According to Forbes, on average during 2015 businesses with less than $5 million in annual revenue experienced 7.8% annual sales growth. Is your small business feeling that growth? Odds are if you are a small business retailer, the answer is not so much.
There are a number of strategies small retailers can employ to stoke online sales growth. Here are few ideas to get you going. Try them out and see which of these best help you to reach your ideal customer.
- Target the right audience.
Establish a list of keywords that are relevant to your target audience. Think about their potential interests, activities, beliefs, and values. Then, make a list of keywords that are relevant to your brand and products or services. Do those two keyword lists align? If not, it’s time to re-evaluate the segment of consumers that you are targeting. Identifying and targeting the market segment that best aligns with your small business’ personality and offerings will increase potential sales.
- Make your website work for you.
Your website is your window to the world – make sure that it is easy for potential customers to find and navigate through. SEO (search engine optimization) is key, and some basics are easy to employ and will make a significant impact. Remember that list of keywords you developed? It’s time to put them to use. Write content for your webpages that uses those keywords in a natural way. Include those keywords in your product names and descriptions, your URLs, your page titles and descriptions, your website images alt tags (an alt tag is the descriptive text that appears in place of an image when an image cannot be displayed). These keyword inclusion tactics will help increase visibility of your website by improving how it will be read and categorized by search engines, which will boost where your website ranks in search results.
- Get visual and social.
By now most businesses of all sizes have a presence on at least some social media platforms. Ideally, as a small business owner, you should limit which platforms you are devoting time to because there is only so much time to go around. The key is to identify which platforms your target audience uses. In the B2B space, LinkedIn is a good place to start. Find relevant groups to engage with and you are well on your way. For B2C small businesses, there are so many options – it can quickly become overwhelming. Start by taking a look at Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Any and/or all of these may be ideal for reaching your audience. Regardless of which platform(s) you choose to use, the importance of using visual elements in posts cannot be overstated. Visual content quickly and simply communicates a message that goes beyond words to build a stronger emotional connection between the brand and the audience. Content with images is viewed 94% more often
than content without images.
- Create brand evangelists.
Take a look at the people who support your small business. Can you identify customers, friends, or family members who have already bought in to what you’re selling? Not just your products or services – I mean those who have truly connected with the essence of your brand. Odds are that some of these people already have a significant social presence. Now, just think how they could leverage their digital selves for the benefit of your brand! Reach out and ask them. Let them know that you would love their help to grow the brand that you are working so hard to build.
If you can implement even one of these strategies, you’ll see your small business begin to grow. Theoretically, the more of these you implement, the greater your growth will be. Just make sure that your business processes and practices are properly set up to handle your increased sales. For example… more sales mean more sales tax. Any business owner knows that managing sales tax collection can be a daunting task, and ignoring it is even worse. Remember that the amount and type of sales tax you need to collect is determined by location of sales, location of resources (warehouses, offices, employees, etc. – this is known as nexus), and gross sales revenue. If you’re selling things online, sales taxes is even more complicated. Learn more about sales taxes impacting small business here and review this Sales Tax Survival Guide to make sure you’ve got all your bases covered.
Need some assistance navigating the sales tax labyrinth? Check out Avalara’s small business resources and solutions. Avalara is an innovative company that has spent the last 12 years committed to making sales tax less taxing for businesses of all sizes across the globe.