Embrace the digital economy: 3 tips for taking your business online

As consumers are increasingly shopping online , it has become essential for most businesses to have an e-store.

small business going digital

Well before 2020, consumer buying behaviour had been steadily shifting from purchasing in-store to purchasing online. Covid-19 has further accelerated this shift. According to the latest forecast by Forrester, online sales in Asia Pacific countries (including Australia, China, India, Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam) are expected to grow from USD1.5 trillion in 2019 to USD2.5 trillion in 2024 – a compound annual growth rate of 11.3%.

To start carving out a piece of this extremely lucrative pie for your business, it’s time to set up an online store. If you plan to do so, here are 3 important tips to bear in mind.

Be discoverable
The first thing to do is set up your online presence. As a start, create a company website that lets customers discover your products and services, and make purchases or enquiries.

You can get a professional design agency to custom-build your website. Homegrown agency FirstCom offers competitive prices and an obligation-free consultation to help you determine which e-commerce solutions are best to meet your needs. 

Next, set up your Google My Business page so customers can find you quickly and easily, access your website and get a quick view of your operating hours, location on Google Maps and customer reviews.

Social media is now a big part of most consumers’ lives, so don’t forget to also set up your social presence. Look at which social platforms your target customers spend time on, and set up your business social account to connect with them. 

To keep your customers engaged and offer them added value, ensure your social posts are a good mix of product-focused content and knowledge-based content. As an example: if you sell kitchen supplies, you can share recipes that inspire people to cook, or tips on choosing the best pans, or ideas for reusing festive leftovers. If you establish yourself as a go-to source for content they enjoy, there’s a good chance they will trust you and look to you when they need to purchase the products and services that you offer.

Be curious
Once you’ve set up your social presence, do remember to always test, learn and optimise with the insights you have. Take advantage of the data you get from your websites and social media assets to continually make improvements to your business.

For example, you can use Google Analytics to learn which country your visitors come from and which sites refer the most traffic – so you can adjust your marketing efforts and budgets accordingly. 

You can also use Google Analytics and click-tracking services like Crazy Egg and Hotjar to see how users are behaving on your website: which section of a page they’re stopping and looking at the longest, which pages they are on when they close your site, how many abandon their shopping carts before checkout and so on. This can help you identify and fix any issues and barriers that keep people from engaging with your site or completing their purchases.

Be ambitious
Once you get online, your market no longer needs to be limited to Singapore. You can reach people across borders and time zones and increase your potential revenue. 

As you start transacting with overseas markets, one way to help you better manage your cross-border transaction costs is to open a multi-currency account. DBS Multi-Currency Account offers competitive exchange rates of up to 12 major currencies in separate wallets under a single account so you can transact like a local. Apply for a DBS Multi-Currency Account right now – from wherever you are!

These basic tips provide a solid foundation to get online and unlock new, exciting possibilities for your business. Keep learning, adapting and optimising, thus making the most out of new opportunities that come your way. For more business tips, do check out our SME Academy for bite-sized online classes.

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