Everyone loves shopping, but many more consumers prefer to shop online than in person ever since COVID-19 restrictions were imposed. For that reason, many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) realised the importance of going digital.
Strait Times mentioned that 74% of Singaporean consumers shop more often online due to the ongoing pandemic. This change in consumer behaviour made many SMEs with only brick-and-mortar stores struggle to stay afloat. Some had to close down temporarily, while others took the risk and embraced digitalisation completely.
The latter category of SMEs was able to go digital with the help of the Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG). The government introduced this funding support to SMEs to encourage them to incorporate digital solutions in their work operations—as part of Singapore’s economic transformation plan to position the country as a leader in technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
If you are one of those SMEs that plan to go digital, here is a guide on how businesses should build their foundation to have a spot in the e-commerce industry.
5 Tips for SMEs That Plan To Go Digital
1. Build A Business Website
The first step you need to take when going digital is to build a business website. It is like the online version of your brick-and-mortar store where you can sell and promote your products or services. Your potential customers can browse web pages to find what they are looking for and learn more about what you offer before making a purchase.
Below are the things you need to take note of when building a business website and before it goes live:
- Purchase a domain name
- It is the name of your business’s website like a brick-and-mortar store’s signage
- Choose an e-commerce website builder
A platform that allows you to create your business’s website without knowledge and experience in coding
- Create content for all web pages
Informative details about your business, from products to services you offer
- Ensure security with an SSL certificate
It enables a website to have an encrypted connection, which protects the personal information of both parties (online shop and customers)
2. Revise The Marketing Plan And Be Updated With Trends
When you go digital, your marketing plan changes and promoting your niche becomes more vital than ever. With more than 24 million e-commerce websites across the globe, the only way to stand out from the competition is to be different.
You can only do this once you become more familiar with digital marketing and adopt the latest digital marketing trends to make your campaigns more appealing to your potential customers.
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more digital marketing videos
If you are not familiar with digital marketing, it is the process of promoting products and services, connecting brands with their potential customers, and nudging them to make a purchase.
3. Implement SEO And SEM Strategies
Another thing SMEs need to do when going digital is to implement search engine optimisation (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) strategies. Even though both are under the umbrella term of digital marketing, they focus more on the ranking of a website on search engine results pages (SERPs).
SEO strategy helps improve organic traffic, while SEM strategies generate paid traffic. The difference between the two is that you need to pay for the bid price for the SEM campaign so it will rank higher on the SERP when your target audience searches for keywords or phrases related to your products or services.
4. Be Active On Social Media
Even though 68% of online experiences start from typing things on a search engine, more than half of the world now are using social media. An average social media user often spends 2 hours and 27 minutes using the social media platform of their choice, scrolling through their newsfeed, checking pictures, and watching random videos.
With that time spent on social media, being active with your promotion and maintaining customer engagement on your chosen social media platform will help increase your brand awareness as you drive traffic to your business’s website.
5. Engage With The Right Digital Agency
The right digital agency depends on what you need. If you barely have time to build a business’s website, implement SEO or SEM strategies and be active on social media, look for a firm that can handle all of these. Doing so allows you to focus more on what you can do best and manage your business more efficiently.
With the continuous growth of internet users, more small businesses should consider going digital now since the competition is not yet as competitive as it will happen in the coming years. Embracing digitalisation today can benefit your business with a strong online presence and help you increase brand awareness.
SMEs can explore applying for the PSG grant for website design and development or digital marketing solutions to receive up to 70% grant support. Businesses can reach out to OOm, a pre-approved PSG vendor for both website design and digital marketing. Connect with us and we can help you kick-start your digital transformation journey!
Contact OOm at +65 6391 0930 or leave a message on our website if you need help going digital.