Chad Everett Harris on Transitioning from Traditional to Online Business Methods
Since the start of COVID-19, millions of brick-and-mortar stores have been forced to close, which has left many without income or a means to pay their rent. In these uncertain times, it has never been more important to consider alternative revenue streams and ways of working. E-commerce is growing 24% year-over-year, and yet roughly 46% of American small businesses do not have a website.
As a serial entrepreneur who uses his marketing experience to help businesses find success in customer retention, acquisition, and negotiations, Chad E. Harris is here outline the benefits of transitioning your business from a more traditional to an online business model.
Access a Greater Client Base
Unlike a brick-and-mortar store, an online business allows you access to a wider client base. Most traditional businesses are confined to a local market, which can limit your revenue and potential growth. However, offering your products or services online can give you access to a larger international market. If done right, Chad E. Harris explains that this can mean an increase in revenues. To ensure that this is successful, he suggests using a platform that allows you to maximize mobile applications (over 66% of e-commerce is consumed on a smartphone). Likewise, consider inserting a chat bot feature to answer customer questions, make sure it is quick and user friendly, and add a newsletter sign up to build your e-mail marketing campaigns (try to offer a coupon for signing up).
Even if you are only using an online business model to support your traditional business, e-commerce can be a great way to promote and support those activities. Chad E. Harris explains that it is an absolute necessity for companies to be visible online if they want to survive these uncertain economic times. If you consider where you spend most of your time online, it is likely on news sites, social media, and search engines. If your business is not visible and connected to these channels, your traditional business will struggle to survive. If done right, an online business strategy can complement your traditional business.
Reduced Overhead Costs
While adding an online component to your business may be time consuming, it also has very low overhead costs. If you are moving your business entirely online, the reduction in overall costs is staggering. Chad E. Harris explains that depending on your business, you can arrange for products to be send directly from the supplier to the client — which can lead to faster delivery and less paperwork for your business. The cost to set-up an online store with Shopify, WooCommerce, LemonStand and others, is fairly low. In addition, sites like SquareSpace, Wix, and Weebly mean that it has never been easier to design a website that converts.
Connect with Your Target Audience
Lastly, an online business allows you to connect directly with your target audience, which in turn, allows you to use these metrics to change your strategy and tactics. Unlike a brick-and-mortar store, being online allows you to target customers through demographics, allowing you to message them directly online. It will also allow you to track the conversion of your posts, content, and products to drive future strategy.