A digital shift is currently transforming the economic model in Quebec, Canada and elsewhere in the world. Where are you at with your business?
Times have changed and the Covid-19 pandemic has only amplified a current that has been building for several years. In order to remain competitive in their respective markets, today’s businesses must adapt to this new reality.
Firstly, it is important to be present in the places frequented by your target audience. Gone are the days when we were content to promote our business in traditional media and in the Yellow Pages. The advent of the Internet has definitely redefined consumer habits. Today, potential buyers go to Google to learn more about a product, seek the advice of their friends on Facebook, and often buy directly from a website or Amazon.
A report from the Institut du Québec points out that “we are observing a profound change in the consumption habits of Quebecers, who are gradually deserting the aisles of shopping centers for websites”.  72% of Quebec Internet users have consulted the inventory of a store online before going there. The report estimates that Quebec retailers could make $2 billion in additional sales in Quebec if they invested heavily in e-commerce.
A website, then what?
Creating a dynamic website is at the heart of a good digital strategy. However, this is only the first step in an effective digital strategy. Once your website is updated and efficient, it is then time to make sure that the right people find your site and that they like what they see when they arrive.
The days when we limited ourselves to promoting our business in the Yellow Pages are over.
Social media, being present where people gather
The online space is hyper-communicative. Social media provides you with an ideal opportunity to connect with your customers and create communities that build customer loyalty. Regardless of your products or services, these platforms (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube) offer the possibility of targeting the audience you are interested in at a low cost and increasing your credibility with them by strengthening your brand image. Social media also allows you to regularly analyze the performance of the content displayed on your various platforms and adjust your strategic plan accordingly in order to increase the performance (relevance of the content, number of subscribers) of each channel. The objective? Boost your sales in-store and online.
Brand identity: asking the right questions
But above all, you must first understand the brand identity of your company. Every company has a story. What’s yours?
What is the primary mission of your company? What makes you unique? Why should the consumer buy from your business instead of another? Who is your audience? Who are your current customers? What are the traits and habits of your potential buyers? It is only after you have answered these questions that you will be able to take the next step, creating a marketing strategy and creating content that reflects your brand.
72% of Quebec Internet users consulted a store’s online inventory before going there
The primary objective of a good digital strategy is to repeatedly emphasize your main message and form a distinct brand image with your target audience. Where do you want your brand to go? What impact will this new image have on consumer behavior? Answer these questions and then you will be able to move your brand to a new and exciting place.
Strategic objectives and execution
Next comes the strategic objectives stage (visibility, website traffic, mobilization, and increase of subscribers to the newsletter).
The content posted on your social media seeks to direct consumers to your site. A paid advertising campaign can also be created to target specific audiences using tools provided by platforms such as Facebook Ads and Google Ads (interests, location, proximity, etc.). As part of the customer journey, it involves building a sales funnel that encourages the public to start a dialogue with your company and ask questions about the products and services of your business. The public is then directed to your website (or a landing page) in order to discover the company’s products and services or to purchase a product via an online store.
To be successful, your digital shift must above all help your business to better meet the expectations of your customers. You must be present where they are. And today, 80% of your future customers are online.
 Conference Board of Canada: Le commerce en ligne au Québec: passer du retard à la croissance; December 2015
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