Christine Hope, one of our seven expert retailer columnists, tells us why summer is a crucial time to get your business online

So we are all hoping for a great summer where chilled drinks and ice creams go through the roof and the impromptu barbecues maximise our sales.

But the one thing you should do this summer is get your online presence started. More than ever people are looking things up online before they buy, not necessarily at home, but on the move. Here’s how to make sure you are found this summer:

Get your website responsive

Bring up your website on your mobile and ask yourself: ‘Does it look good? Can you read it?’ One of the biggest frustrations for any mobile user is a website that appears all over the place because it isn’t responsive.

Create a Facebook business page or Facebook group for your local area

You will be known for what you sell, but surely it would be great if you were also known for all the non-profitable things you do, people you help and community events you support.

Pick a target audience you want to engage with and keep your posts 80% interest and 20% general sales. For example, if you wanted to target expectant mothers, you may share National Childbirth Trust classes in the area, to guide them on where to get a massage, second-hand children’s clothes websites or swimming pool opening times, and then post about your range of essential baby items from nappies to calpol.

Asking your followers to share your posts is great way to engage with more customers and get your name shown to people who don’t visit your store yet!

Claim your Google page

Google will have your business mapped on their amazing data system. Look it up on a desktop and the right-hand column allows you to claim your business. You can add your website details, telephone number, opening times and at least one great picture of you what your business looks like externally from a car.

So don't delay, ensure you are found online this summer.

Visit our month of summer feature for more advice, tips and products to boost your sales this summer!