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With technology ever-evolving, it’s no surprise we’ve seen a shift from traditional to digital in many aspects of our life. From the economy and education to our daily work tasks, communication methods have also changed dramatically in recent years.

Naturally, for businesses in the Philippines to stay ahead of competition, they need to start utilizing online platforms for internet marketing & promotion to connect with consumers and grow their audience.

Although it can be tough for those who aren’t ‘internet-native’ to dabble into digital marketing, it’s definitely worth the time and effort because of the advantages of using digital platforms.

The good news is that internet marketing is not rocket science and with a little persistence in learning about technology and trends, you can penetrate rather quickly into the digital space and promote your brand.

But before we dive into digital marketing, we’d like to share some tips on how to improve your offline business.

What are some of the best ways to improve offline business in the Philippines?

There are many ways to improve an offline business in the Philippines, and here are some of the key strategies:

  1. Improve customer service
  2. Increase product visibility and availability
  3. Focus on quality over quantity
  4. Innovate and create new products or services
  5. Target specific markets
  6. Use online platforms for marketing and advertising

Improve customer service

Customer service is one of the most important aspects of any business, and it’s no different for businesses in the Philippines. By providing excellent customer service, even simple businesses like a ukay-ukay business can build customer loyalty and satisfaction. Some examples of good customer service include enabling your customers to provide feedback to help you better understand what is or is not working, being willing to go the extra mile to help your customers so that they are purchasing the correct product and providing clear communication methods should your customer require additional assistance such as refunding a product, or making a reservation.

By providing your customers with a positive experience, not only will they return for more purchases, they are also more likely to share it with their friends and family about the good shopping experience, which can lead to more new customers.

Increase product visibility and availability

Making products more visible and available to potential customers is another way to improve an offline business in the Philippines. A common strategy you’ll find with vegetable businesses is to place their best-selling products near high-traffic areas. After all, the more chances customers can see your products, the more chances you can close a sale.

This is also why faster moving products are strategically placed at the eye level in supermarkets.

Additionally, always inform your customers in advance if products are out of stock to avoid giving a negative experience.

Focus on quality over quantity

Quality is something that should not be taken lightly because it has a direct impact on your brand reputation. There is no point in mass producing a product only to fail after a single use as it will likely result in poor customer retention, while they are also likely to give negative feedback of your product.

If you look into the cosmetic retailers, which is a highly competitive industry, the majority of brands are spending a lot of time and effort on research not just on the design but also to create a product that has the best quality. Afterall, no one would buy a second time if the skin care product causes acne, right? 

Again, if customers love your product, they will be more than willing to make repeated purchases.

Innovate and create new products or services

Another way to improve an offline business is to innovate and create new products or services. This is vital especially for tech industries where the products have to be in a continuous upgrade cycle to meet the demands of consumers. Just take a look at Apple, a new version of iPhone is typically released every year. By introducing new or improved products not only can help your business stay ahead of competition, but also potentially attract new customers who are likely to convert from the existing brand. 

Target specific markets

For businesses that are niche, such as handmade business, it is important to conduct market research and identify your potential customers and their needs. This is because handmade business is time consuming and usually you’re the only one executing the craft. So you do not have the bandwidth to mass produce your product.

Hence with research, you can know who your target market is and strategise your business plan accordingly to meet the demands of your consumers.

Use online platforms for marketing and advertising

The best and most cost-effective way, especially for smaller businesses, to widen your reach and strengthen your brand is through online marketing and advertising. 

Businesses owners should tap into online platforms, such as social media and search engines, to expand your reach beyond traditional marketing. Again, this is crucial because the majority of customers are consuming content online, be it on research or trying to locate the address or operating hours of your store. 

Some digital marketing tools that your businesses can use include Google AdWords, where it allows you to create targeted marketing campaigns.

By following these 6 tips, your offline business should be in a good position to do well. And do read on if you have plans to bring your offline business to the digital world.

5 Reasons Why Your Offline Business Needs an Online Store

As the current trend has shifted towards digital, building an online presence is essential for any business – even if your company has never conducted any activities online. Majority of your clients and potential customers are constantly searching the internet for products and services, so not maintaining a presence online will definitely affect your business in the long run.

So here are 5 key reasons why your offline business needs an online store:

1. Reach a wider audience 

An online store also allows you to reach global audiences, not just within the Philippines. Even if your offline business only caters to customers in a specific city or region. By going online, you stand a better chance of capturing potential customers since they are shifting their preference to online shopping and with an increase in internet penetration.

2. 24/7 operating hours 

An online store never closes! This means that your customers can purchase your products or services at any time of the day. Even when your store is operating 24/7, you do not have to worry about additional overhead and rental costs since it is not required as everything is digital and automated.

3. Build customer loyalty

An online store allows you to build customer loyalty as you are able to capture data, which can be used for various digital marketing efforts such as email marketing. They can be registered into your newsletter list where they will be the first to be informed of new product launches where they can stand a higher chance of purchasing it first, especially if the product is a limited edition. Such gestures are highly appreciated by consumers, which can help to build brand loyalty.

4. Save money

An online store can save you on marketing and advertising costs. Marketing your business online can reach a wider audience with less money. In addition, you’ll save on costs associated with physical stores, such as rent and utilities as shared above.

5. Stay ahead of competition

You can stay ahead of your competitors if they do not have an online presence. This puts them at a disadvantage since you are able to take a larger pie of the online share.

How can you leverage an online store for more visibility and attract customers

An online store provides businesses with many online tools and features to help them improve their business. These tools and features include:

Website 

A website is essential for any business to build brand presence and authority online. It provides your customers with vital information about your company, products, and services. Additionally, your website allows you to showcase products and services, which can help to drive sales.

And building a website is much easier these days with many free online store builders available. So there’s absolutely no reason not to start creating a website.

Shopping cart

If you are setting up an ecommerce store, it should come with a shopping cart feature to allow customers to purchase your products and services online. This enables your customers to purchase directly from your website.

Ecommerce platform

Apart from shopping cart functionality, an ecommerce platform also has inventory management for your products, an order management to handle your sales, coupled with payment and delivery integration so you technically can manage your online business entirely on a single platform. 

Payment processing

With payment integration, it allows your website to integrate with various payment partners such as Gcash or PayMaya. In turn, customers can pay for their purchases directly and efficiently. This helps make the checkout process easy, convenient and secure.

Shipping options

Shipping integration lets you select the type of shipping method you like to provide for customers. With customer experience in mind, your shipping method offerings should be beneficial to both your customers and business. Your customers should not be paying an exorbitant amount for shipping and that they should receive their orders promptly.

These online tools and features are definitely essentially to help build or migrate your business online and helps to ensure it can run smoothly and effectively. So if you do not have a website or online store, now is the time to consider one for your business.

What customer service can you provide to set yourself apart from the competition?

Even a small business idea from home must grow into something useful and unique for people to notice. An online store can help traditional businesses achieve this by providing excellent customer service, sometimes 24/7. This includes:

Providing a helpful and knowledgeable customer service team

A good customer service team is essential for any business. They can help to troubleshoot customer questions and resolve any problems they may have. In addition, a knowledgeable customer service team can help increase sales by recommending or cross-selling products to customers.

Offering superior customer service

Superior customer service is key to setting your business apart from competition. It involves exceeding customers’ expectations by providing them with an exceptional experience. This can include responding to customer inquiries in a timely manner, offering amazing deals and discounts, and going above and beyond on product  support.

Live chat and knowledge database

Live chat function or a knowledge database is one method to help your customers get their queries answered quickly. This can also help them in their decision making process and are likely to convert.

This becomes especially helpful for niche services such as print-on-demand business where potential customers may want to confirm on the dimensions or printing fees before committing.

With a top-notch service coupled with site functions or features that is able to address concerns effectively and efficiently can definitely help your business to stand out from the competition.

Other ways to improve your business without breaking the bank

There are many ways to improve your business without investing too much money and below are some examples to guide you:

1. Use social media – Social media is a great way to connect with potential and current customers. It’s also a great way to promote your products and services. Best of all, it’s free to use!

2. Give away free samples – Giving away free samples is a method to generate interest in your products and services that can also help to drive brand awareness.

3. Offer discounts – Offering discounts can attract new customers while also generating repeating purchases. You can offer discounts on your products, services, or shipping.

4. Participate in trade shows – Trade shows can help to promote your business and products. They’re also a great way to network with other businesses.

5. Get involved in the community – Getting involved in the community not only helps to generate interest in your business but is also a great way to build relationships with potential and current customers.

If you want to improve your offline business in the Philippines, these are key tactics you can apply. Ultimately, your goal is to set yourself apart from the competition by making your store more visible and attractive to customers, providing quality customer service, and improving other aspects of your business.

Frequently Asked Questions About Offline Business

How Can I Improve My Offline Business?

Apart from traditional marketing methods such as TVCs and radio buys, tapping into online marketing such as SEO, SEM and posting on social media can help to improve your offline business as it can build your brand presence globally.

How Do You Attract Offline Customers?

To attract offline customers, you should consider creating collaterals that are eye-catching and also running one-off promotions. Maximise these strategies by releasing the collaterals both offline and online for the best reach. 

How Can I Improve My Business Present Online?

To improve your business presence online, consider adopting strategies like optimising your website for search (SEO), creating high quality articles, affiliate marketing, link outreach through digital partnerships and utilising social media to post content on various online platforms.

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