During these uncertain times, business owners are trying everything they can to adapt quickly to the changing economy. The number of brick-and-mortar stores moving online has increased, and many of them have experienced a surge in sales and significant business growth. This means that you are missing out on many potential customers if you haven’t moved your brick-and-mortar store online.
Setting up an online shop can be challenging. However, you can open your business for new opportunities and reach a wider audience with the right strategies.
Step 1: Pick a Platform
Choosing the right platform is one of the main steps of taking your brick-and-mortar store online. You will have two options at this stage: you can either sell through an online marketplace or establish your own eCommerce site.
Before making a decision, research the most suitable channel for your business. When researching, think of the commitments of every option and your expectations for selling online. Will you have the time to create an eCommerce site, or will it be more reasonable to sell on an online marketplace?
Both selling on an online marketplace and setting up an eCommerce site have their benefits. However, setting up an eCommerce site gives you more control – you can display your products and also get direct payments from your clients.
Step 2: Choose the Products You Will Sell
The second step is to decide which products you will sell. When choosing, remember that some products cannot be sold digitally. Besides items with various legal limitations, you might realize that you have some in-store inventory that won’t make any sense being sold online. Try finding other niche products to sell in your online store, which you didn’t sell in your physical store.
Step 3: Shipping and Fulfillment
Operating an online store and getting items to your customers is not as easy as handing them over the counter. The two common ways to do shipping and fulfillment is to either take the package and ship it to your customers yourself or use a third-party service that has a warehouse to pack and dropship the online orders to your customers for you. Alternatively, you can use a trucking company to reduce your storage costs and deliver items to your customers on time.
Whichever option you pick, make sure that they can assimilate into your eCommerce platform. Remember to disinfect your products before they are shipped out.
Step 4: Design Your Online Store
Consistency is one thing that you must think of when designing an online store. Try as much as you can to give your customers a seamless experience regardless of whether they are browsing products in your physical store or your online shop. Take a look at your brick-and-mortar store and pay close attention to any elements or themes you can take online.
If you are selling your items on an online marketplace, try to explore the customization features available and use them to your advantage. You can display a stunning billboard image, upload your logo, feature the right products, and draft an engaging description of your online store.
If you have decided to set up your eCommerce site, there will be some customization options. You can also choose between creating your own design or using an existing theme.
Step 5: Build and Optimize Your Product Pages
Many retailers taking their stores online tend to ignore their product pages. However, in any eCommerce site, the product page plays a critical role in generating sales. Customers usually make their buying decisions depending on what they see on the product page.
Shoppers cannot feel and touch products the way they used to in a brick-and-mortar store. Instead, they depend on the product photos, reviews, and descriptions to determine whether to buy or not. Therefore, make sure that your product page is attractive, captivating, and easy to navigate.
Step 6: Marketing
You should have a budget and a plan in place to market your online store. Know that the moment you decided to move your brick-and-mortar store online, you made big companies like Amazon your immediate competition. To prepare for this last stage, analyze the market, determine how to launch your services, and put a budget together.
Many business owners are moving their businesses online to reach an even wider audience. Moving your brick-and-mortar store online comes with many advantages, flexibility being the main one. However, it also comes with some security issues. Therefore, you need to protect your business online to reduce liabilities and other security costs.