If your business is too new or too old, chances are you might not have an online presence. Older businesses often didn’t have one to begin, and brand-new businesses may still be working on aspects of their business, getting everything set up – and may not have the budget for a website and social media person.
While it’s understandable if you don’t have the budget for it at the moment, in the long term, especially in today’s world, it’s extremely important that you create your own unique brand identity online.
First, let’s quickly go over what an online presence means. From Flock.com: “Online presence refers to all activity and content that an entity—a person or a business—has under their name on the internet. This includes accounts, assets, interactions, and any pieces of information created by or about the person or business.”
So, why do you need an online presence, and how do you go about setting it up? We’ll go over that in the sections below, so stay tuned!
The importance of an online presence for your retail space for rent in NJ
Why exactly do you need to have an online presence? For many reasons. The world is digital, and people use it to conduct research and make decisions before they invest or make purchases. From Forbes: “85% of consumers conduct research before they make a purchase online, and among the most used channels for research are websites (74%) and social media (38%). Consequently, businesses need to have an effective online strategy to increase brand awareness and grow”.
So, let’s go over some of the main reasons why you need an online presence in order for your business to thrive:
- Your customers are online
Forbes expands on the subject: “In 2019 alone, there were approximately 3.8 million Google searches conducted each minute, many of which were carried out to find information on local businesses. As you can see from this data, the internet can be a valuable tool for businesses; it provides an opportunity to broaden your reach and communicate with consumers on a global scale.
Having a substantial digital presence can not only increase consumer awareness, but it can also work to strengthen your brand by building up your credibility. Since consumers are likely to research your brand before making any monetary commitments, they will naturally expect to find your business when they search online. It follows then that your brand should appear (and rank highly) within search results.”
- It’s easier to show your products and services
Stores are typically designed to show off their wares easily and efficiently, but even so, it is often time consuming to find the right product and get its information. If your customers have social anxiety, they may not be willing to spend the amount of time that takes in your store.
Having an online store as an alternative to your retail space for rent in NJ is ideal, because that way your customers can easily scroll through your offerings and choose what they need, without wasting your time. Instead of having to deal with customers and convince them to choose your company, which can be very draining, you can just put up product and service descriptions online and let your products speak for themselves. This will save you loads of time, which you can dedicate to improving other aspects of your business.
- Market your company for free
From Indiana Chamber: “Your brand is what sells you to customers. It can be challenging to market your brand depending on its niche. However, if you build a strong digital presence, building your brand should come quite easily. It’s completely free to market your brand using the internet and social media. Now, this only goes so far before having to get involved in paid advertising and targeted advertising. The beauty of a digital presence is that people from thousands of miles away can find your business with one click”
The internet is an incredible resource, and after paying a nominal fee, you can have it at your fingertips. Online competition is strong, but it is also largely free, and the reward is increased business!
- Build relationships and draw in customers
From Indiana Chamber: “The goal of using social media is to build relationships with friends and followers, and this is true for businesses and individuals. Your brand acquires a voice when your company regularly posts on social media, no matter the platform. This voice helps your company become relatable to customers and provides a human touch. Businesses can get to know their customers by using social media. If your business isn’t on social media, you are missing out on an untapped, free resource to build your brand.”
This isn’t so much a reason to have an online presence, but more so to have a strong one. Often, companies do the bare minimum when it comes to this stuff, because they either think there’s no point, or they’re demotivated by the cost and effort that goes into setting up a solid online presence.
- Greater reach
With a brick-and-mortar business, even if you post ads and hand out pamphlets and try out every other trick in the book, you’re limited to a local audience. With an online business, if you can arrange for your website to support it, your audience could be global. There are no limits to reach when it comes to an online business, so you can reach a much, much wider audience and add a lot more customers.
From Smallbiztrends.com: “Given today’s supply chains and shipping capabilities, it’s possible for even the smallest online firm to handle international sales. This expands the possible target market from only thousands to millions.”
So, these were some of the key reasons why you need an online presence. It gives you a wider reach, it gives you credibility, it enables you to reach your target audience, you can build relationships with potential customers through blog posts, and you get to market your business for no extra cost!
What you stand to lose by having an online presence
Are there any downsides of having an online presence for your retail space for rent in NJ? Not many, but yes. Like everything else, having an online presence has its pros and cons. Let’s look at a few cons:
- It’s expensive and time consuming
You need either money or time in order to build a decent online presence, and if your key goal is finding more business, that may indicate your business is new, or struggling. In such a case, spending resources on building an online presence may not be the best idea, even though it can bring in more business.
- There’s tremendous competition online
The internet is oversaturated with businesses, and people have grown wary of businesses trying to push their product at them. So when you do build an online presence (for the benefits outweigh the negatives), whatever you do, don’t push your product down people’s throats. That’s a terrible marketing strategy and a great way to increase your bounce rate.
- Lack of credibility
From Smallbiztrends.com: “With a brick-and-mortar company, a certain level of trust exists intrinsically between the customer and the business. The fact that a firm has taken the time and invested the money to set up a store and build out an infrastructure says volumes.
Since the barriers to entry are so low in ecommerce, one doesn’t necessarily enjoy the same level of credibility. In fact, many online businesses find it challenging to prove they’re legitimate … especially when they’re small and just beginning to scale up.”
- Customer Service is hard to provide online
If you sell online, there is zero face-to-face interaction with customers. Even though chat and calling are options, customer service becomes challenging. At your retail space for rent in NJ, you can provide excellent customer service and ensure your customers are satisfied, but online there’s no tried and tested way to make sure everyone goes away happy.
So, these were some of the cons of having an online presence. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have an online presence. With very few exceptions, having an online presence is good for practically all businesses, even despite the downsides. Just make sure you’re prepared for these problems, and try not to invest resources you can’t afford.
Finding the perfect retail space for rent in NJ
From a 1,000 sq. ft. office facility to a Class A 100,000 sq. ft. space in Short Hills, NJ, the Blau & Berg platform is simple – focus on being in front of people. Partnering with clients to provide in-depth market support, realistic timeframes and budgetary guidelines is key.
The company’s affiliates allow them to target local markets with global reach. Through research, marketing and canvassing, the firm achieves the optimal results for every client. The office sales and leasing group offers comprehensive strategies that incorporate short and long-term needs to maximize overall business objectives.