You know that euphoric feeling you get after putting a really awesome item in your online cart and checking out? What about that even better feeling that pops up when your package shows up at your doorstep and you can first lay eyes on your much-coveted new item?
That’s a feeling that most people love to chase. Over 76% of consumers do at least some shopping on the internet. As a result, it’s important that businesses like yours adapt and expand to the online market and wow potential customers with your e-commerce shop.
But how can you make the shift to selling online in addition to within your physical business? That’s what we’re going to discuss here today. Read on for some information on how you can add online purchasing options to your brick-and-mortar shop!
Talk to Pre-Existing Customers
As someone who’s run a business for a while, you know who your most cherished regular customers are. Talk specifically to these individuals about what they would like to see in an online store. Because these customers already love your services and understand what your business is trying to do, they may have some interesting ideas for your website that you haven’t yet thought of.
However, regular customers aren’t the only ones that you should be talking to. If you only consult with people that you know love your shop, you won’t get well-rounded and diverse opinions. Place a box at the door of your brick-and-mortar shop asking those who walk in to submit ideas for your e-commerce site. This can be an anonymous process!
People are likely to tell you some of the things that they like to see in pre-existing e-commerce shops and what they think you should do. Check for any patterns in what your clientele like. These are all suggestions that you should take seriously when setting up shop online.
Choose an E-Commerce Platform
The next thing you’ll need to do is select a platform for your e-commerce store. Some of the most popular platforms include:
Of course, there are many more platforms than these, and we’ll help you pick the one that’s the best fit for your business and your goals.
No matter which of these platforms you use, make sure that you have professional help when developing your website. The templates may be easy to use, but you still will want to gain some technical knowledge into what effective web design means and how your shop can be marketed.
Design and Develop a Website
Developing a website is, of course, going to require the help of a professional. However, you can take some preliminary steps yourself and get started immediately! Look at other online stores to figure out what you like & don’t like, and start thinking about the written content and what you want to say to your customers. Taking these steps before talking to the pros also will give you a deeper understanding of how e-commerce works. It also will give our experts a starting point for web development that shows exactly what message you want to convey.
The most important thing when developing an e-commerce website is to use visuals. Product images help to showcase the items that you’re selling, and they do a much better job of informing people of what they can buy than walls of text do. You may also want to include short videos on your page because they boost consumer engagement. 73% of people are more likely to make a purchase after seeing a video about what you have to offer!
You also need to use bold, clear text so that people can read what you have to say without straining their eyes. Don’t have paragraphs that are more than three sentences and use simple language. This makes your page more accessible to all users and lets people engage with it for shorter intervals.
Just like text-based content, your e-commerce shop’s navigation needs to be simple, minimalist, and to-the-point. You don’t want people to get frustrated with your site and click away from it without finishing their purchase!
Set Up Payment and Shipping
Once your site is set up, there’s one more critical thing we need to do before launching it: setting up payment options. We’ll help you make sure your site is appropriately set up so that people can pay for your products.
After that, you’ll want to make sure that you have a way to ship out your products. Since you already have a brick-and-mortar business, you likely can send shipments from your pre-existing location. Have a postal worker come and pick up your packages to be delivered to the post office. Remember to provide your customers with tracking information!
Market and Grow
Once you complete these steps and have a professional go over your website, it’s time to launch your shop!
However, that doesn’t mean that you’re done. Far from it- now, it’s time to continue optimizing and growing your online store.
You’ll want to get Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services and create content that boosts your page up in Google search rankings. This ensures that you’ll get more traffic. You also will want to market your business on social media and offer exclusive deals and promotions to followers.
The bottom line is that you want people to engage with your products and interact with your business!
Now that you know how to make the switch from in-person to online sales, it’s time to talk to professional web designers and developers to learn how to make your web vision a reality.
Contact us for expert help in getting an e-commerce shop set up and running for your business. Our experts are more than happy to answer any lingering questions that you have before giving you a quote for your project, so what are you waiting for? Add a well-designed e-commerce store to your brick-and-mortar shop today!