In this day and age where digital is king, businesses are not limited to just brick-and-mortar stores anymore. The internet has paved the way for entrepreneurs to showcase their products online, extending their reach to an even wider market.
The popularity of online businesses has increased during the lockdown period where most people are stuck at home and physical stores for non-essential businesses have to close temporarily (and some, for good). According to Zalora Philippines CEO Paolo Campos, 91% of Filipino internet users searched for goods and services to purchase and out of this, 76% completed the transaction. A Global Web Index survey also showed that 48% of Filipinos look forward to doing more online shopping even after the pandemic is over.
So, for those who are planning to dip their toes into an online venture as well as business owners who want to expand their services to keep up with the new normal, now is the most ideal time to take that leap.
Choose the right platform for you
Grow your online business successfully by identifying first the platform that best fits the product or service that you offer as well as your branding, personal preference, and budget. You can choose from as simple as social media sites like Instagram and Facebook to websites and marketplace e-commerce platforms such as Lazada and Shopee.
Be visible online
Making your business visible to your target market is another important thing to consider. With so many brands and names in the market today, you want to be able to stand out and attract more customers. You can do this by producing high-quality content, may it be in the form of write-ups, infographics, or videos for your page or website that will not only inform but more importantly, engage your audience. Depending on your spending capability, you can also consider investing in SEO.
Another way to add to your online presence is by taking advantage of the reach and power of social media and setting up a business page or account on popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Lastly, always provide your business’ contact information on your platforms and make sure that you answer inquiries and resolve complaints from your customers as soon as possible. Nothing beats great customer experience, after all.
Know your customers’ needs
To deliver good service, you need to know and understand the needs and preferences of your customers. What are their preferred paying methods? Is your website user-friendly? Do they prefer chatbots or customer self-service for inquiries?
Keeping them in mind every step of the way will allow you to build something that serves them, not you. This will help you create a strong relationship with your customers and in turn, the possibility of new sales through recommendations and positive reviews.
Study and learn from competition
This is a great strategy to gauge the market you’re in ― to know what works and what doesn’t. By knowing your competitors, you’ll be able to come up with strategies to make your brand stand out from the rest, identify your flaws, and improve your own business performance.
The internet has made this process easy. You can easily do this by checking their social media pages or websites, reading customer reviews, and taking note of the key elements on their pages. For a more in-depth look, you may opt to use online tools to analyze their strategies.
Reading widens your business knowledge
Nowadays, entrepreneurs can come from all backgrounds and walks of life, and they are not anymore limited to just business graduates and the like. After all, knowledge can be attained in so many ways. As you go along the process of building your business, learning will always follow.
Being knowledgeable on the current trends in the industry as well as the fundamentals in retail and online marketing, data science, consumer psychology, financial management, and related topics can go a long way in the success of your venture.
One of the pioneer schools where you can learn these competencies is at STI College where they offer bachelors degree in Retail Technology and Consumer Science, Business Management, and an associate course in Retail Technology to hone graduates in the evolving business industry.
These innovative and comprehensive programs will equip future entrepreneurs with specialized skills in the areas of Retail Marketing, Consumer Psychology, Information Technology, and Data Science.
Not new to innovations in education, STI has been at the forefront of developing courses and programs that are industry and trend adept to give its students the needed knowledge and skills to succeed in the real world. It has also established partnerships with key industry players worldwide for its programs and trainings in the country.