2020 has shown businesses small and large, that their online presences are more important than ever. But how can your small business build a sustainable online presence that will attract new customers and grow your business? And where should you be looking to start in 2021?

We’ve been helping organizations in Edmonton, and around North America with their online presences for over 21 years and have seen a lot of change. We have found the key to creating a successful online presence is to be strategic and to do the research necessary to figure out where your time and money would be best spent. There is no one right answer, the right solution is as unique as your business. We’re proud to offer a wide variety of web development and digital marketing services that can be customized specifically for your business.

We’re always happy to set up a call or video meeting to discuss your specific needs, but we wanted to share some of the services customers are asking us about the most as we head into the new year.

Over the last few weeks of 2020, we will be posting a series of blogs discussing eCommerce, web development, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Local SEO, online advertising including Google Ads, Facebook and Instagram Ads, as well as Social Media Management.

Let’s start with the topic that’s been on the minds of a lot of small business owners this year, eCommerce.

eCommerce will continue to grow in 2021

It’s never been more important to be able to offer online payment options, luckily, it’s never been as cost effective or as secure either. eCommerce sales have consistently grown year after year and the COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated that growth. But it’s important to remember that eCommerce isn’t a trend brought on by the pandemic that will disappear when the pandemic ends. It was growing rapidly before the pandemic and experts expect it to keep growing even after the pandemic ends.

2020 has forced businesses to find new ways to get their products to customers and customers are learning to expect more options. Delivery, curbside pick up, quick in-store pickup…as a consumer we want what we want exactly when, and how we want it. And it benefits businesses to provide those options. It may take an initial investment of time and money, but it opens opportunities to attract new clients and gives existing customers new options that will keep them happy.

eCommerce can benefit all businesses

eCommerce can facilitate payments for:

  • Products for delivery
  • Products for curbside pickup
  • Membership dues for associations and clubs
  • Donations for charities and non-profits
  • Subscriptions for online services
  • Payments for in-person services

 

Anything that requires an exchange of money can benefit from eCommerce development.

Providers of in-person services can use their websites to allow customers to book appointments, remind customers of those appointments, bill them, and even remind them to make their next appointment.

This is convenient for customers, as well as business owners, and their teams. Automating these processes can give you and your staff time to focus on more important tasks that will grow your business.

Shopify, WooCommerce, Squarespace and other eCommerce platforms allow you to get up and running faster than ever, but make sure to do your research before you jump in. It’s important to think about how the platform you choose will work with your existing website, inventory systems, point of sale and bookkeeping systems. It also provides an opportunity to review all the technology you’re using and ask if it’s time to change any of them. Is what you have in place now still the best options? Can it grow and evolve with your business? Being proactive and asking these questions now can save you a lot of time and money down the road.

Talk to experts who have been through the process. The upfront investment will save you a lot of time and headaches. Seek out the opinions of your web developers, accountants, front-line staff, customers, and stakeholders to get every perspective you can.

Consumers are looking for convenient and easy interactions with your business. Taking a holistic approach to your eCommerce process allows you to create frictionless systems that will benefit you and your customers for years to come.

We’d be happy to share our experiences with you to help you find the right eCommerce solutions. We’ve worked with clients of all sizes, in many different industries. Our team of web developers, web designers, and digital marketing experts have seen it all and know the right questions to ask to find the solutions that will work best for your business. We’d love to set up a free no-obligation consultation to discuss your specific businesses’ needs.

What’s Next?

Future blog posts in this series will dive into web development and design as well as digital marketing solutions to engage existing customers and find new customers. Stay tuned and please let us know if you have any questions, feedback, or suggestions for topics you’d like us to discuss.

You can reach us with the form at the bottom of every page of our website, by phone at (780) 473-4600, or by email at info@digitaltea.com. You can also stay connected with us by following @digitaltea on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.