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Will an online strategy save your business?
It seems to be on everyone’s lips these days.
There is no doubt that the lockout hit small businesses hard during the coronavirus pandemic.
Many of the daily things we know and love take place in the physical world. Go to a restaurant, work out at the gym, visit your favorite store or go on vacation. Interacting with people, seeking discovery and spending money is how our world is doing.
In the US alone, one in five small businesses closed because of Covid.
On the other hand, e-commerce is flourishing.
E-commerce sales are expected to increase by 32.4% in 2020, while brick and mortar sales will decline by 3.2%. Amazon alone has seen a 39.1% increase in sales by 2020 (source: eMarketer).
Many people with this know-how have taken the initiative to transfer their business to the Internet.
Others have created brand new websites to sell their own products and services directly.
Shopify, which offers ready-made websites for selling products online, reported a 53% increase in the number of people creating new online stores in April 2020 compared to March of the same year. (Source: Wall Street Journal)
What we see now is not an anomaly. This is the plan for the future of retail, said Shopify President Harley Finkelstein in a recent interview with BNN Bloomberg.
Finkelstein says the pandemic has accelerated what he expects to be a retail transformation and that the growth of e-commerce will continue long after the discovery of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The challenge for many new online businesses is not to have the technology, but to understand how to use technology tools to develop and support online sales.
Technology companies like Hashtagsforlikes are offering more and more tools to small businesses.
Many people understand the basics of publishing photos and information on Instagram and other social media, and many succeed, says Hashtagsforlikes founder Max Kimberly-Thompson.
But they don’t know how to get involved, how to track their success, and how to use tools like hashtags to raise awareness of their business.
Technology tools are experiencing a huge increase in subscribers as more and more people try to find new ways to make a living online.
Hashtagsforlikes.co received 9 million visitors last year alone, and its revenue increased significantly through partnerships with other technology sales platforms like Appsumo.
What types of businesses are successful? From clothing to cosmetics, movies to masks, online sales have exploded in the past year.
Bangkok-based artist Amy Diener has made a name for herself as a mandala artist. She already uses online marketing to sell her art, and has also started making fashion masks.
It’s one thing to be creative, says Amy Diener. It’s another thing to capture a new market creatively. Using platforms like Instagram and understanding the use of hashtags has helped me secure my income and increase interest in my art by putting it in masks and selling it online. I have a rotating list of hashtags that work for me, and then I adjust them as needed. I also participate in network groups to share knowledge.
I also work with other partners who have a digital market. It is therefore a question of diversifying my field of activity and my sales as much as possible. I usually do it alone, so social media has become a very important platform for me.
According to Diener, it’s also important to tell a story when promoting your products.
Whether it’s my story of depression during Covid or a real art history, it’s all connected, she says.
The number of peer-to-peer e-learning platforms has also increased.
In our experience, people are looking for relevant courses to help them understand the new standard and improve their online skills, says Kimberly-Thompson.
Online retailers want to know more about topics such as checkout, branding and interaction with influencers.
As a result, Kimberly-Thompson has partnered with a group of media professionals to create a market for influencers and brands that leverages hashtag expertise and content sharing to ensure a more equal distribution of revenue for storytellers and product owners.
It’s not always about what you sell, he says. It’s all about how you sell it and how you say it.
It’s nothing new for former salespeople, but when you can’t look someone in the eye and your mouth is covered in a mask, it’s more important than ever to learn how to get a customer’s attention online.
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