Brick-and-mortar businesses are facing an unprecedented threat: the growth of e-commerce. The internet has made it easier for customers to buy about anything online—including your products. If you don’t have an e-commerce presence, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to reach new audiences and grow your business.
Due to the pandemic, more and more people have started shopping online versus going to physical stores. And the trend doesn’t look like it’s slowing down anytime soon. As a brick-and-mortar business owner, you may wonder how to transition your company offline to online without losing customers and sales. Here are six tips to help you make the transition smoother—so your business can survive (and thrive) in the age of e-commerce.
Start with a website
Now is the time if you haven’t already created an online presence for your business. You can create a simple landing page that lists your products and services. Modern websites with a mobile-first design typically cost around $500 to $1,000 to build. You can also use a DIY website builder like Squarespace or Wix. Tese tools make it easy for anyone with basic computer skills to create a professional-looking website without hiring someone.h
Create an online store
Once you have a website, consider creating an online store to sell your products and services directly from the site. Many DIY e-commerce platforms are designed for small businesses and don’t have the same high price tags as enterprise solutions offered by Shopify or BigCommerce. WooCommerce and Magento are popular e-commerce platforms that can be used with WordPress websites. They’re open source and free to use, but they also offer paid extensions that provide additional features such as payment processing and shipping integration.
Add social media to your marketing strategy
A simple Facebook page can help you connect with potential customers, who may share your posts and spread the word about your business through their social networks. If you have a physical location, it’s also essential to create an online presence that reflects that location. For example, if your store is located in a mall or other shopping center, include information about those properties on your website so people will know where they can find them.
Social media also helps you transition from a brick-and-mortar business to an online one. When your customers are used to interacting with your brand via social media, it’s easier for them to transition from shopping in person to ordering online and social commerce.
Payment and delivery system
Once you’re selling online, it’s important to ensure your website has a secure payment system. This will help protect customers from identity theft and fraud and give them peace of mind that their information is being protected. The payment system should also be compatible with most web browsers, including Chrome, Safari, and Firefox.
Regarding delivery, you can offer free shipping or charge a flat rate for each order. Partnering with parcel pick up and delivery services can help you save money and time. You’ll also be able to offer faster delivery times, which will make your customers happier.
Garner customer reviews
Customer reviews are one of the most critical factors in online shopping. In fact, a recent study found that consumers are more likely to trust a brand if it has positive reviews. When starting your eCommerce store, getting as much customer feedback as possible is essential.
You can do this by offering free shipping and returns on all items. This will encourage shoppers to buy more because they won’t feel like they have anything to lose if something goes wrong with an order. If a customer is happy with their purchase, mention it in social media posts and email newsletters.
This is a critical step in building credibility and trust with your audience. It will also encourage shoppers to leave reviews on your store’s pages, which helps increase sales. Just make sure your reviews are authentic and honest.
Utilize email marketing
Email marketing is a great way to keep in touch with your customers. Many eCommerce platforms offer built-in email templates, or you can use an email service provider like Constant Contact or Mailchimp. You can also use email marketing to send out newsletters, surveys, and promotions that are tailored to your customer’s interests. This will help you stay connected with them and build relationships over time. Plus, it’s a great way to increase brand loyalty and encourage repeat purchases.
In addition to using email marketing to send out promotional materials, you can also use it to keep your customers in the loop about what’s going on with your business. You can send updates on new products or services, announce upcoming events and sales, share customer success stories, and more. This helps build trust between you and your customers, which in turn leads to more conversions and sales.
To Wrap It Up
Transitioning from a brick-and-mortar business to an eCommerce store requires careful consideration and planning. With these steps, you can successfully transition your business online and open up new opportunities. It’s also important to remember that you don’t have to do everything all at once. Take your time and make sure each step is done right before moving on to the next one.