In this day and age, the majority of customers shop online. In fact, Google found that 97% of shoppers search for businesses online before making a purchase. As well as being able to market your products and services, cost-effectively and worldwide, online marketing and social media allow you to build customer engagement and loyalty, increase brand awareness and show off your business personality.

That’s not all either. In this blog, we highlight why an in-store presence just isn’t enough in the twenty-first century and why businesses should care about their reputation online.

Seize the opportunity

More than half of consumers use mobile devices to find new brands and products on the market. In fact, the same article also found that there are over 77,000 Google searches every single second.

These stats alone highlight just how many people could be – and probably are – on the web at any given time. Having an online presence means you’re only a click away from thousands, if not millions, of potential buyers.

Go global

Having a traditional shopfront can be great for tapping into the local market and establishing a customer base. But, by using social media or having a website, your shopfront is effectively extended around the world.

It allows you to expand your reach, communicating with customers in a variety of different countries, educating them about your brand and potentially selling them your services or products.

Boost credibility

Again, having a shop in the local community is a great way of getting your brand out and seen in the area. People nearby may begin to like and trust your business, but what about consumers elsewhere?

A digital presence helps to increase awareness and build your credibility. As more people begin to talk about your business online, reviews can become a crucial part of your marketing strategy. Consumers are also more likely to search for a company before purchasing something from them, so if they can find your website or social media, they’ll trust your reliability and integrity.

How to build a strong online presence

The first step is to create a website. Not just any website though, a professional, seamless, and user-friendly website that ranks well on search engines. Consider this as your brand-new shop front and, remember, first impressions often come from a consumer’s initial interaction with your website.

As well as looking nice and showcasing your products, your website is a place where you can share valuable information. Think blogs, videos, guides, and detailed product pages. Highlight that you’re not just focused on the sale and genuinely want to provide your customers with information and content that is going to enrich their experience.

With your website sorted, it’s now time to build strong social media platforms. Not only will this help you to share your website content and engage with consumers but it’s a great way of humanising and modernising your brand. Consider which social media platforms will be best for your business by researching the ones your target audience use. Then, it’s time to create a rich content strategy that includes business information, reviews, product information and more.

In summary

While it might seem like a lot of work to begin with, a strong digital presence can have lots of benefits in the long run. Not only does it open the door to more customers but can provide you with key insights and data that are essential for your business growth. It goes without saying that it can boost communication and engagement with your target audience, increase your reputation and help to build your credibility.