I know it is preposterous but I have too- like you- hoped that the minute the calendar turned to 2021, the world would go back to normal. Businesses had only started recovering from the impact of COVID-19 in the last weeks of 2020, and the New Year brought the third wave of the disease that has the world panicking. The long and short of it is that lockdowns aren’t going away anytime soon and the only way to survive this year as a business is to not leave your customers stranded and connect with them digitally.
Let this year’s mantra be: Adapt, cement, evolve (ACE). Be agile, adapt to the new normal and invest in digital transformation to build a business online and keep selling through your own website or app. When you do this, you automatically cement the relationship you have with your customers by being there for them when they need you most. And as you mend broken relationships, establish loyalty and hit old sales numbers, you can consider yourself evolved.
Hey! We didn’t say you have to do it all alone. We are here to help you. Let’s start with these key digital business strategies that your business needs to consider in 2021:
- Use social media as a selling tool, not just discovery
Social media platforms like Instagram (and lately Youtube) make it seamless for consumers to go from discovery to purchase without having to leave the platform. In 2021, social commerce will continue to grow at rampant rates and for businesses that are warming up to the digital ecosystem, social media is a good place to start.
- Try automated bidding in Google Ads
Google Ads marketers spend hundreds of hours each year tweaking and adjusting campaigns and keywords to get the most for your advertising dollars. Enter automated bidding. Automated bidding allows Google to adjust your bid in real-time.
The technology itself isn’t new, but continuous improvements have made it unmissable to every digital business strategy this year. This pivot to automated bidding tactics would mean that you can devote your time to optimise other aspects of PPC performance so as to rake in a higher output at a lower cost.
- Ensure availability and accessibility of offerings and communicate it
So what if the city is still in lockdown? So what if customers cannot access your retail outlet anymore? You can still bring your business to your customers, right at their homes, through a simple click. Right now, your customers are wondering what happened to your brand. Do you still stock the goods they need? Are your services available and accessible?
If your answer is yes, then build an app today! In the post-COVID world, apps play an even more central role in the lives of loyal customers across the globe. Twelve years ago the mobile app revolution was in its infancy, now we’re mobile first. When you build an app, you allow your customers to keep buying from you, recommend you to friends and family and help you expand your business with ease. Here are a few things you can do for your online business. You can showcase what you’re selling in a beautiful catalogue, with a scrollable carousel. You can even integrate a payment gateway to make the whole process effortless. Get your customers to create a password-protected account for increased security. Your app can store their credit card details to make future purchases more seamless. Send private or sensitive information straight to their phone via SMS. Build positive relationships with customers when they create a profile on your app. From using their name in push notifications (which give them a friendly nudge to open up your app), to sending them a promo code on their birthday. Live chat and share features let customers create a community around you and spread your products and brand to a wider audience. You’ll also need live chat to answer user questions. Doing this in-app means you’re less likely to lose a customer.
Like what you read? Well, all these features come pre-packaged in a ready-to-use app at a tiny cost when you choose Studio Store. This app takes away the headaches of selling online. We won’t charge you a percentage of your sales, or any additional transaction fees. You’ve earned your sales. We're here to help you make more (doesn't include credit card fees).
You also get Studio One (our aftercare service) and Builder Cloud (cloud capacity to run your app is included too!). If you want to learn more, click here.
- Engage consumers through virtual events
Before the COVID-19 crisis hit, Builder.ai was making a splash at a gamut of events each month- meeting thousands of entrepreneurs, SMBs and enterprises. This came to a grinding halt when lockdowns were instated and borders closed. Up till then, we’d been on a mission to make the process of building a digital future more accessible, cost effective and efficient. And in that moment, we had 2 choices. Either to do nothing and let it play out or to help the businesses that needed us most- at a time when having a digital presence was the only determiner to survival.
Therefore, we decided to help businesses impacted by the pandemic build their apps at a negligible price and provide the first three months of live service for free through our product, Studio Store.
Next, without wasting time, we launched our monthly virtual event, Builder Live. Virtual events are here to stay. This is the time for you to reshape old habits and prepare for the new future. Plus, virtual events are better for the environment, more accessible and flexible, and save attendees travel time!
- Focus more on your own employees
It’s not just charity that begins at home. When you build that digital business strategy this year, don’t forget about your employees. Success is often achieved inside out. How connected and in-tune are your employees? Motivated employees will communicate better with each other and ensure better client outcomes. Therefore, as a manager or business owner, it’s your prerogative to make sure that your teams, especially marketing and customer service feel appreciated and understand the common vision of the brand. Let there be virtual yoga or baking sessions, play pictionary or set aside some time every week to have a heart-to-heart with your teams.
Coming back to digital business strategy, you could break down projects into sizable chunks and set clear milestones. Then, use Slack or other tools to communicate often, especially when it comes to celebrating your teams’ achievements- no matter how small.
BONUS: Build an app for your business right away.
While these digital business strategies are in no way exhaustive, they are still the right place to start in these- need we say it?- unprecedented times. But no digital business strategy is complete without an online presence, so click here to check out Studio Store. Your business is unique and the challenges you’re facing now are extraordinary. Suddenly need to start selling online, or to add social distancing to your business? We’ve pre-packaged the features you’ll need. Get your own app in as little as 2 weeks for a low monthly price.
Lakshmi is a communications professional with over 6 years of experience across industries- from digital media and fashion to health and technology. She specialised in Integrated Marketing and Communications cum laude, and naturally, can work her magic best when handling public relations, marketing and editorial content and communication. Most people find her moderately introverted, conspicuously sassy, significantly energetic, and massively dog-loving.