How to Convert Traditional Businesses to the Internet

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If you own a traditional offline business, or you run a web studio where you’re wanting to find new clients, one of the challenges is how to take an old school business and get it online. While you might imagine that all businesses are on the internet these days, that’s not always the case.

Some companies are just slow to adapt, and others simply haven’t cottoned on to the advantages available to them.

Here’s how to convert a traditional business to using the internet to their advantage.

Explain How Existing Customers Expect a Web Presence

It’s a reality that the younger their customer demographic, the more they’ll expect the company to have a website. Even though many long-time customers may still call in to update details on their account, check outstanding balances or to place an order, many have changed how they expect to deal with businesses.

As time has become more precious, waiting on a calling system to speak to a live human takes too long. Instead, being able to pull up the company’s website to find the information they need directly while on a journey is a time-saver they appreciate. Not having an online presence just makes any company look dated at this point.

Convey the Advantage of Promotional Deals

Most business owners are worried about getting people through the door or finding customers from the comfort of their office. If they don’t do much online shopping themselves, or use a smartphone (if they even own one), they might not know that they can offer discount coupons online and free shipping to find new customers.

The reality is that by promoting deals and sales, customers who may never have found the company can discover it. While the first sale might only offer a small profit, latter purchases by the same customer could put the company well ahead.

Confirm that Expansion is Found Through Multiple Sales Channels

While customers may find their business by driving past the office or store and stopping by, not everyone is like this. People are busier than ever. Relying on the same volume of people driving past to pick up new business or local word of mouth isn’t going to be enough forever. Maybe a new route is devised by the city for local traffic that directs much of it in another direction? Who knows what will happen in the future?

By going the route of having multiple sales channels – in store, through the website, promoted through third-party sites on commission – it’s possible to protect against a change in circumstances putting an offline business in jeopardy.

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This approach is highly efficient to both diversify and expand sales for a company without spending much more to get there.

Demonstrate How Simple a Website is to Run

People are scared of what they don’t know or understand. This includes running and updating a website with new information or products. For company owners who’ve never had a website before, or who only have a basic one, listing products and completing e-commerce sales is a minefield of uncertainty for them.

If they’re not confident on the internet to begin with, they’re going to need coaxing along to get them where they need to be. Their comfort zone will have to expand and that’s a step-by-step process. It won’t happen overnight.

Th Bottom Line:

Converting a traditional business to an internet-enabled one isn’t a fast process. It will certainly take a few weeks to pull off and, depending on the complexity and number of product lines, a few months could be needed. However, once the process is complete, it opens up a whole new world with more potential customers and higher sales likely to follow.

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