Turning your bricks-and-mortar shop into an internet business has never been easier, or more affordable. This’s a four-step strategy to starting your digital storefront.
Small companies that depended on face earnings ahead of the coronavirus outbreak are affected. With shoppers trapped in your home, the only method to achieve them is via their displays. However, what should you have just a minimum internet presence, or even a website that may ‘t take credit cards? And what about business owners with no website, no tech skills and no spare money to hire someone to build an online store?
Don’t allow a deficiency of tech-savviness or funding keep you from becoming to a brand new strategy. As a result of special reductions and new technologies, setting up an internet business is easier than ever. Follow the following steps so it is possible to hang the virtual reality, "Yes, We’re Open! " signal on your store window.
Step 1: Define your merchandise and service scope
Before you fret about domains or internet hosts, you want to arrange your merchandise offering. In the event you’re starting from scratch, then we propose having a simple excel spreadsheet to direct your efforts.
- If you sell real goods, listing out every item title, a brief description along with the cost.
- To warrant shipping expenses, consider bundle deals or minimum purchase amounts.
- Take merchandise pictures should you overlook ‘t already have them. A plain white background (hint: a bedsheet will work fine) and a bright lamp are all you need for an in-home photo studio and a consistent look for your website.
- If you sell services, think about service bundles (e.g. selling blocks of consulting time or off-the-shelf service packages that solve a common customer need)
The important thing is to keep it simple, particularly if you want your clients to be able to self-serve themselves via the online shop. If they can’t know exactly what you’re supplying or just how a lot of it costs, then they might move elsewhere.
Step 2: Pick a online store platform
There are two major platform options for your internet store: a full online online store or a typical web site with online shopping functionality included. Each has their own pros and cons.
A full online online shopfront such as Shopify supplies a turn-key option. These kinds of platforms supply a ready-to-use support in exchange for a monthly subscription fee of $20 to $30. This is a great option If you desire a temporary alternative. There are limits, however. You’ll have to select among the prefab designs and be eager to take their supplied payment alternatives (which may not include the best option ).
For companies with an present site – or in the event that you are able to afford to spend more upfront – consider constructing your own store. This is simpler than it seems! In case you would like ‘t have a website, we recommend using one of the main web platforms, such as WordPress, Wix or Squarespace.
Start by buying a domain name for your online business and selecting a website host. You can do this directly with Wix and Squarespace, or through a third party if you choose WordPress. There are a variety of special offers available now, including hosting, set-up, SSL certificates and everything you’ll need to obtain up and running on a shoestring budget.
If you already have a website and it’s on WordPress, Wix or Squarespace, you can add shopping capabilities by adding a plugin like WooCommerce, or enabling additional functionality.
If your website is on a custom-built platform, you may be better off using a fully-hosted service like Shopify rather than paying your website developer to reinvent the wheel. This is particularly true if time is of the essence and budgets are tight. That said, if you need specialist support, you can take improvement of the low-interest loans now available to businesses who need help.
Step 3: Arrange for payment and fulfillment
Before you press go on your online store, make sure your payment options are user-friendly and account for the costs of collecting payments.
For example, if you’re paying a fee for each payment you collect, factor that into your product cost. If you’re selling a service, think about whether you want customers to pay in full upfront, make a partial payment or settle up their tab upon delivery of the service. You can also separate shopping and payment transactions for your online business by using your website to collect orders and billing through a separate accounting platform.
Shipping and delivery will no doubt require advance planning, particularly given how overwhelmed traditional delivery companies are now. One solution could be to focus on your local store. If feasible, consider acting as your own delivery service, reducing your fulfillment costs. Reach out to other local businesses to partner, allowing your customers to "add-on" other products and obtain a single delivery. This approach works particularly well for small specialty food shops – for example, having a butcher, baker, and vegetable stand collaborate to offer a one-stop online grocery shop.
Step 4: Promote your new online business
There’s no point in moving your business online if no one knows that you’ve done so.
- Start by alerting your existing contacts. Send an email and post on your company (and personal) social media accounts.
- Leverage your network and the flood of community spirit. Cross-promote business connections, ask friends and family to spread the word about your new online business.
- Alert relevant local or trade press and industry groups.
- Consider setting aside an advertising budget.
This is an incredibly difficult time for businesses. If your business can go on providing products and services using an online shop, don’t allow time, cash or technician worries hold you again. It truly is simpler and more affordable than you may think.
More ways to assist your small business flourish:
- What Female Small Business Owners Are Doing to Make It Through the Covid-19 Crisis
- 4 Ways to Gain Greater Social Reach On Your Brand
- Spring Clean Your Small Business Costs
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