There are so many businesses out there, some are operating on a small scale whilst other businesses operate on a larger scale. An offline business is a business that sells physical products or offers services and is solely dependent on walk in customers. Examples of offline businesses that offer physical products include supermarkets, clothing stores, hardware stores, butchery businesses, borehole drilling services the list is endless. A Consultancy based business is an off-line business that offer services to their clients by holding seminars, workshops, field trips etc.
For every business to succeed there are techniques employed for the business to profit. ln a traditional set up business cards, flyers, banners, word of mouth, trade shows, television, radio and newspaper advertising are all marketing strategies that most businesses have been applying to promote their products and services. In this day and age the internet can be used as a tool for businesses to survive in the markets. Times and seasons have changed due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control. Some businesses have been forced to shut down because they did not have revenue to keep them afloat.
With that being said, in this article l am going to look at some of the methods that offline businesses can adopt with the help of the internet so that old customers are retained and new prospects acquired. Lets dive into the nuggets.
Businesses should have websites. Having a website makes it very easy for people to find you, read up about your company, discover what you do, and answer a bunch of questions they have on your business. By having a website people will be able to find your company when they search for your company on a search engine like Google, Yahoo or Bing.
It is important for an offline business to have a social media presence, believe it or not in social media is where prospective clients are found, they are not aware your business exist and they have been searching for your hot meals! Examples of social media platforms include Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, YouTube and lately TikTok. Businesses can adopt this model for their growth by using Facebook to market products. A company should have a Facebook page, Instagram page, YouTube channel, it doesn’t cost anything, only data services required. Personnel in charge of marketing can run the pages that is by constantly advertising the company’s products through the social media pages. Your social media pages should be attractive.
Creating product catalogues for people to view. People are so curious, give them something to browse through. Businesses can create product catalogues in their different categories. These catalogues can always be viewed on WhatsApp trading groups and they are plenty of these as people are always searching for something to buy.
Encourage customers for reviews. When customers have come at your organization and successfully purchased company products there should be a follow up procedure. The organization needs to know how their products are performing. Asking clients for reviews will be ideal so as to improve performance and by so doing loyalty is maintained.
Provide customer support online is another ideal strategy that a business deploys to stay in touch with its clients. A well managed chat online support system and quick response to inquiries, questions or anything relating to the organization is an added advantage as customers will be assured that their suppliers are always there to assist when need arise. Customer support online can be through Messenger or Business Whatsapp.
A sponsored post, also known as a promoted post, is a post to any community-driven notification-oriented website which is explicitly sponsored as an advertisement by a particular company in order to draw a large amount of popularity through user promotion and moderation to the most active or most viewed page on the website. Offline businesses can adopt this model as part of their marketing strategy. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sponsored_post#:~:text=A%20sponsored%20post%2C%20also%20known,most%20viewed%20page%20on%20the
There are other models a business can use for a greater market share and they include:
This has become so common in Zimbabwe, most organizations through celebrity endorsements they are gaining exposure. Popular public figures advertise the company’s products and people always run to buy the products because someone they like or look up to because of what they do be it singing, acting etc have actually convinced them to buy and shared benefits of using particular products or services.
Online stores are also being used by offline businesses to reach customers. Orders are simply made on-line and goods get delivered at your door step. This has however kept most businesses in the market.
In conclusion, imagine you have not promoted your offline business online and it sort of happens there is an envitable crisis like a pandemic and everything gets shutdown and you are not in contact with any of your clients as your business relied on walk in customers. All other businesses are shut down, you come and secretly open your premises and if you see anyone peeping through the window viewing the displayed items and you secretly give them a signal to come inside and try to negotiate with them to buy, its rather not ideal. Why not make your offline business known on social media platforms, you can never go wrong there as your target market will still be in existence. There are so many ways an offline business can succeed, would like to know more about how you have been promoting your offline business using the internet in the comment section below.
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