Even though having an online presence is basically part of normal operations, not all businesses actually sell a product or service online. Many businesses use a website to provide standard information that isn’t regularly changing. So when COVID-19 hit the US in March 2020, it threw a major wrench into the workings of many companies that previously knew exactly how to find their customers. So what does a business do when they need to start offering delivery, pickup, and even shipping products? Well, the first step is to create a website. And from there you need it to function properly. Liat, who’s been in marketing and e-commerce at Wix.com for more than six years, spilled some inside information on how to best use this platform and associated tools to keep your business not only running smoothly during COVID-19 but potentially even better than before.
Moving Your Business Online
Businesses have always gone through periods of time when they’ve decided to transition more to online selling. But since COVID-19 has forced many businesses into the digital space, the question becomes: Where do you start?
Brick and mortar businesses have needed to reinvent their offerings to become virtual, available for delivery & pick up, and even shippable. This means accepting orders and payment online, taking and uploading images, writing descriptions, connecting your customer email list to be able to send communication updates, and on and on. All these things are important because they make it easy for customers to utilize your business online and know what to expect from you. Liat emphasizes the importance of communication — provide clear information regarding delivery times, price changes, how to claim something virtually, etc. Allowing customers to know what to expect ahead of time sets you up for success.
Solutions for Small Businesses
While most people know Wix as a website builder, it also offers a full suite of e-commerce and business management tools as well as + CRM and marketing platforms. These tools are fully integrated so you can build your business website and then market it all from the same platform. And it makes sense that people think of Wix and websites in the same thought — a website is always the first step in getting your business online.
Wix has also moved forward to help businesses create subscriptions, or recurring revenue, which most businesses find to be highly successful for both their bottom line and the customer experience. Implementing a recurring revenue model is a good idea because it can provide customers with great added benefits while securing long-term revenue. Wix offers this model so businesses can create a subscription that is custom in pricing and scheduling.
COVID-19 has created a space now for new businesses to come online. People who are home and have the time to create their dream company, and existing businesses who never had the push to move to the digital space. There could be a lot of long-term positivity from this shift as well, not just in the coming months while customers are shopping online. Being online creates the possibility of finding people who wouldn’t have known about your business otherwise, and that’s the foundation of growth. And Liat informed that customers are still making purchases online, but their purchases are a bit different than pre-COVID. Mostly because they had to shift most of their shopping online and are now looking for new items such as masks.
Social Media vs. A Business Website
A long-standing debate: Do you need a website if you have a social media presence? Well, there’s not a black and white answer, but it does depend on what you are offering in a product or service. The website is yours — it’s your brand, and it’s always better for people to come to you directly. Plus, people who go to Google for information can more easily find you. But, and it’s a big but, lots of potential customers are on social media, which makes it a great tool for discoverability. And it also helps you stay top of mind for customers and is the perfect platform to make announcements about updates and changes. Wix has integrations for this that work directly with Facebook ads, so you can manage everything in place. Liat also mentioned how the decision between a website and social media (of course you can have both!) should be based on where your customers are because, in the end, that's' where you need to be.