Maya Aliza Balunywa is a blogger, YouTuber, digital influencer and marketer. She is also a mother and the proprietor of Maya’s Gallery ug, an all online shopping store dealing in classy and versatile items for women.
Maya’s love for fashion led her to start her own physical store which she concurrently run on Facebook as well not so long ago. However due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the government guidelines put in place to control it’s spread, she decided to move to an all online store. Maya currently runs her online store via her website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram platforms as well. Check out and subscribe to Maya’s YouTube channel for amazing content on lifestyle, beauty, motherhood and more.
Visit her website to start shopping and add these fabulous items to your wardrobe.
Last week, our CEO Sherifah Tumusiime together with Maya Balunywa had a conversation on what it takes to transition to an all online store via our Facebook live platform.
Here a few take a ways business owners can consider when transitioning from a physical to an online store.
When an opportunity presents itself, take it up!
We may not always be completely prepared sometimes, but when an opportunity presents itself, take it on and build from there! COVID- 19 has presented very many opportunities for both physical and already existing online businesses, figure out how to best take advantage of this situation, of any situation for that matter.
Utilize the resources around you.
Even with many businesses having closed due to the pandemic, many others have moved their businesses online. Today one of the greatest resources we have is the internet. Now is a great time to make great use of it. Move to selling on Facebook, Instagram and even Whats App to mention but a few. If minimizing costs is necessary, use your free room space at home to set up shop. Business does not have to stop because you have no physical location.
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”― Benjamin Franklin. Before you do anything, prepare! Whether you’re running a physical or an online store, prepare before you launch. Have your social media pages ready, have your website ready, have your shop ready before you decide to launch. Find out what you will need, how, when, why and where.
Be specific about what you are selling. What is your brand really about?
Let’s be honest, you can’t do it all especially when it comes to business. Whether it’s a physical store or an online store, be known for selling a specific thing. For example, Maya’s Gallery sells fashion items for women. This is can done in your business description section. Being known for that one thing you deal in will make it easier for people to find you. If you have many amazing ideas you’d like to launch, create separate stores for the various lines of businesses you’d like to have.
Add value to your customers.
All wealth comes from adding value – Brian Tracy. So, you run a clothing store but apart from making sales, what value are you adding to your customers, don’t only focus on making sales, share ideas on how customers can pair pieces, and with what. What colors blend well together and maybe where they can wear it to.
Learn how to sell.
You may not know how to sell everything but learn how to sell whatever items you are dealing with. When you are passionate about something, selling it will probably come easy but in any case, invest time in learning how to sell your products to your customers.
Have a schedule.
Well, you can’t be online all day, every day. It’s tiring and it’s not good for your mental health. Know the times to post, the days to post and there are many apps today that you can use to schedule posts in advance for example Sprout Social so you can do this in advance when you have the time and schedule them to be posted even when you are not online. Establishing a schedule will keep you from burning out. Remember to follow up with your pages as often as possible. Everything does not stop after you share a post, look out for engagement from existing and potential customers and get back to them as soon as you can.
Count the numbers. All the numbers!
Numbers do not lie! For example, Maya kept count on all the random walk ins she had per day at her physical store, how many walk ins were traffic from her online presence, how many sales she made online that never walked into the store. Doing this allowed her to make a well-informed decision when the time came. It helps weigh your options and figure out what processes you can keep and what you can drop or improve.
In as much as covid has affected business owners, it has affected their customers as well. Online shopping is very new to many and as they adapt, you may find yourself having to educate your customers. Take time to show them what processes are involved and how they can use them to acquire your products. If this is something you are new to yourself, reaching out to a store of your choice and finding out how their processes work is a good start.
Everything changes over time and it’s important to continually educate yourself to keep updated on what it’s happening in your industry and have a better understanding of your business and your customer needs.
Going online is the next big milestone for many businesses. Hopefully these tips point you towards the right direction as you transition. Missed this session? Follow the conversation here. Follow Maya Balunywa on Instagram Twitter, and Facebook for more interesting and informative content. Don’t forget, Maya’s Gallery is the plug for all your fabulous wardrobe items!