When the pandemic first began, small business owners everywhere were scrambling to create online stores or improve their existing ones — especially if their businesses were deemed non-essential. But now that COVID-19 restrictions are easing up and small businesses are reopening their brick-and-mortars to the public, many business owners are wondering what they can do to ensure their online efforts will remain profitable today, tomorrow, and post-pandemic.
Elite Jobs shares five ideas below, read on to learn more!
If you’ll be reopening your physical space now that coronavirus restrictions are loosening, you may not have the bandwidth needed to effectively run an online and offline business. But by growing your team, you can outsource the following types of tasks to freelancers and/or employees:
- Customer service
- Order fulfillment
- Web and graphic design
- Social media management
- Content creation
- User experience
If you’d like some help finding long- term employees, contact us today!
Salsify says a successful ecommerce team comprises five essential roles, so be sure to fill these positions to keep your online store going strong — even once your brick-and-mortar reopens. And if funding is an issue, don’t worry; there are plenty of grant opportunities specifically reserved for small businesses in Canada.
2. Try Online Retarget Marketing
Retarget marketing, social media enhancement, and display advertising are marketing strategies that can help to reach your customers and increase leads and revenue, even after web users leave your online store. And while these strategies are important when it comes to increasing online revenue, you don’t need to master them on your own. Working with a reputable firm ensures you’ve got someone in your corner helping with your campaigns.
3. Upgrade Your Website
If your website is looking stale or could use a redesign, a refresh is in order. Connect with a professional who can provide the makeover your site needs to help attract customers and increase your sales. Once your website redesign is complete, it’s time to promote your website. You can do this through a variety of tactics such as boosting your SEO, joining LinkedIn groups, email marketing and even using social media. A few well-designed Instagram posts can be a boon here.
In addition to growing your ecommerce team and using retargeting to reach your customers, reducing your overhead costs will allow you to increase online profits. Depending on the type of business you’re running, some examples of overhead costs may include rent and utilities, office supplies, accounting fees, and employee wages.
A few ways to reduce these expenses include:
- Upgrading your payroll system. The best payroll systems cut costs, track time for your team, integrate with other applications, and offer real-time reports. Some are also available as mobile apps so you can manage and track your teams from nearly anywhere.
- Going paperless. Whether you’ll be running your business online, in person, or both, going paperless could save you thousands of dollars per year. With less paper to print, distribute, and file away, you’ll have more money (and time) to spend on essential expenses like marketing and advertising.
- Save on ecommerce costs. To reduce your ecommerce expenses, it’s important to compare your packing options, eliminate unprofitable products, and buy in bulk if it means qualifying for free shipping. You can also talk to your vendors, marketers, shippers, and other providers about the discounts they offer and how you can qualify.
5. Increase Brand Awareness Online
The Canadian economy needs small businesses for a number of reasons. For one, small businesses create the bulk of new jobs — and they provide disadvantaged individuals with the ability to pursue opportunities that may not be available to them otherwise. Furthermore, small businesses give back to the communities they reside in. They build character, boost the local economy, and promote a sustainable lifestyle — especially if city residents can walk, bike, or use public transportation to get there.
To encourage customers to shop local — whether by visiting your brick-and-mortar or online store — it’s important to increase your brand awareness. You can do this by improving your SEO, partnering with influencers, hosting product giveaways on social media, and asking customers for reviews and sharing them with your target audience.
The Bottom Line
After you’ve worked so hard to build an online presence amidst COVID-19, it would be a shame for these efforts to go to waste once your brick-and-mortar reopens to the public. Keep these tips in mind as you transition into the next phase of the pandemic, and your online store will remain profitable for years to come!
Elite Jobs goes beyond Permanent Search Recruitment. We offer advice, analysis and optimization in order to maximize your chances of attracting the best talent in your industry pool. Contact our team today!
Article by Lucy Reed