How Local Businesses Can Save Money via Online Solutions
The internet has presented a plethora of new challenges for traditional businesses. While there are both advantages and disadvantages to consider, businesses that do not embrace modern conveniences that online solutions provide will find themselves at a unique disadvantage.
Even small-scale brick and mortar businesses are learning that digital marketing, search engine optimization, fully-featured websites and social media can provide a host of benefits to their traditional business models.
Today, let’s examine exactly how these businesses can save money and/or improve profitability by opting to embrace online solutions in their day-to-day plans.
Attract New Customers
Some physical businesses don’t see the need to maintain an online presence if they are not providing access to online sales. This is a bad belief! Most shoppers report looking up businesses online before shopping in-person; if you’re not competing in this marketplace, you’re missing valuable business even in your own local backyard.
By pinging links to your website and its products via search engines, social media and beyond, you can help boost brand recognition and attract new customers. Even if they ultimately show up to shop in-person, many sales are finalized in the online arena.
Offer Online Ordering and In-Store Pickup
Increasingly, people value convenience over everything else. Even if your store has excellent customer service, some may choose to shop elsewhere simply because they can’t peruse your offerings from home. There are more benefits to offering an online platform for shoppers, however.
Businesses can save money by giving shoppers the ability to browse goods and place their orders online. Rather than spending employee time and energy in assisting in-store shoppers, allowing them to place their orders online for later pick-up improves overall efficiency. Especially for businesses with small amounts of in-store space, increasing the speed at which shoppers enter and leave improves profitability.
Cloud Solutions Improve Efficiency
Even when not directly aimed at customers, online solutions can help improve overall efficiency and save money when compared to costly traditional methods. A variety of apps and tools can be used to speed up and further integrate aspects such as inventory monitoring, point of sale s solutions and even scheduling.
By using these methods, you can opt out of more expensive equipment and business solutions that take more time to use and come with a variety of fees. Payment processing, for example, can be handled via a card reader and a mobile device in lieu of using traditional merchant services that require costly minimum commitments.
Increase Brand Recognition
When people are looking for local solutions, they often turn to their computers and mobile devices. By targeting search engines, you can effectively reach more people who are in the market for your products. Whether they’re on-the-go and looking for an option today or merely window-shopping, having an online presence can help increase long-term brand recognition within a given niche. By pinging links and contact information to Google from your website, you’ll inevitably reach a greater number of people – many of whom might go to your competitors rather than you if you’re not boosting brand awareness via the internet.
Whether it comes down to saving money by improving efficiency or generating additional business by increasing exposure, online solutions exist to help local businesses. Just because you don’t sell products via the internet doesn’t mean that you can’t sell more products by using the internet.