It is becoming quite popular for people to do their shopping online considering the advancement in technology. There are so many consumers out there who do their research on the internet before purchasing a product. It does not matter what product you sell, having online presence will help you open up your product into new markets. Having your own website makes a lot of sense.
The rise of the smarthphones has also changed the way people purchase. Research shows that a good number of the internet searches are conducted through the use of a mobile device. This is set to increase as the years go by.
More people are conducting searches for products and businesses through the use of search engines whether it is through their phones or computers. If your business cannot be accessed online then you automatically place yourself at a disadvantage in terms of tapping the market out there. According to the BaseKit’s Small Business Reports, there are still 60% of UK small businesses that have yet to get online.
Having online presence is essential, even for businesses that are primarily off-line. There are several sources you have at your disposal when it comes to getting funds. You can look for the local options for funding grants like the Enterprise Allowance Scheme which is a government initiative that was launched to help people who want to start a business. There are also some schemes that one can look up to help them get access to recycled computers and get well on their way to getting online presence. You can also gain access to computer training for people who want to get online presence.
If you are looking to create online presence, you will be glad to know that there are several free tools that are available to you online. You do not necessarily need to have a website for you to establish online presence. You can start off by posting some information about your business on the social media or coming up with a blog. Once you set up your own website, you can use social media networks to drive traffic to your website. The most popular social sites are:
Facebook – You can use this version of social media to market your business by posting videos, photos, updates and links that are related to your business. You can also open a page for your business where people can get more information relating to your business.
Twitter – This allows you to post updates and carry out micro-blogging and engage prospective and current customers.
Tumblr – This is a blogging platform that allows you to post videos, share photos as well as posts that relate to your business. This is a good way to keep your customers informed any time they go online.
Linkedin – This professional network is commonly used to promote business.
How to go about setting up your own website
There are also a number of online tools that you can use to set up your own website such as Web Eden, Mr Site, Moonfruit and Basekit. These website builders are easy to use and allow people who do not have any online experience to build their own websites from scratch. WordPress also provide free templates.
How do you go about selling online?
Setting an e-commerce site can be slightly more difficult because it requires an operational merchant account in order to process payments. You also have to comply withal the necessary security standards. Moonfruit is an online shop builder that allows you to set up an ecommerce site linked to your PayPal account.
For those small businesses that still don’t have a website, online market places such as eBay, Folksy, Etsy, Amazon and Notonthehighstreet, could be the short term solution. However, if you attempt to to establish your brand, having your own website is critical.
About the author
Sandra Melo is an SEO consultant for Satmetrix, the leading provider of cloud-based customer experience software for companies worldwide.