Skills Needed for Growing Your Business Online

Let's take a look at some of the most important skills you'll need to hone to grow your business online.

Skills Needed for Growing Your Business Online

There are many skills you must have or cultivate if you want your business to succeed in selling online. If you’re just starting out, you likely wear a lot of hats! In the beginning, you have to know a little about a lot.

Let’s take a look at some of the most important skills you’ll need to hone to grow your business online.

Customer Service

Business owners have a responsibility to manage their brand’s customer service. For example, you might have to process a refund, respond to questions or concerns, and manage company feedback. Honing your customer service skills can help you keep customers even if they’re not happy with a certain purchase. You’ll resolve issues without burning bridges. Additionally, it keeps you on top of customer buzz – you’ll know what they need because you’re regularly in contact. These skills come in handy throughout the customer journey.

Be mindful when listening – don’t listen with the intent to respond. For instance, do you know how your customers prefer to pay? Making online checkout easier can help secure sales. Learn how to read between the lines. Focus on what your customers and potential customers are really saying.


This is a skill that’s highly prized among entrepreneurs. Once your business is established, you can hire out the creative aspects of your brand. But when you’re just starting, you need to generate your own ideas for such things as website and landing page copy and marketing strategies. You’ll certainly need to get creative as you run into inevitable snags along the way. Sometimes, complicated issues call for outside-the-box solutions.
If you’re struggling to come up with ideas, turn to social media. You can find all sorts of creative ideas on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and, most recently, TikTok.

What About BOPIS?

According to Bell and Howell, BOPIS (buy-online-pickup-in-store) grew in popularity by 46% from 2018 to 2019 – and it’s certainly gained steam in the years since. If this is a term you’ve never heard of, you’re not alone. The concept isn’t entirely new, but the pandemic put this practice center stage. BOPIS isn’t necessarily a skill on its own, but it is another way to be flexible with your customers and offer them an additional way to buy your products on their own terms.

Brands differ in their approaches to BOPIS, but the skills needed to implement this strategy into your own business successfully are relatively similar across the board.

Customer Experience Management (CXM)

Managing the customer experience is crucial when fulfilling BOPIS orders. Bell and Howell found that customers become frustrated when they must wait longer than they expect when picking up a BOPIS order – especially if they received a notification stating their order was ready. While the purchase process should be as seamless as possible, so should the pickup process. Retailers using traditional methods to fulfill BOPIS orders struggle with this. There should be staff dedicated to filling orders or a structured, efficient way for customers to self-serve at the pickup station.

Customers who are satisfied with their BOPIS experience are much more likely to purchase again. Nearly 95% of customers making an online purchase to pickup in-store intend on spending additional money on other products when they pick up.

Understanding Customer Motivation and Why Incentivization Works

One of the biggest reasons customers shop online and choose to pick up in-store is convenience. Just like you manage your time on daily tasks, your customers do, too. Plus, many shoppers enjoy the ease of shopping online but getting their products on the same day without physically searching the store on their own. Consider offering a check-in service or app that alerts your store when a customer leaves their home – you can have their products waiting for them upon arrival, offering a more satisfying BOPIS experience.

Other reasons why consumers opt for BOPIS when available include:

  • No shipping costs
  • Avoid package theft
  • Score an online deal

Understanding a customer’s motivation for choosing BOPIS offers you several ways to promote, upsell, cross-sell, or incentivize customers.

Just remember: whatever strategies you choose should be consistent with your other brand messaging, appeal to your customers, and boost your revenue.

Final Thoughts

Square is working hard to bring you the new solutions you need for your continued success. Your business cannot only grow, but it can thrive depending on the skills you hone. A balance of hard and soft skills is essential - i.e., you need marketing (hard skill), but it must be creative (soft skill) to be impactful. Master these skills, partner with Square, and build a successful business online. We’ve built robust tools that make running your business easier and more customer-friendly, setting you up for future success.