This is 2019! The traditional brick and mortar business has still not gone out of style and probably will never be. It is a common expectation amongst the general consumers that every business must have an online footprint. An online search on Facebook and Google is one of the biggest deciding factors in the Bangladeshi consumers’ decision process. So, for modern business, not leveraging these two massively used platforms in Bangladesh is nothing short of foolishness. An online presence is no longer a far off strategy to future proof your business. It has become an immediate necessity to gain and maintain customers in this extremely competitive consumer market.
How the online buying landscape has changed:
‘Offline’ shops are still one of the most important ways to survive in this modern world. In this world of fake news and scams, people are very wary of what they click on, browse and purchase on the internet. As the consumers get smart, the hackers and scammer get smarter and we get stuck in an infinite feedback loop of online purchase behavior getting purer and more sophisticated. Having a physical store allows the consumer to place your brand in real time. They come across banners and other outdoor advertising of your store and if they wish to they can step into your location to see, touch, experience, smell or feel their desired products.
However, the notion that you must have a physical store to build a successful business is not true at all. If we avoid international examples, there are several local examples such as Pathao, Daraz, Sheba.xyz who have established a successful business in Bangladesh without having physical locations.
Ever since the global recession, human behavior has seen an uptick in work hours. Even though companies have not put any such requirements on their employees, the employees work longer hours of their own accord. This phenomenon is known as Hustle Culture, which primarily contains youth who have glamorized their outlook on work to provide justification for the ungodly hours of work they put in just to make sure they aren’t laid off or the company doesn’t go bankrupt.
The massive traffic jams in fast-developing nations such as Bangladesh makes people often not prepared to take time off their work, brave through the traffic jams and purchase from a physical store. Also, when it comes to options, nothing can beat digital space as there are literally hundreds of stores you can browse using almost negligible physical effort. Ultimately they will go to an E-Commerce platform to buy their desired products.
So your business must go ‘online’ as this is the future of business! Now going to the main topic, how will you start an online business with your offline shop? Below are some guidelines to go about doing this properly:
- Select an appropriate domain name:
The domain you choose to represent your company is extremely important. This is the name with which most of your online branding would be conducted. Also, this eats up a special pie into your potential customers’ brain, which in advertising terms is considered prime real estate.
Go through the domain registration process to check whether the domain you want to buy is available or not. When purchasing a domain in Bangladesh, try to avoid the common pitfalls like adding a ‘bd’ to the end of the name as this plays into the subconscious of the consumer telling about the locality of the brand. Buy domain names from a trusted site like ADN Servers to receive essential features such as DNS Management, Name Server Management, Domain Forwarding, Theft Protection System and many other features.
- Get a proper Hosting for your website.
Hosting is the infrastructure on which your website is built. Think of it like the building inside of which you design your store. If the building is not strong and has the utilities necessary to conduct your business, your store would never take-off. Thus if the hosting service provider you have chosen is questionable the website you install to it might be compromised. If you want to purchase a domain in Bangladesh, it is advisable that you choose a hosting service provider is based in Bangladesh. This allows you to hold the hosting provider responsible in case of any service lapses. However, while choosing the right hosting provider to keep the following features in check:
- Unlimited subdomains
- Unmetered bandwidth
- Free Daily Backups
- MySQL Databases: Unlimited
- IP Deny, HotLink & Directory Protection
- Install Apps in 1-Click (400+ Apps)
- Host Control Panel: cPanel
- Free Daily Backups
- PHP Version (5.5, 5.6, 7.0, 7.1, 7.2)
- Uptime Guarantee: 99.9%
- DDoS Protection
- Mail Management with SPAM Protection
- CloudFlare Security
- 24/7/365 Support
- Allocate a healthy budget to develop your website:
Obviously, you need a smooth, user-friendly website for your business. You cannot take a risk on having a low-budget website for your brand new online business. Low-quality website always leads a high bounce rate on traffic. That means your potential client will always bounce back when they just enter your website as the site has not well constructed. If that keeps happening how would you build your online sales? Even the frustrated customers might discourage another potential customer due to poor user experience. This might result in losing your current and potential clients in one fell swoop.
There is no universal rule on how the best website looks and functions. This is all dependent on the industry and the target market you want to target. Also your objective from the website will factor in too. Exactly what actions you want the visitor to take on your website will dictate the design and construction of the site. Do you want to make them fill up a contact form, buy products or read about your products for general awareness; based on these you would develop an appropriate web portal strategy.
You can easily trust ADN Digtial for making your perfect website with perfect UI.
- Start effective Digital Marketing:
I am assuming that you have fixed your website already, then you have come to the second part. In this section, you have to do ‘Digital Marketing’ for your online business. Digital marketing is not a one dimensional activity that you come to expect from the numerous ‘ad/boost post’ advertisements you keep seeing on social media. There are 3 parts to an effective digital marketing campaign.
Potential clients will always look for reviews online to verify your business or to choose a proper service provider. As such you must create a Google My Business profile and upload appropriate information such as photos of your business and text information to fully support the potential client. You also must encourage your current customers to post reviews on Facebook and google.
For social media advertisement such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn etc. you must first select an appropriate objective, what exactly you want your audience to do. Then you must create content to drive those specific objectives. Targeting appropriate clients based in interest, activities, behaviors etc. is also essential to this advertising endeavor.
Google offers you Display banner ads, Search ads and YouTube ads. Entire algorithm of google is based on the data it collects from its search results. So, rather than choosing audiences and creating contents based on interest and behavior, it is much more advisable to do this based on a keyword research during the strategy sessions.
If you have a decent budget, then you may hire an experienced agency for taking care of your Digital marketing part. So that they will help to spread out the name of your brand among the target group. I can assure you that you will get solid sales lead from this digital marketing.
Most importantly you can establish the brand through digital marketing easily. You have to find out the remarkable days for your business promotion. You may offer discounts/ special features/ combo deals for your customers as they prefer to buy products with special offer! It’s a common practice in Bangladesh to circulate special offers during special occasions like Eid, Puja or new year.
Hope you have got some information that you wanted to know. Feel free to leave your comments bellow. 🙂