A Guide For Improving Your Small Business’s Digital Storefront
The names can vary from e-shop to online store, and their definitions can too, depending on how much or how little your goods and services are available digitally. That said, if your business offers goods or services, the online representation of those goods and services is your business’s digital storefront. Small-to-medium sized businesses (SMB’s) need to pay particular close attention to them.
What Is A Digital Storefront?
For about as long as the internet has been around, businesses have been building a presence online to raise awareness about their offering in the hopes of fulfilling their mission. As we at BAM have seen over the years, many small business owners are often the sole proprietors, or they have a small team to handle everything from sales, billing, HR, marketing, operations, and all that falls in-between. This guide is designed to help you assess your current landscape, learn a few tricks, and show you ways to help grow your business.
Foundations Of A SMB’s Digital Presence
Note: If you can answer “Yes” to these, you are in a pretty good place (High-five, you!!!)
- Does the website showcase your business?
This means if you offer guarantees, are the fastest, have the most experience, care about people, the environment, or offer low prices, etc.. then that primary message should be worked into the images / taglines & copy throughout.
- Are all of your goods and services listed on the websites?
- Ask yourself, “Is it easy to find them, Do I see an image or video of the product, Is there a list of benefits or features displayed so that consumers can clearly understand them? Do I show a price?
- How much presence do you have across social media platforms and local directories?
- Do you have a Facebook page, is it current? When was the last time you looked at it?
- Does your Google My Business listing have accurate information? Does the information here match Facebook and every other directory that contains your information?
Here is an example below. For the record, we do not know Mike, nor are we suggesting that he / this company is doing a bad job in digital. That said, he “…Set The Standards” but that standard could also be “shown” across his digital storefront and extend outward across his broader digital footprint to reinforce this tagline. It’s those intangibles that help to reinforce trust with consumers, so that your business really stands out, and your brand shines.
Tips For Maximizing Your Storefront
If you have made it this far, and have been thinking “no duh… my coffee is getting cold.” (…well, mine too), but it’s almost BAMDarkThirty, so get a refill.
As your business evolves, and your consumers become more savvy, encounter cool functionality on other websites (like, personalization), use new forms of digital currency (think, Apple Pay), or provide their “mark” digitally with tools like Panda Docs or DocuSign, then you as a small business, 1. Need to be aware of those changing behaviors, and 2. Do your best to incorporate them into your storefront in order to maximize the customer experience.
The business case for providing a good experience has long been documented.
80% of companies report seeing an uplift since implementing personalization.– E-Consultancy Optimization Report
We all know that Amazon is the king of commerce (Sorry Walmart), but did you know that if you offer goods and services, you too can add a shopping cart to your website, and setup a shopping feed via Google Merchant Center to not only run ads for those products, but also serve them for FREE in organic (source link). Remember, people expect a shopping experience whether it’s when booking an oil change online, or paying for their monthly lawncare needs.
Once you have shopping features setup, it’s time to start promotion. Here are two options
Facebook Shops make it easy for businesses to set up a single online store for customers to access on both Facebook and Instagram.
YouTube Shopping Ads
YouTube recently launched a new video solution to help brands drive awareness and conversions by making videos more shoppable.
What Other Components Of Your Business Can Be Addressed To Help Consumers Outside of Shopping?
This is a personal favorite of mine, the idea of where automation and machine learning meet customer service is something that I think can truly help certain small business owners to free up time in dealing with phone calls (so they can get back to work!). Google released Duplex Ai, way back in 2018, and their latest work with CallJoy seems to pick up from there. Although this product is shutting down in, the idea is sound, and there are many vendors in this space)
I’m sure, as a small business, you have encountered customers who require more flexible payment options. You may offer financing or even have rental offers at the ready, but here is a tool to help you defer payments on some of your bills in the same.
So, as you can see, digital storefronts have basic pieces, some extend across the board to become part of your brand, part of what makes your business tick. When you focus your attention on those details, keep a keen eye on your customer and technology, or have a little help from great partners (Like BAM), that even small changes can have a big impact.