Over the past few years, more and more people have started shopping online instead of in store.
If you own a brick-and-mortar business, you may be considering how to start shifting online to connect with and serve your customers in a new way. Here is our beginners guide to shifting to ecommerce.
Choose your Channel
To start selling your products online, you need to decide where and how you want to sell. The most common is through your own website. You can either use a website builder like Shopify, Wix or Wordpress to build a website yourself, or you can hire a company to take care of it for you. Once you have a website set up, you can add ecommerce tools (such as a checkout page) and you’re ready to begin selling.
You can also decide to sell over email, where customers can send you their orders and pay via a checkout link. As well as this, you can even sell over social media platforms such as Instagram or Facebook. Finding the channel or channels that suit your business needs the best will make a huge difference in your online selling success.
When it comes to ecommerce there are several variables to consider that differ from running a physical store. Here are some processes you need to decide on before switching to ecommerce:
- Inventory – will you be selling the same products online as in store?
- Shipping – will you offer free shipping? Will you post orders yourself or use a courier?
- Returns – how will you handle returns? What are your return policies?
- Staff – do you need to hire extra staff to help run the online store?
It is important to establish these processes before making the move online, however these can be flexible and can be changed as your business grows and takes shape. What works for your business at the beginning may not once your online presence starts to grow, so it is a good idea to keep evaluating how well these processes are working for you and make any changes necessary.
Once you have everything set up to sell online, it is time to share this with your customers. One way to do this is by using social media, as you can engage with your customers as well as promote your products. Promoting in your physical store is also a great way to inform your existing customers.
Studies have shown that being more open and transparent as a business leads to increased trust and confidence from your customers, so don’t be afraid to share your journey into online selling with them.
Transitioning into ecommerce alongside a physical store can be a great way to connect with your customers in new ways and give more people access to your products.
To improve your customer service instore, our electronic point of sale software Trader, can help with taking customer orders, price checking and even stock management. Trader can also help with elements of ecommerce such as email marketing, managing deliveries and accounting.
If you’d like to find out more about how Trader can benefit your business, then please contact us.
Trader is an easy to use electronic point of sale system designed for the unique requirements of building, plumbing and timber merchants, hardware and DIY stores in the UK and Ireland.
Our team are ready to help with any queries or arrange a demo for you.