Recent advances in technology have made it quicker and easier to start an online business. However, the fast growth of online businesses also means increased competition. When there's more competition, growth requires extra effort. 

From learning online negotiation skills to leveraging content marketing, here are 10 things that may help your digital business grow. 

Personalize customer experience

Online companies that personalize customer experience could see higher sales. A study by Accenture found that 75% of consumers saypersonalization influences their shopping decisions. 

The report shows that customers tend to buy more when companies recognize them by name. Customers also said they spend more when brands use their purchase history to recommend purchases. 

Leverage content marketing 

Content marketing is an effective way to improve retention rates. Improving customer retention can help digital companies grow. A study by Bain & Company found that a 5% increase in customer retention can lead to between a 25 and 95% increase in profit.  

Remember, though: When you post online content, you’re negotiating for the consumer’s attention and time. So, avoid creating content that adds no value.

Establish a strong social media presence

A strong social media presence gives you a platform on which to build your brand's reputation. Reputation plays a major role in a company's success. According to a BrightLocal survey, a positive reputation online helps customers trust businesses. Of course, your company is unlikely to grow or thrive without trust. 

A robust social media profile may also help increase brand awareness. How familiar your target audience is with your brand can have a tangible effect on the level of trust your customers have. Social media is a great place to engage with your customers. So, you could also generate more leads and website traffic with an active and positive presence. 

A strong digital reputation can also be a valuable online negotiation tool. A negative online presence could affect your image and reputation. A study by The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania found that reputation affects both the negotiation outcome and the negotiating process. 

Reduce your lead response time

Your company’s lead response time can make or break your success. If you take too long to get back to a customer, you may miss a growth opportunity. According to a Velocify survey, prospects who receive a call within one minute of their initial inquiry are 391% more likely to convert than those called any time after that. 

If you train your team to action leads quicker, you may be able to outpace your competitors. Also, responding to leads promptly may help improve online negotiation outcomes. 

Create and maintain excellent customer support and service

A joint customer service study conducted by American Express and Ebiquity found that people tell an average of 15 people about a poor service experience. 

Negative online reviews and low ratings may drive customers away, which could affect the growth of your digital business. You're more likely to retain your customers for longer when you provide top-notch customer service. Excellent customer service can also help improve your public persona and strengthen your brand.

Take advantage of cross-promotion

Cross-promotion is where brands partner to promote or sell their products or services to each other’s customers. When done well, cross-promotion can give you access to a new audience without incurring any of the costs of creating a new market. 

Also, when you partner with a well-known brand, your company’s reputation may get a boost. “Borrowed” brand equity is a great way to increase your brand’s status. 

Use a responsive web design

Website traffic is essential for online businesses. Without traffic, it’s difficult to consistently generate qualified leads. According to a report by Quartz, mobile devices are responsible for up to 70% of web traffic. One way to ensure those visitors can access your website is to use responsive design.

Responsive design allows websites to adapt to the size of the visitor's device. This feature can improve the customer's browsing experience. Also, web pages load faster. If your site takes too long to load, you may lose sales and traffic. Google recommends that you target a page load time of under two seconds. 

Learn how to negotiate online 

Effective communication is a crucial element of successful dealmaking. In a digital business, you often discuss deals remotely rather than in person – whether it’s by email, chat, phone, or a video call. 

If you’re one of the many business owners who negotiate better in person, negotiating remotely or online can be challenging. Using an online negotiation platform could help you become a more effective digital dealmaker. 

For example, a common problem when conducting business via email is the potential for your words to be misinterpreted or misunderstood. In an online communications class, you can learn which words to avoid and which to use to ensure that your emails are clear, concise, and without ambiguity.  

Use landing pages to promote new products or services

Websites are an important and valuable tool for online businesses. However, when you need to promote a new product or service, a landing page is often a better option. Websites tend to be cluttered, and your promotion may get lost on the page. 

Landing pages, on the other hand, are purpose-built for a specific promotion. These types of pages have minimal, if any, distractions. Customers are therefore able to focus on the offer. As a result, you may be able to reap the benefits of high conversion rates.

Take advantage of video

Video helps companies connect emotionally with potential and existing customers. Customers who feel strongly about a brand tend to be more actively engaged with the brand. Active engagement often creates stronger relationships. Strong relationships with customers can be a plus, especially when it comes to negotiating. 

Research in the social sciences shows that people are more likely to be open to negotiating when a positive relationship exists among the people at the bargaining table.

Feel free to get creative, as the opportunities for video content creation are vast. You could make how-to videos or give a behind-the-scenes tour to show customers what your brand is about. Sharing user-generated content is another great option, with the extra bonus of adding brand authenticity. Whatever you choose, aim for quality, not quantity. Also, keep selling to a minimum. Instead, focus on adding value.

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