Become More Competitive by Adding Digital Services to Your Small Business

by Danielle Bloom

2 min read

Digital services are ubiquitous and pervasive these days with the increasing commercial reach of internet and computing devices. They don’t belong exclusively to pure online operators, however. If you own a brick-and-mortar small business, you should consider introducing digital services to your store operations’ overall management scheme. The goal of adding digital services is finding new ways to facilitate sales and save on costs. With measurable improved operating results, your business can become more competitive over time.

Informative Online Presence for Your Small Business

Even brick-and-mortar businesses can get involved with the growing e-commerce phenomenon. Doing business entirely online is only one form of today’s all-too-common e-commerce solutions. Adding digital services, such as building an informative online presence to help drive more customers to the store is also an application of e-commerce. An informative online presence for your small business should provide every bit of information that a potential customer may want to know before deciding to go to the store. Essential information on pricing with detailed product or service descriptions, a system to provide real-time inventory stocking updates on popular, fast-moving items, and online chatting with company representatives to address customer concerns both prior to and post purchases are all part of the efforts to improve customer shopping experience and can help turn happy customers into loyal shoppers. According to a research and survey of business leaders, 91% of unhappy customers simply leave without even complaining. Having an informative online presence is to talk to your customers and make them feel good about your business wherever they are. Closer customer relationships can always add an edge to your competitive position.

Expanding Business Online From Your Brick-and-Mortar Base

Having an online presence while also running a main brick-and-mortar business can quickly increase your costs, as if you have two parallel operations. When designing your online presence, take an integrated approach to allow some of the brick-and-mortar tasks to move and expand into online exercises. This helps reduce costs in the offline store setting, when carefully planned online functions have the capacity to handle certain in-store assignments. For example, customers may order online and then come to the store for quick pickup. If a large percentage of customers start doing this, you can gradually reduce the workload needed to carry out in-store merchandise display, cutting down the costs associated with it. Another benefit of having an online presence is that you gain immediate exposure to a much wider customer base beyond your geographic location, an opportunity to grow your business at a higher rate. However, the more people visit your business online, the more computing server power must be there to handle heavier page loading weighed on routine maneuvers of your online presence. You may want to pay closer attention to the technical aspect of designing digital services, as anything not up to desired specifications can break your digital operations down the road.

References & Resources

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