‘Adapt to survive’: Top tips for taking your business online

Small business owners must take their trade online or risk permanent closure in the wake of the COVID-19 global pandemic, warns one Brisbane web developer.

Joe McCord is the general manager of South Brisbane digital solutions company Digital8, and he said for small bricks and mortar stores it was crucial to take the leap into online retail.

"When COVID-19 season ends, it will leave an irreversible impact on consumers' shopping habits," Mr McCord said.

General manager of Digital8 Joe McCord is offering help to retailers without an online presence. Photo: AAP/Richard Walker
General manager of Digital8 Joe McCord is offering help to retailers without an online presence. Photo: AAP/Richard Walker

"With continued revenue decline due to the impact of COVID-19, it is crucial for small businesses to adapt to survive.

"Customers are getting a lot more comfortable and savvy with online shopping and the demand for digital options continues to increase."\

To help businesses meet this demand, Digital8 has teamed up with South Brisbane eCommerce platform, Neto, to help retailers get their businesses up and running online through a COVID-19 Support Pack.

"It's difficult to stand by and watch retailers close up shop with the potential to never reopen because they simply do not have the funding or resources to move their services online and continue trading," Mr McCord said.

"We created this pack predominantly for retail businesses that are struggling in this unprecedented situation.

"It aims to support small bricks and mortar stores such as local bakeries, boutique retail stores and family owned grocers and gives communities the continued opportunity to support their local favourites throughout lockdown."

Social isolation rules mandated since the COVID-19 pandemic have seen many bricks and mortar businesses close their doors for good.
Social isolation rules mandated since the COVID-19 pandemic have seen many bricks and mortar businesses close their doors for good.

The COVID-19 Support Packs set up businesses to access Click & Collect purchase options, Stripe Payment Gateway, shipping through Sendle, website banner design, product

upload, training sessions and marketing strategy sessions.

Mr McCord said he understood many retailers would be hesitant to invest in online "during a season on uncertainty".

"But if your long-term goal is to survive and protect your business from turbulence in the future, it's wise to explore the digital service model and expand your service delivery options," he said.

"Having an online presence will help avoid closure and provide an alternate place of operation to outlast the virus and succeed long into the future."

 

DIGITAL8's TOP TIPS FOR TAKING YOUR BUSINESS ONLINE:

 

1. When creating a website, ensure your home page is clear and concise, while still reflecting your branding and key messaging

 

2. Ensure your social media accounts are connected to your website, allowing easier navigation between pages, which can often result in growth of sales.

 

3. Make sure contact information is easily accessible. During this difficult time it can be confusing for customers who don't often shop online to adapt to digital platforms. Make sure a phone number and email are available for any queries.

 

4. Provide options for your customers - if you're able to offer Click & Collect functions, do so. It will allow locals and regulars to come by as they usually would.

 

5. Ensure you engage with a simple postage and payment service so customers feel at ease when purchasing. This will also help you when organising orders!

 

6. Maintain social media presence while staying aware of the current situation. Misinterpreted comments on social media can have lasting negative impacts on your business. Ensure you are contributing to your community while supporting them.

 

7. Not only can you connect your social accounts, you can also link your eBay, Amazon and websites together to ensure each platform is run through the same delivery and payment service.

 

Originally published as 'Adapt to survive': Top tips for taking your business online


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