Thinking about moving your existing brick-and-mortar business online? Whether you’re simply looking to add e-commerce capabilities to your current business website, or are contemplating moving your brick-and-mortar entirely online, there are a lot of factors to consider. Although it may seem overwhelming, the good news is that it’s now easier than ever to move your business online.
Advantages of E-Commerce
Not sure if moving your business online makes sense? Here are some of the biggest advantages:
- You can expand the reach of your products
With an e-commerce site you’re not geographically limited to selling your goods solely to customers in the vicinity of your physical store. Instead, you can reach new people from all over the globe to purchase what you’re selling.
- Your customers can access your store and make purchases whenever they want to
People can make purchases 24/7 instead of having to visit your brick-and-mortar during your regular hours of operation. Today’s consumers prioritize convenience, and an e-commerce site makes it easy for people to purchase what they want, when they want it.
- You can grow your business for virtually no additional cost
When it’s time to scale your e-commerce business, you don’t need to invest in a larger physical storefront, additional employees, higher rent, or increased utility payments.
- E-commerce continues to grow at an astounding rate
During the COVID-19 pandemic, e-commerce experienced a massive boom. In fact, at the height of the pandemic, e-commerce experienced 10 years of growth in just 90 days! An e-commerce site can prevent your business from missing out on a large share of the market.
5 Steps to Moving Your Business Online
Here are 5 simple steps to get you started with moving your brick-and-mortar online.
- Step 1: Review Your Inventory and Figure Out What to Sell
Although you may have a ton of different products, it might not make sense to sell all of them online. Conduct a thorough inventory analysis and decide what items make the most sense to sell from your existing product offerings.
- Step 2: Determine Your Shipping and Fulfillment Plan
Once you’ve determined what you will be selling, it’s time to think about shipping and fulfillment. Do you plan on storing, packaging, and shipping the products yourself? Or will you be using drop shipping to avoid having to store your inventory? Consider the size, weight, and popularity of the products you’re selling when deciding which option is the best one for your store.
- Step 3: Purchase a Domain Name
If you don’t already have a business website, you’ll need to set one up. The first step is picking a domain name (a web address for your business), and registering it with a registrar such as GoDaddy or Domain.com. Your domain name should be your business name or something very close to it.
- Step 4: Set Up or Upgrade Your Website
After you’ve settled on and purchased your domain, you’ll need to begin to set up your website. If you already have a website for your brick-and-mortar store, then you’ll just need to add e-commerce capabilities. If not, then you’ll need to build your website with a few basic pages such as a homepage, about us, and contact us. Make sure to add information about shipping, returns, exchanges, and FAQ. To set up your online store, you’ll need an e-commerce platform such as Shopify, WooCommerce, or Magento.
- Step 5: Spread the Word About Your New Online Store
Now that you’re ready to start selling, you have to make sure that your current and potential customers know that they can shop for your products online. Use marketing channels such as email, social media, Google ads, direct mail, or even influencers to get the word out.
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