Why is an online presence key to business growth?

Do you run a business and want it to grow? Yes, indeed every entrepreneur aims to run a successful business and take it to new heights. This goal requires one to constantly work on improving various strategies. The secret to simplifying everything is to study your ‘consumer’. Most importantly, aligning your goals with your customer’s expectations and needs can be the ultimate way to your success. This is why it is important to take your business to the digital sphere and work on its online presence.

Combine the stats given below (for the UK):

In 2019, 87% of UK households had internet access, with 82% of people using home broadband and 70% using a 4G mobile service.”

“81% of people search online for a product or service.”

“82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses.”

Use these figures to answer the subsequent questions that are very critical for your business. Where are your customers? In addition to this, where are they looking for the products that you have to offer? Where are they getting feedback about your business? The answer is online.

A similar scenario is seen everywhere. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, online stores like BigBasket and Grofers released a message online. It stated that the company faced a sharp increase in demand and consequently they had to limit their operations. This shows how a significant proportion of consumers have started engaging in e-commerce.

While opening a new store, everyone considers the best locality that can help their business flourish. It’s about time to reconsider this question. A business goes where the customers are. Currently, they are online and looking for products there. So you need to shift where they are. However, this is just one of many reasons to have an online presence for your business.

How will an online presence help your business?

It is indeed true that your customers are online and so you need to take your business there. Moreover, the digital sphere offers several benefits to a business, as listed below:

Digital age

We are living in a digital age and the coronavirus pandemic undoubtedly brought a digital revolution. Consumers search for products or services on the internet. Additionally, they also look for reviews online. Placing your business here will attract them and make their shopping experience very comfortable. If you do not establish your business here, then the opportunity will land on your competitors. Hence, a lack of online presence means losing many opportunities while also having almost no presence in the market. Because the market is where the customer is.

Business open for 365 days a year

How many hours can you keep your store open? There’s a limit till which you can keep you can work in the store. But essentially your business doesn’t have to stop just because you need to relax. This is what the digital medium makes possible.

With an online presence, your customers can shop anytime and from anywhere. Hence, situating your business online can extend the business hours and allow you to showcase every single day of the year.

Massive audience

A brick and mortar store is located at a specific location. Not every customer can afford to visit it. Whereas business on the web allows a larger audience that extends beyond any geographical location. This means an increase in business opportunities irrespective of borders. Hence, giving immense scope to expand the business.

Building your brand

A physical store limits the growth of your brand as it denies the possibility of building your brand. Whereas people today want to know more about what they purchase. The market is full of aware consumers who associate their brands with their values. In order to establish these values and strengthen your image, the online medium provides numerous opportunities. This impressive identity or online presence can help you earn credibility. Consequently, more consumers will be attracted every day and thus your business will constantly expand.

Positive image

Provided the vast options in a digital environment, a brand has numerous ways of interacting with customers. Increased engagement can also be a way to get valuable feedback from customers. Continuous efforts to improve online presence translates to friendly relations between a brand and its customers through a positive image. Consequently, this will turn into profits. Simultaneously, such efforts can increase brand loyalty and expansion of customer base.

Quality reviews

Any business today cannot underestimate the importance of reviews. According to research, 91 per cent of people either regularly or occasionally check online reviews. Additionally, 84 per cent trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Other than this, 68 per cent of them form an opinion after reading 1-6 online reviews. These statistics establish the significance of online reviews in modern commerce.

Why does your business need an online presence?

In this scenario, an online presence can allow people to give feedback. Similarly, others can use these reviews to form an impression of the brand. This converts to purchasing decision. However, these positive reviews require quality content on the internet.

Constructive marketing solution

The traditional forms of marketing like advertisements in print, radio, television or billboard are very expensive ways of marketing. Such methods are not viable for local or small businesses. Whereas the digital sphere provides a free space to market products or services.

Why does your business need an online presence?

Interesting and relevant content can strongly impact purchasing decisions and attract a large number of customers. It can ignite conversations and create loyal group of consumers as illustrated here:

Increase in accessibility

In the modern economy, both small and large businesses need to have a strong web presence. Because a brand absent from the digital environment is almost non-existent in the competitive commerce world. Dynamic search algorithms and strong social networks are influential when it comes to locating businesses on the web. Consumers access search engines to gain information and a strong presence here can determine the course of your business.

Summing up

The need to turn from brick to click mode of business is well established. However, this online presence is not limited to just a website. While websites are necessary to inform the customers about the brand, the current competition requires more than that.

Every brand today needs Search Engine Optimisation to be actually known on the web. But most importantly, one needs content because indeed it is the king. The increasing competition in content creation can be managed with purpose-driven marketing. So, contact us at Shaktiki for creating your strong online presence. 

Are you ready for the world’s greatest digital revolution?

If we ask you to describe the year 2020 in a few words, what will be your answer? There are great chances that your answer will revolve around ‘coronavirus’ or ‘pandemic’ or ‘lockdown’. However, what we forget to realize is the fact that this single year has made a significant impact not only in our current lives. But a careful inspection shows that this severe effect and a larger digital lifestyle is here to stay. 

Social distancing or lockdown imposed an almost ban on mobility. This was very new for every social being who is also a part of a large interdependent society. But humans have been taught to find the solution for every obstacle that comes in their way. Consequently, the digital world became a new reality.

Change in consumer behaviour

The pandemic led to severe economic loss. However, falling income did not mean an absolute loss for the retail sector. People rather switched to buying essentials like groceries. Luxury services and goods saw a decrease in their sales. Fitness emerged as another domain where people invested in. Apart from Facebook-owned applications, video calling apps like Zoom and Microsoft Teams gained popularity. 

Mckinsey & Co. published a report on the impact of COVID-19 on consumer sentiment and behaviour. The report was prepared after conducting weekly, bi-weekly and monthly surveys in 12 countries, and showed that 91% of Indians changed their shopping behaviour as a result of the global crisis. 

In order to avoid crowded places, urban consumers working from home turned to the online medium for their shopping needs. Another interesting revelation from the report highlighted a 10 per cent growth in online shopping globally. This change extends across various categories.

Pandemic or Digital Revolution?

According to eMarketer data, eCommerce sales in the US in 2020 were to grow by 32.4%. While brick-and-mortar stores were expected to decline by 3.2%.

This shows how shopping has evolved as a concept. It has elevated from an activity that requires a customer to go out to a ‘shop’. Moreover, experts predict that this shift to eCommerce will continue post-pandemic, even when mortar stores open.

Digital marketing in the pandemic

Over the course of history, commerce has evolved significantly. It has progressed from being a barter system to one that is centered around customers. In short, commerce has become customer-centric and demand from the consumer’s end has shaped production. 

In the market today, there are many substitutes available for a customer and competitors for a company. This has made marketing an additional necessity. With the change in consumer behaviour, these traditional marketing trends have also changed. 

A shift from physical to digital commerce requires a stronger emphasis for marketing through the digital sphere. Responding to this need, some digital marketing strategies gained considerable popularity this year.

Connecting and creating with empathy

The pandemic emerged as a difficult time for everyone. Professional as well as private life became a blunder for a large proportion of the population. Businesses, individuals, and communities endured severe hardships. However, many brands responded with empathy during this crisis. They used their business or influence to do something for the greater good. 

Clothing manufacturers created and distributed masks to the public. They switched to catering to the demand and need of the public. While some distilleries started producing hand sanitizer because of its widespread shortage. 

On the digital medium, brands created a new type of content. They offered free tutorials and trails. Additionally, entertaining and engaging content entertained the isolated masses. These efforts helped in spreading positivity in the time of panic and distress. Most importantly, customers connected and engaged more closely with these brands in the process. 

Updating content of old times

Coronavirus pandemic redefined life. This was very different from what everyone was used to living so far. In a period when everyone is isolated, wouldn’t seeing crowded gatherings seem absurd? The stress on social distancing made crowds a danger sign or a threat in simpler words. Hence, crowds anywhere were not desirable. 

In a short span of time, our lives have changed which would make social gatherings and crowds not relevant. The core of the content is based on its relevance to the audience. As a result, brands had to change their content and align it with the new pandemic-inspired lifestyle changes of its customers. 

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, KFC, the fast-food chain aired advertisements showing people finishing their while licking their fingers clean. This was not suitable in the hygiene conscious environment of the new virus. Consequently, it was pulled off the web.

Pandemic or Digital Revolution?

Then the new advertisement focused on living in the new reality of social distancing and hyper-handwashing.

Investing in the future

Travel sector was a booming economic area that was harshly impacted with the pandemic. The closing of international borders led to the loss of those in business. Traveling remained limited to essential workers and industries. However, many brands shifted their efforts to creating engaging content.

The increase in production meant expanding the social media presence with travel blogs, photo contests, influencer marketing, etc. This created a buzz for the brand in a time when the industry was at its lowest. Then the efforts of travel companies served as a reminder. This means despite lower demand, the marketing efforts should never reduce. Instead, there should be a stronger emphasis on the same to generate greater demand in future. In short, building and maintaining a relationship with customers should be a brand’s priority.

Exploring other strategies 

With a period that is based on technology, digital marketers took the tool a step ahead with experiential marketing. More and more brands are investing in augmented and virtual reality, gamification to keep the customer’s attention. Additionally, paid advertising also emerged as a good option. However, the pandemic proved that content always remains the true king. 

One can’t deny that in the wake of an economic crisis, digital marketing served as a boon. It helped in running businesses and meeting needs. Moreover, it built customer relations and interaction with the community more effectively. It is in this wake, we need to realize that we are just entering history. The pandemic has just set up the stage for a digital revolution. This is the beginning of a digital planet.

Get in touch with us today to find out know more.

How to build your brand identity in 2021?

Why is setting up and running a business one of the most difficult tasks?

While a company never interacts with its customers directly, it is these customers who need to be served in the best possible manner. A single poor experience of a product or service can cause a loss of not only one but many customers. 

A negative review can reach many people when an unsatisfied customer shares their experience with those around them. Most importantly, the highly connected digital world can carry that negative review to millions in seconds. This doesn’t mean that the company has no say about themselves.

When a company manages to communicate its idea and beliefs with a different type of interaction, that is what we can call their ‘brand’. To understand this interaction, one has to understand what we call ‘brand identity’ and ‘brand image’.

What is the brand identity?

It refers to the visible elements of a brand. These elements include its name, design, logo, colour, etc. A company’s efforts to create a good brand identity can be understood as their efforts to identify and distinguish their own brand from others in the customer’s minds. In simpler words, brand identity is how an organization seeks to identify itself and wants to be perceived in the larger market. These branding and marketing strategies communicate an organization’s identity to the consumers. In short, a brand is unique due to its identity. 

Building your brand identity in 2021

Brand identity can also be summed as mental and functional associations with the brand. However, it’s important to understand that these associations are not mere reasons to buy.

But they actually provide a certain familiarity while differentiating themselves (from their competitors) in order to avoid the chances of being replicable. For instance, these associations can be trademark colours like blue for Pepsi, or a tagline like Apple’s – “Think different”.

In this manner, brand identity becomes a total proposal or promise that an organisation offers to consumers. It is an organisation’s personality and mission. Additionally, it serves as a feature linked with a particular company, product, service or individual. Then it becomes a medium of expressing and presenting a brand to the world.

What is the brand image?

Brand image is a distinct term in the sense that it refers to the current view of the customers about a particular brand. In contrast to brand identity, these are a distinctive bundle of associations within the minds of the customers. It denotes what the brand currently stands for, like its set of beliefs. 

Furthermore, it informs how the brand is positioned in the market. In short, it is an organisation’s character that conveys emotional value. While it is also important that it highlights the organisation’s mission and vision. 

Consumers develop various associations with the brand. It is the culmination of these associations that form an overall impression called ‘brand image’.

The concept behind brand image is that a consumer is not only investing in a product or service but also the image associated with the same. Hence, the brand image should be positive and unique. Branding and marketing efforts of a company significantly influence the resulting brand image. 

Exploring the benefits

The various associations in a consumer’s mind for the brand image are attributes and benefits. The former is the functional and mental connections that a customer has with the brand. They can be anything particular or specific. In this way, brand attributes are the overall assessment of a brand. 

On the other hand, benefits are the rationale behind the purchasing decision. These benefits can be grouped into three: Functional, emotional and rational. 

Functional benefits answer what does the organisation do better than others. While emotional benefits serve the question of how does the organisation’s product or service make a customer feel better than others. The rational benefits answer why does the customer believe in that brand more than others. 

Differentiating between brand image and brand identity

The two concepts are a significant part of a brand. However, these are actually different but interconnected concepts. 

Brand identity represents the desire of the brand. This is because it is the way that a company wants consumers to perceive itself. On the other hand, the brand image represents the views of others about the brand. It is the way consumers perceive the company. Brand identity is active in nature as it is a company’s hand to establish it, while the brand image is passive because it can’t be controlled. In conclusion, both the terms are two sides of the same coin. However, both are essential to define the success of a brand in the market. 

Improving your brand identity

An organisation with a unique identity has better brand awareness than its competitors. This creates a motivated team of employees who feel proud of working in a valued organisation. 

On the other end, it leads to brand loyalty, brand preference and high credibility. As a result, a company is able to fix good prices and gain good financial returns. It establishes an instant bond between the organisation and its consumers. Maintaining and building this connection serves as a great medium for the company to foster growth. 

For example, Apple Inc. always tops surveys of the most effective and beloved brands. This is because the company has worked hard in creating its impression as an innovative and premium brand. It is these efforts that have closely aligned Apple’s brand identity and brand image.

Building your brand identity in 2021

Hence, Apple with its loyal and expanding customer base is consistently one of the most profitable brands in the world. 

Digital solutions in the digital world

In the wake of coronavirus, consumer behaviour has significantly changed. Consumers get influenced to make their purchasing choice with the digital presence of the brand. Every organisation is a participant in the digital race today. This again creates a tension to form a unique identity. What one needs in priority is engaging and relevant content. Creating empathy through purpose-driven marketing can also attract an audience. So it is high time to take your brand to new heights with digital marketing in 2021.

Get in touch with us today to find out know more.