According to the Internet World Stats, there are more than 2 billion people on the Internet and more than 45 million users in Nigeria. From small businesses to corporations, the numbers of clients who shop, trade and transact online are overwhelming.
If you have no online presence, you’re missing out on the many opportunities the Internet has to offer. If you’re a brick-and-mortar business owner, now is the time to move your shop online. Our world is technology driven and your business is more likely to succeed when you have a wider outreach. Whether you want to publicise yourself or your brand, having an online presence is the best way to go. Here are three advantages of e-commerce:
Global Reach: The Internet is neither located in some tiny corner nor control by some powerful government authority. The Internet is a worldwide medium that takes your commerce in front of billions of people.
Huge Market-base: From the Americas to the continent of Africa, there are numerous markets for everything you can think of: groceries, cars, jewelleries and much more. If you are visible online, you can strategically identify your target market and vice-versa.
Cost Effective: Traditional brick-and-mortar businesses have to deal with selecting adequate locations, renting cost, excessive inventory, etc. This means that unless you have a huge capital or an angel investor to power your business, it is difficult to start-up. With the Internet, you can have a virtual shop, sell your products to customers and then grow your business from there.
Now that you know the advantages of e-commerce, here are three easy steps you can take in securing an online presence:
1. Create a Blog/Website
The first step is to build a website because it is a powerful medium that serves as your company’s storefront, where your customers can reach you. The good news is that building a website is easy. You can create a free Blogger account (companyname.blogspot.com) or a paid self-hosted WordPress site (companyname.com). The paid version is better as you can use the your company name to build a platform for your business.
2. Harness the Power of Social Media
If you want to increase your online presence, it’s vital that you harness social media tools. The most visited websites in Nigeria include Google, Facebook and YouTube. These mediums are very effective in promoting your business, establishing relationships with prospective customers, and boosting your online presence.
There are about a billion users on Facebook alone. Imagine Facebook were a country, it would have been the third most populous nation on the planet trailing China and India. Depending on your social media marketing and SEO budget, you can take your small business in front of the target audience and make a huge difference in your sales and marketing.
3. Engage Your Audience
Finally, getting your business online alone is not the only step, but you must engage your audience. Engage your customers and prospects by reaching out to them online, keeping them informed by responding to their feedback and comments about your product or service.
Remember, unless your prospect knows, like and trust you, it is extremely unlikely they will buy from you. You must earn their trust and loyalty by constantly engaging them through the different online platforms.