If you run a successful brick-and-mortar business, you may be considering adding an online store. Online sales give you a reach that is impossible for most brick-and-mortar businesses. It can bring new life to your business, enabling you to find a whole new customer base for your products.
Selling online is a very different prospect from selling in person, however. It means you’ll need to learn some new skills. Fortunately, there is a lot of help available to get you started.
Setting up Your Online Store
In order to sell online, an obvious first step is creating a website. You may already use a website to advertise your business, which is a good first step. But a basic site that points people to your existing store is very different from a site that is set up to sell products.
The simplest way to start creating a website is to use a service like shopify website software that provides hosting, design, and shopping-cart software all in one package. If you choose such a site, you can be assured that all the pieces will work together with minimal trouble. Investigate several of the options by browsing sites that are built on the different platforms to get a feel for the way they work, and to see if you like the options available for your business. It’s also a good idea to look for reviews of the different sites.
Once you have a provider, you need to get your products online. This will require photos and good descriptive text of each of your products. It is a different art than displaying products for sale in a brick-and-mortar store, but it is a vital part of making online sales work. Find ways to display your products attractively with photos, and describe clearly what they are and how well they work.
Integrate with Your Existing Business
If you have a successful business already, don’t think of your web store as a completely separate entity. Find ways to integrate the two together, so that your online presence enhances your existing business. For example, your existing customers may appreciate the convenience of being able to view products online and reserve them for in-store pickup. You may want to add a blog or video series to your website, which can attract and educate both online customers and in-person customers. Your website can help you provide good customer service to in-person customers by giving them an easy way to contact you by email. The more ways you can think of to connect these two sides of your business, the more you can leverage the work done in both to your advantage.
It’s hard work to build a business, whether online or in person. If you have a successful business already, you’re no stranger to what it takes to grow that success. An online store will take some new skills and a willingness to learn, but it can be a huge asset to your business. Learn how to set up a good store and find new ways to connect with your customers, and reap the benefits.