Benefits of a Solid Online Presence for your Pet Store
We get asked this a lot. And our answer is pretty much always the same. An online presence is much more powerful in today’s world than it ever was in the past. If you neglect the people who are looking your business up online, then you may as well kiss many of those customers’ goodbye. It takes more than simply having a store to get people to come through the door. You now need to be able to help them in a responsive manner in order to gain their business. However, that’s not all that a solid online presence can offer.
You Create Greater Awareness of Who You Are When You Show Up Online
People are far more apt to know who you are and what you stand for when they encounter you online first. If they are going to look up a pet store in your area, you want them to have as many ways of getting your information as possible. Your website is only one way for your name to come up in the search. You can also have your name pop up through social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and even your company’s LinkedIn account. So now, instead of them only having one avenue to find your business, they have multiple ways to locate you. It may not seem like it will make much of a difference, but it can add up quickly. Plus, if they do a bit of research to find out who you are, then they can see what you have been openly talking about, making them more aware of your company than they would have been without that social media presence.
Trust and Rapport Can Be Built Up with Customers Online
When people aren’t quite sure what it is they want to do when it comes to purchasing items for their pets, they often do an online search first. This allows them to see their options right in front of them, and make a decision based on what they see. If a customer does not see what they are looking for after an initial search, typically they will do a deeper search. This can include looking through the websites of the few that caught their eye, or even going through social media accounts of the companies they are considering. Once they come across your online interaction, you are then being given the opportunity to win over those potential customers, whether you realize it or not. Those customers are going to read through what you have to say and make a judgment call. You can either sound professional and solve problems, which is what customers want and need, or you can sound like just another person making comments online that don’t really have a whole lot to say. If you sound like the former, you can quickly gain a positive reputation with people online, boosting the trust they have in your opinions and experience. However, if you sound like the latter, most people are going to walk away and look elsewhere to find the solutions to their needs.
Your Words Can Reach More Customers
When you spend a lot of time online, you get to interact with your current customers, building an even more solid rapport. However, as new customers venture across what you have said online, they will then add in their opinions, and give you the opportunity to respond. The more you have to say, the more chances you have to earn trust in your new, potential customers. Then, if these people like what you have to say, or can trust whatever it is you have to say, they will then be able to bond with your business ideals and may even give you their business whenever the need arises.
You Are Able to Interact Directly with Your Customers
One of the biggest benefits of having a continuous online presence is the ability to interact with current customers and potential customers in real time. If they have a question, they can quickly get an answer! If they are looking for advice, you can offer an idea of what has worked best in your experience, and be there to answer questions that the person may have about your idea. This can give them a real sense of who you are, and let them decide if they like your approach to their problems. You can also get feedback on how your customers’ experiences with your pet business have gone in a much faster way than ever before. If there was any kind of a hiccup in their experience, you can quickly correct the situation and make a bad situation into something positive. For customers that had a wonderful experience, they can publicly share their experience with others, and give them a solid testimonial about how great their experience really was. All of this quick response can also give you a solid reputation for rapid customer service that people can count on. Should they encounter a problem, they know you will be there to fix it quickly, and to make their experience more positive. Everyone knows that things can get mixed up now and again, but how you respond to those mix ups can say a lot about the type of business you run. Just because you are running a pet store, does not mean that you shouldn’t have the same impact that other large retailers have when they speak out. You just need the time to grow that type of an audience, and to give them what they are looking for. The more you are able to interact and impress your audience, the more you are going to be able to gain their trust and count on them to turn to your company when they need something that you have to offer. Don’t underestimate the power that your online presence has in this age of business. It can mean the difference between finding the success for your pet company that you are hoping for, or struggling to stay in business for the long term.
(she/her) I’m a brand strategist, award-winning designer, business consultant, and artist. You can usually find me being followed (herded) by a pack of dogs with paint on my face. I dream of living on a huge farm with a bunch of goats, chickens, and dogs. And my husband too.