The survival of local businesses has been a hot topic often the past few years and has been further amplified during the Covid-19 pandemic which forced many businesses to face harsh realities and uncertainty. But one thing that has been evidently clear, local businesses are motivated and are continuously looking for new ways to make themselves better. One thing that many businesses are now taking advantage of is the online market, from restaurants offering takeaway and boutiques doing home delivery it might be time to get a slice of the online market. Whatever type of business you run we’ve put together some few of the basics that you need to consider if you want to go online!

The Customer Journey might be a concept you are familiar with when it comes to getting customers into a brick and mortar store but you might need to adapt this if you are going online.

Step 1: Awareness

Customers need to be aware that your product, service, takeaway, etc exist in the first place before they can decide whether to make a purchase. You can benefit from your existing customers when going online – for example, if you have data on regular customers you can use this to spread the word about your new online offerings or you can put a sign up in your store window to spread the message.

Social media is a cost-effective place to start if you aren’t experienced in marketing. You can set up a business page on Facebook and join groups that allow you to post about businesses in the local area you serve. There will likely be several community pages you can join and tell people about your businesses there! Don’t forget to get your employees involved, why not run a giveaway and encourage them to share the posts first to get the journey started.

Step 2: Interest

Once a customer knows you exist they’ll need to be intrigued by your business. There are thousands of way to create interest, from crazy marketing campaigns that last weeks, free samples, discounts, and more. Depending on your budget and the type of product/service you sell will help you to decide what is the best way to get people interested in your business.
A good place to start could be giving existing loyal customers a discount code and encouraging them to write a review or share their product/service online this way you can reach their friends and family as well as build a positive relationship – you already know loyal customers enjoy your business and therefore this is less risky than getting others involved.

Step 3: Purchase

This is the moment where you need to be sure your POS (Point of Sale) system works effectively. You want customers to have a positive experience whilst checking out and that they can pay in a way that best suits them. If you are looking for an affordable, reliable and supportive system to help you start your eCommerce business we recommend XEPAY, you’ll get a card terminal to use in-store but even better, you’ll be able to accept card payments online or over the phone. There are plenty of helpful features and a team of experts to help you with the back of house system in case you need.

Step 4: Review

Stage four often gets forgotten about because the transaction is complete, however, this is a great opportunity to create customer loyalty. Make sure you check up on previous customers to ensure they were happy with the service they received. Even if they are unhappy this gives you an opportunity for you to make things right – turn a negative experience positive could result in more brand loyalty and positive word of mouth being spread by the customer.