond basic shopping. Make the most of this and encourage them further by offering discount codes and low prices.

Reach out via on social media and announce it in your email newsletter.

Finally, bear in mind that not everyone is comfortable with digital tools. Make it as easy as possible for people to access your site and consider how you can guide them through using your online services, whether that be over the telephone or even sending them instructions through the post.

Think long term

Ultimately, digital technology is not just something to help you in the short term. Once you get started, you’ll discover dozens of ways that being online can add value to your business in the long run.

Online doesn’t have to eclipse your day-to-day operations. Instead, explore how digital and physical can stand side-by-side. Invest in the right talent and resources accordingly and build a business that can reap all the benefits that digital has to offer.

Explore how Vodafone's range of digital solutions can help you reimagine your business at the link below.

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