The holiday season marks the zenith of retail sales, with 75 percent of shoppers intending to make online purchases. Astonishingly, a significant 33 percent of businesses, including fashion companies, are yet to establish an online presence, resulting in a minimum loss of 10 percent in annual profits. Consequently, the recent surge of 75 percent in Google searches for 'how to bring business online' over the past month comes as no surprise.
FashionUnited spoke with Sandro Okropiridze, marketing expert, Co-Founder & CEO of Stori, an AI-powered content creation platform, who shares five steps to bringing businesses online without breaking the bank.
In the ever-evolving landscape of e-commerce, setting up a website is just the first step. Establishing a robust online presence involves strategic planning and leveraging the power of social media, where the majority of online shoppers can be found. Choosing the right platform is key, with TikTok catering to a younger audience, Facebook appealing to an older demographic, Instagram ideal for visually appealing products, and X (formerly Twitter) suitable for those with a way with words. Consistency in username and branding across all platforms is crucial for easy recognition.
Creating compelling content is paramount for online shoppers seeking clear product information. While preparing content for numerous products may seem daunting, artificial intelligence can be a game-changer. Utilising generative AI tools such as ChatGPT allows for efficient and consistent content creation, from product descriptions to social media posts, saving time and ensuring quality.
Building trust in the online realm is challenging, especially for newcomers. Leveraging an existing brand recognised by many shoppers is a valuable asset. Complete your business information on social profiles, maintain consistent branding across physical and online channels, and prominently display website URLs and social handles on marketing materials to establish legitimacy.
Engagement is key to success in the online retail space. Understanding your target audience's social media habits, including who they follow, their content preferences, and favoured hashtags, is crucial. Actively engaging with relevant accounts, commenting on related posts, and utilising appropriate keywords helps build an audience even before the official launch. AI can assist in drafting engaging launch posts, showcasing the brand's personality.
The launch day marks the official entry into the world of online retail. Enhance engagement metrics by offering incentives such as partnering with influencers and offering discount codes for signing up to newslettres and content sharing. Patience is essential, as building a robust online presence takes time – on average, six to nine months. With a focus on high-quality content and consistent engagement, success as an established online brand is within reach long before the next winter season arrives.