Whenever I go online, it seems like most of my friends' faces change from this...
I'm not gonna lie. It seemed fun, so I changed my picture to a digital avatar, too.
And it's not a surprise that creating an online version of you became a trend. Why not, right? Everything has a digital version these days.
Everything and I mean EVERYTHING you need... You can find it online.
Ecommerce rose even more as people stayed at home. In fact, physical stores are moving online faster than ever.
At this point, you realize that now is the high time to bring your physical store to the online world.
Yes, transitioning from brick-and-mortar to online isn't that simple.
Just like with physical stores, this requires strategic planning. That starts from choosing the right platform to creating a marketing strategy for your new online store.
So, let's jump right in!
First, you need to know...
What Advantage Can Brick And Mortar Business Have From Setting Up An Online Channel?
You worked hard to establish your successful business. And yes, an online store will require extra elbow grease, too.
But trust me, all your efforts will come into fruition. Keep reading to know the benefits of running your own online business!
Grows Your Business At A Cost-Effective Rate
You know how expensive building a brick-and-mortar store is.
Thankfully, launching an online store is friendlier on your wallet. Unlike physical stores, you don't have to worry about store rent, utilities, and physical maintenance.
Even if you maintain a small office or operate from home, the overhead costs are significantly lower than those of a traditional business.
You don't even have to worry about hiring a web designer or a programmer. You just have to find the right ecommerce platform that has all the right tools.
And of course, set at a reasonable price.
Another thing you don't have to fret about is how to reach your customers...
Ecommerce brands can utilize dropshipping models, where products are shipped directly from the manufacturer or wholesaler to the customer.
This model eliminates the need for warehousing inventory, reducing storage and inventory holding costs.
Boosts Your Brand's Customer Reach
You might have been restricted to do business around your local area. Learn local marketing right here.
But with an ecommerce website, you can open up your business to the whole world.
Digital marketing strategies, like social media advertising, SEO, and email marketing, can be more cost-effective than traditional advertising channels like TV and print.
Plus, they allow for precise targeting, ensuring a higher ROI.
That means you can also gain more potential customers. And also keep your existing customers, wherever they are. Your retail business is just one click away!
Since your online store is just one click away, you can also...
Elevate Your Customers' Satisfaction
Your customers love it when there are a lot of choices on their hands. And that's exactly what you're giving them with an ecommerce store.
They can choose when and where they buy your products. Heck, they can even check out while still in bed!
Also, in addition to your brick-and-mortar store, your products and services are always available.
Your customers can opt to pick up or ship their purchases. They also have their own choices of payment.
Now, who would say no to that?
And most importantly, you can...
Increase Your Online Sales
What are your business hours? Most likely, you are only open for limited hours during the daytime. That means you are also missing out on sales while you are sleeping.
But with an online store, you are open 24/7. That opens up your business to whole new audiences and of course, sales.
And you don't even have to be awake for the whole process. You can hire someone to do all the work for you.
All you need is to find the perfect ecommerce platform and marketing strategy. And of course, the best ecommerce theme ?.
After that, your products will be selling like hotcakes.
Now that we went through all the benefits you're going to reap, let's move on to...
How To Transfer Your Brick And Mortar Store To Online?
Establish Your Online Presence
Before everything else, you need to decide where you're going to be building your online store.
Sure, you can go the DIY route and host your own website. But that would mean you would also be in charge of all the technical side. That could take the majority of your time. The time you could be used for optimizing your online store.
It's much better to choose a solid ecommerce platform that has all the tools you need.
There are a lot of ecommerce platforms you can choose from, such as BigCommerce and Shopify.
Shopify is one of the most reliable platforms you can choose. And you can sell online for free for 14 days.
On Shopify, you can also choose your domain name. This can be the same as your store name to avoid confusion for your potential customers.
Another advantage of Shopify is that you get to choose your ecommerce theme. You can create a strong online presence when you choose the right one. You can never go wrong when you choose the Debutify Theme.
Need a hand? Debutify's guide to launching your high-converting ecommerce store is here to help you!
Once you establish your online store, you can now get to...
Choose Your Inventory
It seems logical to put all your products online. But practically, putting ALL of your inventory online can be downright impossible.
First of all, some of your products may not work well on ecommerce sites. You might miss opportunities for sales on your brick-and-mortar store. You would need to put them in discount bins just to clear them out.
My point is, that you should strategically choose your online inventory.
The first thing you need to do is write a list of your in-store inventory. Once you use your inventory management tool, you can now choose your products.
Your products should appeal to a wider target audience. Stock products that you know are popular nationally.
Additionally, you can narrow down your items. Preferably down to your best-selling in-store inventory. If possible, you can also add products that your customers make special requests for a couple of times a month.
Don't be surprised if your online store experiences fewer sales than your brick-and-mortar store. The best way to avoid loss of sale is for you not to reserve big amounts to stocks that you could've used for your physical store.
Another important tip... Make sure that your items don't have legal restrictions. This can be the case with some products that are prohibited from being sold online.
Another thing you need to focus on is to...
Set Up Your Payment
This may sound kind of obvious. But ensure that your customers can actually pay for your products.
So, see to it that you accept major forms of payment.
Thankfully, Shopify caters to this. It gives you a lot of options you can include in your checkout process.
Your customers can always choose to use credit card payments. If not, they can also use these popular payment gateways:
Easy as pie, right?
Once you set your payment up, be keen on your sales performance. Do inventory across your online and offline platforms.
Here comes the tricky part...
Take Care Of Your Packaging, Shipping, And Fulfillment
You may have been used to just putting all your customer's products into a bag. And then voila! Just hand it over to the checkout counter.
With an ecommerce business, there are a few shipping options you can go by.
First, you can opt for manually shipping the products yourself. This includes you printing your labels. As well as hand-fulfilling orders yourself.
A great tip when you go this route?
Keep your packaging simple. Major couriers usually offer free packaging, so don't miss out on that. This can keep your shipping costs down.
If you prefer, you can also make use of reusable boxes. If needed, your customers can return their purchases in the same box.
Plus, you also have the option for local delivery. Customers in your area can also opt for this.
Second, you can also make use of Shopify Shipping. They work with the major couriers around the United States and Canada. It also allows you for features such as overnight delivery and international shipping.
The shipping rates are also automatically set up for you. If you choose to use this.
Third, give access to curbside pickup for your local customers.
How does this work, you ask?
Your customer orders and pays from your online store. Once you receive the order, you can immediately prepare it for pickup. Inform your customer once it's done. Then, they can safely drive by your brick-and-mortar store and open their trunk. Finally, you can just place their order in it.
And you're set!
Do you want a bonus tip? Make an ironclad refund policy. Make sure that your return policy is boldly displayed on your ecommerce site that it can't be hard to miss. Provide FAQs about refunds to your customers' emails.
After you have your online store's shipping, packaging, and fulfillment is taken care of...
Delegate Your Manpower Jobs
Just like other online businesses, you would need someone to manage yours. As a business owner, that would most likely be you.
What does that mean for you? You need to educate yourself all about the ins and outs of running a business online. That means learning about your online customers, online sale system, online orders, etc.
Sounds too overwhelming?
It's okay. You can always let someone help you out. Everybody likes to have choices, right?
So, you can think of hiring people that can run your online business.
For instance, an online merchandiser can help manage your stocks on your online platform. You can also delegate the job to your existing merchandiser. A digital marketing specialist can also manage your ads that include things such as search engine optimization.
Speaking of marketing strategy...
Start Digital Marketing
Congratulations on bringing your business online!
Now that you're here, it's time to spread the word about it... and gain loyal customers.
And of course, increase your sales!
Why not make use of what's already there? You can definitely integrate your offline marketing efforts into your store online. Just see to it that your brand recognition stays the same all throughout.
So how do you integrate? Let me give you a few scenarios.
- On your retail storefront events, create a live Twitter chat/Facebook Live or Instagram Live. That way, your customers from other places can participate or watch.
- Add your social media platform link or website link to TV or newspaper ads.
- Talk to your in-store customers! Tell them about your ecommerce site. Or offer them coupon codes they can use on your online storefront.
- Ask for your customers' emails in person. That way, you can inform them about new products when they're online shopping.
To learn more, head over to Debutify's The Most Comprehensive Digital Marketing Guide for Brand Owners after you're done reading this blog post.
And there you have it! You have already conquered the retail industry; it's now time to try your hands on ecommerce.
So go ahead and...
Transform Your Business With The Times
Obviously, brick-and-mortar stores aren't going anywhere.
People will always want to be able to hold and examine products they want to buy in person. Also, people love to patronize local businesses.
But online stores aren't going anywhere, either. With the COVID-19 pandemic, customers realize how important ecommerce businesses are. And it's here to stay.
Having both will also definitely give you a competitive edge over businesses that only have one of the two.
It opens you up to more sales channels. Hence, more sales.
So maximize it to your advantage!
Sure, it's a lot of hard work. And there are stumbling blocks along the way.
One of them is launching a clunky, slower-than-a-snail ecommerce site.
Don't worry. Debutify is here to the rescue.
Because Debutify is not your regular Shopify theme. It's also your partner for Profit Optimization.
It has over 50+ Add-Ons that not only make your own site look good... It also optimizes your conversions, AOV, and profits.
So step up and...
14 Days Trial. 1 Click Installation. No Credit Card Required.