With the growing prospect of e-commerce in Nigeria, coupled with the uncertainty owed to Covid-19, more businesses are recognizing the need to go beyond the limitations of physical locations in their quest for expansion, service delivery, and customer satisfaction. How do businesses transition from physical to online selling? Keep reading, and you will find out the benefits of pairing your brick and mortar store with your online store. We will also outline guidelines for setting up an online store.
There are many short and long term benefits of taking your store online. What many brick and mortar store owners do not realize is that it is much easier to transition to an online store when you have an already established business. You have a customer base, your inventory is available, and you already know what it takes to run a business in terms of planning, infrastructure, marketing, and customers relation.
Now let us look at the benefits of having both an online and physical store:
We do not know yet what the world would feel like post-COVID-19 so, diversifying your business will be a smart move to make. Having more than one way to reach customers and generate revenue will benefit you greatly in years to come.
Now that we have established the benefits of having both an online and a physical store, what are the guidelines for setting up an eCommerce store? Read along as you will find out key, easy steps to setting up your store online.
Platform selection is the hugest step in taking your brick-and-mortar store to an online store. You need a platform for managing your website, showcasing your products, and accepting payments. If you already have a website, most web hosting services have an eCommerce plugin that you can add to the existing site. It is even better if the eCommerce plugin can connect to your point of sale system. It will make it even easier to manage your online store.
If you do not have an existing website, you can check to see if your point of sale system integrates into an eCommerce platform. For example, if you are a POS Shop customer, you can set up an online store that connects perfectly to your Point of Sales (thanks to our point of sales software, ICGCommerce). It has an interface compatible with social media. You can promote your products on social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest. With this, you get a seamless transition from brick-and-mortar to eCommerce. Your physical store inventory will sync with your online store. You get a more satisfactory management process across both sales channels.
If you do not have a website or a POS system, you can start your search for a platform. The following are factors you can consider when looking to set up a self-hosted website
a. Its total cost – Cost of a domain, hosting amongst others.
b. Scalable – It has to support your business growth.
c. Design flexibility and ease of installation.
d. Support and website responsiveness for desktop and mobile shoppers.
e. Ability to link to social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram
f. Website security.
Preparations are already underway for your platform. Next, you will need to decide which products from your store will be online. Some products have online restrictions that limit them from being sold online. Therefore, it would be wise to go through your catalog to avoid complications. Asides the online product regulations, you need to identify and start with your bestselling options. The goal is to not only keep your inventory practicable but also to maintain a good selection of products on your site. Remember, because you sell an item in your brick and mortar store does not mean it must be on your eCommerce store.
It is always necessary to keep your customers in the loop, and now more than ever, you need them to be informed. If you have already started marketing through places like social media, email newsletters, you are on the right track. However, you have to figure out the best and fastest way to reach your audience because once your online store is running, you can immediately start sending traffic to your shop. For example, email marketing is an incredible tool for any digital brand, but especially e-commerce businesses, because it allows brands to communicate directly with leads or customers using data collected from their store.
The rise of online stores and integrated purchasing solutions as a result of the realities around us today has made it increasingly difficult for retailers to survive with only a brick-and-mortar location. As a result, many retailers are starting to move from physical to online selling. If you would like to set up your eCommerce store with zero hassle, shoot us a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our team is ready to work and happy to assist.
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