January 21, 2021
With a massive shift to digital in 2020, businesses have discovered a variety of new ways to accommodate customers. Customers, in turn, have come to expect a smooth online experience that translates directly to the real-world. Online grocery ordering, contactless delivery, and every facet of online shopping give each click an impact in reality. And, according to the National Retail Federation, none of these conveniences and necessities are going away in 2021 either, as customers have embraced and integrated these hybrid options into their lives. No matter what your business is, an integrated digital strategy will let you keep up with and exceed client expectations – even as an SMB. Discover the possibilities when you bring the digital into the real world.
Digital-first businesses like Amazon have a definite edge in this new landscape – but high-profile brick-and-mortar businesses have combined the real with the digital to give even greater convenience and find success where they traditionally have been able to slack off. Same-day pickup, curbside grocery delivery, drive-through doctor visits, these are all ways for different businesses to take digital traffic and turn it into physical traffic within the new boundaries we all need to observe.
Traditional in-person businesses have also had to focus effort on their websites, meeting customers where they are: online, and often on their mobile devices. A perfect example is retail giant Walmart – their site, and especially the online shopping experience, has been updated for appearance and usability to compete with digital-first businesses. User experience now takes center stage; businesses are phasing out noreply customer service emails and bringing in real names, they’re making their sites more responsive, and they’re optimizing for online effectiveness.
Small to medium businesses can keep up – and in many cases a little optimization goes a very long way. Rearview Advertising clients Rockhaven Homes and Kerley Family Homes, for example, began hosting virtual events in 2020 to introduce new communities and showcase home features to their online audiences. View counts in the thousands attest to the popularity of these events. Both clients also ended up with content that interested homebuyers can revisit anytime. Rockhaven has taken it several steps further, and adopted a system that allows them to sell a new construction home completely online from the first tour all the way to closing. In both cases, these businesses refined and leveraged their existing online resources and provided real-world value completely digitally. It’s possible for any SMB to adopt digital strategies like these – it just takes a little creativity.
Digital-focused, mobile-first design is key here. Businesses do well to meet customers where they are – online and usually on their smartphones – when they’re not coming through the door. You can bring the digital into the physical with some simple methods like signage and online tools. For example: QR code menus keep ordering at a restaurant hands-free, why not put a QR code on physical signage at your location to provide info without requiring someone to step into the building or touch a handout? Kerley Family Homes, for example, has analytics-trackable QR code banners that take visitors straight to the community homepage on their site.
Signage itself is a way to make the digital real – how else would online orderers know where to park for pickup and alert employees to their presence? And, self-service online scheduling tools give customers control over their experience, without tying up onsite resources with a phone call. All of these tie back to a business’s website – so ensuring that your site performs well is an important part of digital strategy for an SMB.
We’ve covered many times before why your website is so important – and it’s especially true in 2021. Turning digital traffic into real ROI starts on your site, and with a few steps it’s a process that you can easily develop and iterate no matter what happens. Take control of your place in the new digital landscape – Rearview Advertising can help you get started! We’re glad to offer a free coaching session so you can figure out what will benefit your business the most. You’ll also learn the first steps you’ll need to take to get there. Reach out to us to get started, and discover how your business can level up for the next decade – starting right now in 2021.
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