How To Promote An Online Business, Offline
While the internet is going from strength to strength, physical retailers are facing real risks right now. The ability to make a success of an online business, then, is a lot like gold dust nowadays. If you can set up online, the chances are that you will be able to weather the majority of storms set to hit the traditional business markets.
You will also put yourself in the best position to grow with the online platform and see more success that way. If you have been in any way unsure as to whether to start with a website, that should provide your answer. Yes having a website is now a must for every business. Small businesses, even more so and it is not that hard or costly to achieve either.
However, to say you can conduct yours or any business solely online would be to simplify the issue. Starting an online business does have the downside of making it difficult to get yourself seen. The online market is quite saturated right now, after all. To make matters worse, you cannot rely on the drop-in business to see you through like you could in the high street. That is why many online startups attend things like trade shows and seller’s fairs to expand their business. And, you could benefit from doing the same thing.
The only trouble is, it can be difficult to transfer to a physical way of working when every effort you have put in thus far has been based online. Fail to get this right, though, and you will end up spending more on your pitch than you make in profit. The good news is, getting this right isn’t as difficult as you might think. All you need to do is consider the following points.
How To Display Your Products
In a physical set up like this, the way you choose to display your products is pretty much essential. Worse still, as this isn’t something you really need to think about when you’re trading online, it may be a skill you don’t yet have. Aside from taking a few pretty product piccies, you are probably accustomed to keeping everything in boxes. That will not do if you want to sell in person. Instead, you need to get your display head on in a way you never will have before.
Consider things like the order in which you display products, and how you can make them appeal to customers. For inspiration here, head out to your local town. Look at what works and doesn’t work in the shops near you. Then, transfer these methods into your display on the day.
How To Take Payments
Payment still matters when you are trading online, but it’s a very different beast to physical trading. With an online shop, you simply need a payment processor which can transfer money into your account. The same can’t be said for your physical sales. You will soon lose customers if you make them pay in this long-winded way when you are face to face. You cannot be trying to get their address and email address with face to face sales. Instead, you need a fast method of payment.
Note, too, that just taking cash could also lose you a lot of sales. So, what can you do? Turn to a company who can provide you with a card machine, of course. Companies like Total Merchant Services offer both online processing services and a free credit card swiper for customers. Taking your business to a company like this, then, could see both your online and physical needs taken care of.
Practice Your Pitches
Having the right sales swagger is crucial online as it is in person. But, being smart with a keyboard is a different matter from pitching products in person. The next thing to consider, then, is your sales pitch for the day. How are you going to get people to part with their cash when they are in front of you?
When it comes to it, you won’t have time to deliberate over your wording for hours at a time. You will need to be able to pull that pitch out of the bag in seconds. Your best chance to do this is to practice on friends and family before the day. Keep the words ‘elevator pitch in mind’, and find a way to sell your products using as few words as possible.
Can You Use Your Website?
It is also worth noting that, ultimately, your website is your speciality. This is what you know, and the chances are that you have put a lot of work into it already. So, why not make use of that work to improve your physical attempts? By using color schemes and designs from your website, you can save yourself having to worry about decor. It’s also worth investing in a big screen and projecting your website onto it. Perhaps enlarge your ‘about me’ section for all passers-by to see. Success, after all, is about making use of what you’re good at.
A website is needed for every business but promoting an online business, offline at events is also a must for you to be able to thrive.
I hope that these pointers have given you some ideas and confidence to promote your online business offline. If they have then please give this post a share on your favourite social media platform.
As ever if you have any questions or just want to share your own ideas, please leave a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
With Grace and Gratitude
These are some great tips. I especially like the idea of displaying your website on a big screen, maybe multiple screens in different sections. The ‘About Me’ page is a great idea!
I agree that the color scheme of your website should reflect the one of your shop or business. Its all about keeping it recognizable and helps your branding.
Hi Laura and thank you for reading. I’m pleased you like my ideas for promoting your online business, offline.
With Grace and Gratitude
Thanks for the overview of the reason a physical presence is necessary to building an online business. Vendor shows and those types of things are great ideas. I have a been thinking of ways to build my online business and your suggestions are great!
Do you think it is possible to promote my online e-book offline? How would you go about that? Thank you!
Hello Karin and thank you for stopping by my site,
I am pleased you found my ideas useful for alternative ways to promote your online business. Congratulations too on having an ebook.
It is totally possible to promote your ebook using trade shows. Dependant on the subject of the ebook, choose relevant trade shows. They don’t even have to be big ones, the smaller niche trade markets will help you Just as much.
If it were me I would create a great graphic and have that printed on leaflets that include the URl of where to get it online. I might also have some excerpts from it as a bit of a teaser. I would also have the graphic and title of it as a backdrop to my stand.
I hope you find these ideas useful but please come back to me with any other questions as I have done many trade stands through the years with this and different businesses.
With Grace and Gratitude
Carl J. Dillat
Karen this is great! We are frequently at conventions and shows and have often thought of promoting our several only-order-online businesses there. These are fabulous ideas. With physical products, even an online business can make some headway in the local markets with real products in hand to sell and to share. Thanks for your post.
Hi Carl and thank you for reading,
Just as traditional businesses need an online presence,online businesses need an offline presence too.
I don’t think you even need a physical product, you may have an ebook or course you can promote. With some great graphics you can really increase sales or even just your email list.
With Grace and Gratitude