- Shipping Services
- Become a Customer
- Franchise Opportunities
How to take advantage of e-commerce and online opportunities for your franchise
If your franchise brand allows you to market your franchise independently online, then the world wide web presents ample opportunities for your franchise to expand your business and increase sales. Here’s how you can take advantage and connect with new customers effectively and retarget existing ones.
Start a website
If you run a service-based franchise, creating an online presence by launching a website may be a good way to start reaching out to new customers and advertise the services you offer. Make sure to follow the brand guidelines of your franchise by using the colours, fonts and image requirements as stated.
A website can be hosted for a relatively affordable price, using hosting companies such as 1&1, Wix, and Shopify, or you may prefer using a content management system such as Wordpress. Some hosting companies also provide the facility for websites to be designed easily using drag and drop software. Wordpress themes such as Divi and Elementor also allow drag and drop editing.
A good website should have as much important information as possible ‘above the fold’ which is the first part of a website, yet information should not be stuffed in that section. It should instead be clear, engaging, and informative.
Exploit Social Media Channels
Social media can be a powerful tool for increasing awareness and connecting with more customers. Leading social media platforms include Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Choose the social media platform best suited to your line of business that your franchise operates in and that you expect your target audience to be engaging on.
LinkedIn is a business-orientated social network that can be used to spread awareness of your franchise. We recommend that your franchise is promoted via your personal LinkedIn profile, as people are more likely to connect with a ‘human face’ rather than a corporate profile.
Connecting with potential customers on LinkedIn may be done through various means:
- Project yourself as a leader in your field, by posting helpful content.
- Post content, images, infographics, or opinions relating to current news or situations. These are more likely to trigger comments and engagement. Try avoiding controversial subjects that may be noticed by the parent franchise or create negative associations around your franchise.
- Celebrate personal and business successes, such as awards, new business won, new employees joining your franchise, business meetings, travel, etc.
- Post positive or encouraging content that elicits emotion. These can be around setting and achieving goals, dreams, aims, personal perspectives, and quotes.
Reach out to customers and build testimonials
The importance of positive testimonials cannot be underestimated in terms of their power to influence decision making. Most customers will search for testimonials when deciding whether or not to use services from a company or to purchase an item online.
There exist many review sites such as Trustpilot which charge businesses a monthly fee, however Google Business Listing provides the facility for people to leave customer reviews.
Franchises should try and create either a paid or free listing for customers to leave reviews on and then actively try to acquire positive testimonials from customers.
This can be done by either sending automated emails after someone purchases services from the franchise, if the franchise operates a website. If the franchise runs its business via physical business premises, business cards with information on how to leave a review can be passed to customers, after the customer has used its services.
Franchises can also use their customer lists to send invitations to leave a review. But this should only be done if the customer has agreed that they can be sent marketing information.
Once you have reviews, positive or negative, ensure that you are responding to all of them within an adequate time frame. By doing this, it shows that you are confident about your product or service and acknowledge mistakes or breakdown of communication.
Start a YouTube Channel and regularly post content
Want to show off your skills with the world and connect your franchise with a wider audience? Then creating a YouTube channel may be the way to go. Invest in a decent camera (not a mobile camera) and create short 3 to 5 minute videos, where you can share business related tips or information and perspectives of the type of work your franchise is involved in. This may not necessarily create new business, but it will lead to greater brand awareness and will go towards helping to improve your franchise's perception.