Do you have a brick-and-mortar store that you want to launch in the virtual world? It’s evident that this is the best time to take the call as we can see more companies experiencing increased sales and substantial business growth adopting the technology. The fact is you are missing out on the massive number of potential customers that can be driven from online presence.
A transition from a brick-and-mortar retail to an e-Commerce store comes with huge advantages:
- You sell 24/7: unlike the typical retail store here you get the advantage to shop online at any time of the day.
- Retargeting customers: with the help of Cookies you will have the ability to target your potential customers and shower them with retargeting ads and offers to tempt them to make repurchases.
- Boost your product: we have different means to make our product reach the potential customer. Providing a link redirecting to the shop page can help in attaining customers.
Exposure to the digital world will bring in great advantage like you know, being available 365 days a year will indeed mitigate the fewer sales experience that you had in the past years. Paving way to the visitors that are more likely to buy from you is indeed a dream come true.
Now you've got a thought for moving into the eCommerce world, let's see where you need to concentrate to get stuff done:
Choose Your Platform
Since you have come up with an eCommerce store idea which is a big step, you have to determine which platform will best suit your online store.
A question normally comes up whether you have to create your own online store or sell the product in a marketplace that is already successful. This totally depends on what type of product you are going to sell. To understand which suit best for you, get insights from the in-store customers to know the shopping behavior of your target audience.
Either way, if you are considering to create your own eCommerce store of choosing an already developed marketplace, you will have to:
- Buy a domain name
- Select a hosting provider
- Build an online site from scratch or select an e-commerce solution
While choosing a domain name consider the fact that it’s easy for the customers to remember. The name should not be esoteric or difficult to understand, your shop name fits well in many situations but find a word associated with your primary category of products which is not highly obscure or difficult to spell. The digital name should be such that people can find you in the digital environment.
There are 2 ways to consider while choosing a domain name:
- Make sure it’s catchy and SEO friendly that can resonate with your target audience
- Stick to your present brand name
When you have an SEO driven brand name it can be used to rebrand your store, and to get organic traffic and ranking.
Setting up your online platform
You will be able to operate your website by setting up an eCommerce platform, showcase your goods and accept payments from your customers.
Although hundreds of solutions are available to you, you will usually look for either an all-in-one host solution such as Shopify, BigCommerce or Volusion that will provide you with the tools to design and manage your website. Or an open-source eCommerce platform, such as Magento or WooCommerce, that gives you greater control and greater scale capability.
These solutions can provide you with a range of design resources such as customizable themes or CSS editors, enabling you to mimic your store's look and feel. When a consumer makes a purchase on your website or subscribes to a newsletter, you will have access to the details that you can use to stay in touch and nurture them for regular purchases.
Creating And Optimising The Product Page
Your product page is most important when compared with the home page. At the initial stages of the online business, the retailers neglect the product pages and solely concentrate on the homepages.
However, the fact is that these product pages play an important role in revenue generation when it comes to eCommerce sites, but only if they are appealing, convincing and optimizing.
A random visitor will not have then the luxury of handling the product prior to the purchase so he checks the product page where you have accurately explained and presented your goods in such a way as to convince them to purchase the item.
When making the purchase decision the customer checks certain aspects, and these are crucial when displaying a product:
Images - visually appealing high-quality photos are one thing you cannot resist. Always provide various angles of the product, enabling them to see exactly what the product looks like.
Titles - contain all relevant information, including brand, model and product type in the product title. If there is a character limit for the same make sure to include the title inside the characters.
Description - a best practice to be followed here is to add the description in bullet points and add the content that is not provided in the title. Make sure to avoid misleading content as all this will damage your reputation and increase product returns. Here you can also incorporate keywords that can improve the visibility of the product.
Reviews - they play an essential role in providing social proof, eliminating the doubts the potential customer might have with regard to the product. Its believed that 94% of the customers check the review before making a purchase decision.
Make Sure Your Website Design Suits Your Branding
Your eCommerce store should be the replica of your brick-and-mortar store. There are usually two methods of designing your online shop, either by using an eCommerce site that provides easily customizable templates or by hiring a web designer and investing in a custom design.
It is important to note that when designing your website you should find the right balance between representing the personality of your brand and adhering to best practices in web design which include:
- Simple navigation to the site
- Avoid cluttering your homepage
- Pay attention to fonts, make sure of the readability of content
- Use optimized images
Pick The Product To Be Sold
Your brick-and-mortar store may sale varied products, but all products cannot be sold online. A significant aspect of running an online store is determining which goods to sell online. Some products we sell in a retail store have restrictions and are prevented from selling online. For example, you have a retail store will all the kid’s dresses, accessories, toys, etc. and you also have a variety of snacks and beverages which are kept in a different section. Much of the time, these treats are sold as an impulse purchase because you know that shopping with kids can be difficult and nothing settles a struggling kid unless they get a little treat.
Pick from your store about 100 of the best-selling products for your online marketplace if you’ve got a wide selection of products to choose from. Make sure you chose products that have received 2 or 3 call requests and are the top sellers in your brick-and-mortar store.
Determine Shipping Charges
Once the customer reaches the point of checkout his bag total skyrocket with the extra shipping charges added. Opening an online store means it's not easy to deliver a product to your customer as you do it in a retail shop. To simplify the process, try selecting a shipping company that can integrate directly into your eCommerce site, with just a few clicks offering you a host of shipping options.
Cart abandonment is one main factor that will impact eCommerce sales which are the reverse impact derived from excessive shipping charges. There is a certain way you can adopt to overcome such circumstances:
- Display the shipping charges along with the applicable taxes alongside the product
- Provide free shipping to customers who purchase above the desired amount
This approach will help diminish the cart abandonment and improve sales by giving the customer a good picture of how much they're going to pay during the whole shopping.
Promote The Launch Of Your Site
Now that all the things are done, it’s a success only if we have traffic to the site. Organic traffic generated in the early stages will be very limited this is where we have to opt-in for paid promotions. You can draft a press release and educate the customers that visit your retail store.
Seek to have a promotion campaign for at least one week per month to increase your annual sales. Such promotions should be prepared well in advance so you know how to customize your website and channels of marketing. Highlight your promo info on your top banner and slider photos on your website itself.
Additionally, you can plan and schedule your promotions so that you can prep the content as you’re going to need a lot of content for — email copies, affiliate banners, Facebook images, and Google Shopping promotions.
A lot goes into launching an eCommerce platform that will enhance your brick-and-mortar shop. Nevertheless, recalling the following tips, you can help make your launch go as smoothly as possible:
- Create a convenient and visually appealing site that is seamless and that’s quick and easy to navigate through.
- Give priority to SEO, to get attention in the digital world. Incorporate keywords to the title, meta description, and descriptions. If you have a piece of information that might benefit the customer don’t forget to add it to the page.
- Be upfront with your rules and regulations, make sure the customers are well aware of the return and shipping policies. Here what you can do is provide a guide to direct the customers about the policies.
- Provide constant updations and optimizations for your site. Continue streamlining your site design, SEO content and marketing strategy throughout.