Whether you are used to operating as a bricks and mortar business or already have an online business now is the time to make sure you are taking advantage of all you can to promote your business online. Below I will cover a few things you can use to help with this or add to your website to promote your business online.
For businesses who usually do business offline but have already have a website you may be looking to add the option for your customers to now buy products from you. To do so you will require some form of eCommerce integration (or an eCommerce website if you have no website at all currently). There are a number of options out there, two main ones would be WooCommerce and Shopify.
WooCommerce - great for adding eCommerce functionality to websites built on WordPress. Everything is hosted and managed on your own website, you have your store backend on your website to manage products, orders and shopping. You can add payment processors such as Stripe and Paypal for payments and shipping or you can add the option of Store Collection for locals. While the shop functionality is based on a set structure your website style and layout can be designed to suit your needs by your developer or by yourself if you go the self-build option.
Shopify - a stand-alone platform for your online store where you pay a monthly subscription to use the platform on top of whatever processing fee comes from your payment processor (Stripe, Paypal etc). Shopify offers a number of templates for layouts which you can use to get set up and then a range of add-ons and plugins to add extra functionality to your website. The layout and design of these templates can be changed but will require a developer as it is a bit more advanced and requires knowledge of coding.
Accepting Online Payments
You may not need to sell products on your website but may have the need to accept payments online for invoices or services. For this Stripe is the best option to integrate into your website to allow your customers/clients to pay by secure payment using credit or debit card. Your website will require an SSL Certificate to safely and securely transfer a persons card details from your to Stripe. Each transaction will incur a small payment (2.9%+30c) to Stripe for the processing, you can read more details on their pricing here.
Website banners with updates
If you want to highlight information on your website such as a discount or changes to operational hours or services etc you can do so using a web banner. Once added this would sit at the top of your website making it easy for visitors to be made aware of this information.
Promotional Social Meda Graphics
With most people working from home and in self-isolation they are turning more to social media than before for updates. Take advantage of this and increase the number of social posts you are putting out on your social channels (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) to engage with your customers. If you want to promote your products/services to a wider audience you could look into using paid social ads to engage with those who are not current customers.
Live Chat Option
Adding a live chat option is a great way of letting your customers quickly contact you while they are on your website with any questions. You may already have Facebook messenger on your business Facebook page but adding a live chat option allows people to contact you when they are browsing your website or get in touch with any support enquiries. Most live chat options integrate with a web or mobile app so you can receive notifications directly to your laptop or mobile device any time someone starts a conversation.
Chatbots are a great way to automate some of the communication with your customers or to help direct their enquiry to the right person. You can set up a chatbot to answer typical questions customers have such as operating hours, how long shipping takes or direct them to a particular department or contact method. Chatbots are a form of AI but it's important to remember that they don't replace an employee and cannot answer each and every question, they require you to provide typical questions and typical answers based on keywords your customer will use. However, it is a great way to deal with these typical questions without needing to respond each time manually.
If you have any questions on any of the above or are looking to add any of this functionality to your website or even create an eCommerce website from scratch, then hit the button below to get in touch!