If there’s one thing that we’ve learnt in recent times, it’s that businesses that are adaptable can survive anything— a pandemic even. Now, taking a business online can be seen as an essential ingredient in sparking success in any business.
It’s true. Look around and you’ll see hundreds of small and medium-sized businesses that operated with the traditional brick and mortar setup, pivoted to an online shopfront overnight. It seems that taking your business online may be the way of the future.
So, why’s online business popular nowadays?
It is estimated that by the year 2040, 95% of all purchases will be through online stores. That’s a powerful statistic.
But there’s more:
The pandemic has significantly impacted customer behaviour. According to a report by Mckinsey, more people expect to shop online post the pandemic than before. And while the report covers US demographics, we can say with surety that the trend stays true for us in Australia as well.
What does it mean?
In a nutshell, it means that if your business isn’t online, you’re leaving money on the table.
In this post, we talk at length about the 13 benefits of taking your business online in 2021. We also talk about a government grant that’s been launched to make this decision easy for you!
Table of Content:
Top benefits of Taking a Business Online
If you have been considering moving your business online or have partly done it (and need that final push) know that it is the best gift that you’ll give to yourself and your customers.
1. It gives your business credibility
Sources state that 62% of all online shoppers perform online research before buying a product. This means that if your business isn’t online, they are making a purchase elsewhere. That’s an opportunity lost.
2. It gives your business transparency
94% of customers are more likely to buy from small businesses that are transparent about all aspects of their business.
So, be transparent and inform your customers about your business’s purpose, values, ingredients, products and charitable initiatives.
Having an online presence can help with this, as your customers will be able to learn about your business at the touch of their fingertips.
3. Your business can be open 24/7
An online business is a constantly open business. Around 56% of all customers say the major reason they shop online, instead of in-store, is because of the simple ability to shop 24/7.
So, forget about those operating hours and welcome customers to your online store 24/7.
4. It’ll increase the competitiveness of your business
Moving to an online store setup means that your business will have the opportunity to become as competitive as possible. Approximately 50% of online shoppers state that shopping online helps them find the best deals, best bargains and compare prices more effectively.
So, offering your customers competitive prices online might just give your business the competitive edge it needs.
5. Bolster your customer base
Don’t let location strict your business. An online shop front will give your business unlimited access to customers, no matter where they are located on the globe.
Approximately 2.14 billion people are expected to shop online by the end of 2021.
So, jump outside of the box —or your local area — and get connected to those customers that would otherwise be outside of your businesses geographical reach.
6. Enjoy lower start-up costs
Opening up a physical store can come with an overwhelming amount of start-up costs. You may buy or rent a physical store, obtain licenses, buy insurance, signage, equipment, fixtures, plus pay for the various operational costs as well.
This adds up quickly with the average small business owner spending around $40,000 in their first year.
Starting up an online store may see you save massive amounts of money in these areas. You may find yourself only spending a few hundreds of dollars getting your online business up and running.
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we are here to help. Register your small business online in a matter of minutes and even set up your business’s very own virtual office address. We will guide you through each and every step to get your business up and running in no time.
7. Increase your businesses visibility via social media
There is no doubt that social media has become a powerful tool for many businesses. It can be a fantastic way to increase your businesses visibility and discoverability! 44.8% of social media users actually use their social media platforms to research different products and brands before choosing a business to purchase that product from.
Many businesses opt to create a Facebook public page or business page to connect with their customers, new and existing. Amazingly, 75% of customers state that they will buy from a business they are following on social media.
So, having an active social page for your business can also be a great way to communicate with your customers, and to keep them informed and aware of your business.
8. Build your businesses authenticity like never before
There is no doubt that having a great online business presence can build your brand. In fact, being online can simply make your business look more authentic and therefore more attractive to customers.
All in all, the greater your businesses online presence, the more authentic your business will look. 90% of customers say that a business’s authenticity is a key factor when deciding whether or not to buy a product or service from a business.
9. Build your customers loyalty
Around 91% of customers say their loyalty to a business will guide whether or not they will buy their products or services from that business. How’s that tied to the digitalization of your business, you ask? That’s a good question!
Ever wondered why customers return to online businesses over and over again? It’s because of the convenience and ease of doing business online. The more they interact with you the more loyal they become in the long run. It’s a win-win for your business as well as them.
10. Being online strengthens the line of communication between your business and your customers
In light of the pandemic, physical shopfronts saw a devastating decrease in their interaction and communication with existing and potential customers.
51% of small business owners say that going online has increased the number of interactions they had with clients, especially during the pandemic. This is extremely important, especially for gathering insights into your customer—what matters to them the most, what products do they like, so on and so forth. After all, strong communication is the key to building your customers’ satisfaction.
11. It makes your businesses values visible to your customers
This is an interesting one. Customers want the businesses they buy from to have a voice when it comes to important social justice issues. In 2021, almost 60% of customers said that it is no longer acceptable for businesses to remain silent on social justice issues.
A further 71% of customers say they would buy from businesses if their social justice concerns and values align with their own values.
A good example to quote here is Body Shop which promotes their values of empowering women and small communities, using natural ingredients and supporting environmental sustainability.
What better way for your business to express its support of a social issue, than online?
All in all, it can help humanise your business and allow your customers to support your business’s voice, standing or involvement in important social justice issues.
12. It can personalise your customer’s shopping experience
When your customers purchase your businesses products and services online, it is easy to keep track of their preferences. Once you understand your customer’s preferences, you can send them promotional messages or emails to give them special offers and deals.
Around 73% of customers come back to brands that give them personalised offers, emails and promotions based on their previous purchases. In this way, the online experience is a more personalised experience.
13. You can encourage and display your customer feedback
One of the major benefits of running an online store is your ability to display your customer’s feedback. With around 93% of customers reading online reviews before purchasing a product or service, it is a great way to boost your businesses credibility and showcase your customers satisfaction.
Now that you’ve read through the top benefits of taking your business online, let’s take a peek into the financial aid available that will help you move the needle—faster.
Are there grants available to launch your online business?
Absolutely! From time to time, state governments across the country launch grants to help small businesses succeed. Recently, the Victorian Government launched one such grant— The Small Business Digital Adoption Program—focussed solely on helping businesses get their business online. In other words, transition from the brick and mortar set-up to the digital way of doing business. Taking your business online has never been easier!
What is the Small Business Digital Adoption Program rebate?
Initiated by the Victorian government the Small Business Digital Adoption Program is open to Victorian businesses from all industry sectors.
All eligible small businesses going through this digital transition can receive a rebate of up to $1,200 for any eligible digital products they purchase, including a Lawpath subscription.
That’s right — you can receive a massive discount on handling your business legalities or getting started.
You’ll need a few things before you can receive the rebate:
- Your business registration details including your ABN, ACN (if applicable), business address and contact details,
- A valid Driver’s License, Seniors Case (if applicable) or Proof of Age Card (if applicable),
- Bank details to receive the $1,200 rebates,
- Your Lawpath legal plan invoice.
Not sure if your business is eligible? Sign in to the Lawpath account and check your eligibility. For more details, register for our live webinars where we answer all your pressing questions about this grant.