While not every business is online, it is better to understand why it is critical to go that route especially now that experts say 66% of consumers are more loyal to the brands they follow on social media.
For Kamaldeep Sandhu, it was an eye-opener to realize that online presence for her business was the “booster” she had been missing. Ms Sandhu is the managing director of Malaika Gifts and Interiors, a Kenyan based start-up that links artisans with clients.
Since its founding in 2012, she says, the company has been operating from a physical shop in Nakuru, and mainly offers marketing services to the ever growing small scale players.
“I have established ways to realize the ever-changing customer needs and curate the best products,” she says. “Through this (focusing on online marketing), the business has begun to attract more customers.”
She adds that more small players are now more willing to work with her firm because of the increased customer reach. In addition to the enhanced online presence, the entrepreneur admits that the move to follow that path opened her eyes to thinking innovatively to meet customer needs effectively.
According to her, this has not only been instrumental in tapping into the online market and increasing her business visibility but also enabling artisans to realise the dividends of online marketing.
There is evidence that companies that were once sleepy are slowly detaching themselves from traditional way of doing business. The pandemic has left most businesses crippled so much that alternative ways to push up sales like going online suddenly makes a lot of sense.
Ms Sadhu says research shows that retail businesses experienced over 65% decline in customer visits during the pandemic. This meant a significant downturn for Malaika Gifts and Interiors, a company whose primary business is to provide a reliable market for artisans.
The Covid-19 containment measures and the resulting consumer mindset shift would add to the already struggling customer reach. To find a lasting solution to enhance consumer reach, Sadhu had to gain skills and understand how to enhance the presence of her business particularly online – she was able to adopt tools like social media, Google my Business, and AdWords.