Today’s small businesses have to do more than set up shop at their brick-and-mortar locations. Most companies can’t make it without an online presence to help drive e-commerce sales as well. After all, people spend a great deal of time researching businesses online. So if you can create a digital one-stop-shop for your audience, your small business sales will likely soar.
But differentiating your small businesses e-commerce strategy from your competitors is difficult, as nearly every company has a digital presence. (Provided that it makes sense for your industry. A construction company, for example, doesn’t need to sell online, unlike a retail company). In fact, data from the U.S. Department of Commerce estimated that retail e-commerce sales increased 4% in Q2 2015 over Q1, reaching a new record of $83.9 billion.
So what can businesses do to attract today’s B2B buyer and differentiate their online presence from the competition? As well, how can businesses in industries that aren’t well suited for e-commerce (for instance, business services) drive online traffic that will engage their audience enough to initiate interaction with a sales representative? Consider the following:
1. Build an Online Presence
The first step in growing your small business sales is to build your presence online—and the easiest way to do that is by implementing a search engine marketing (SEM) strategy. Tactics like search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC), and paid advertising help to increase your rankings on Google’s search engine pages. In doing so, buyers will stumble upon your website when searching for certain keywords associated with your brand.
2. Make the Shopping Experience Seamless
When it’s difficult for your customers to pay, conversions and sales can quickly start to decline. Because of this, it’s critical that you make the checkout process as seamless as possible for buyers. After all, it’s the final stop for people shopping on your website and the last impression they have on your business. In addition to making it easy, it’s important to make it secure – a second-rate website won’t inspire buyers to whip out their credit cards. Read more tips on B2B ecommerce success here.
3. Refine your Value Proposition
Your value proposition is a statement that addresses what market you’re targeting, what product or service you’re providing, and what benefits you have to offer. In other words, it’s a statement that gives people a reason to notice you and take action. Unfortunately, businesses often don’t pay enough attention to their value proposition. Make sure that you refine your statement so that it clearly describes what makes you different from your competitors.
4. Upsell Your Existing Customers
Believe it or not, one of the easiest ways to generate more small business sales is to sell more to your existing customers. Once you’ve identified your top-spending customers, think of ways in which you can upsell or cross-sell to them. You can, for example, set up a loyalty program that offers valuable incentives such as bundles or high-tier services. Not only does this bring in more revenue, but it can also further build a lasting relationships with your existing buyers.
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