The existing situation in the US is grave due to the corona pandemic, businesses withstanding the worst of the crisis, especially physical retail stores. Then, there are ways to move from offline to online so that brick-and-mortar stores can brave the rough days and develop a more resilient business.
You will find many online shopping store solutions so that you can make a more holistic move and sell all or majority of your products on the internet. According to an article published on https://www.inc.com, to make a successful shift from offline to online, you will need to exit the idea of cookie-cutter stores. During these days, you would require retail sizes and layouts for urban as well as local communities.
In this article, you will learn about the important steps to make your physical store online. You would have to learn how to make your home page look just like the storefront of your physical store. You will also need to move a couple of your brick-and-mortar store experiences into your product web pages. Here is how:
Michael Giannulis explains about building your store online
The first thing you need to do is look for the best e-commerce platform to build your web store. Therefore, register and select the name of your store that will show as the domain or URL your buyers will use to buy stuff from your online shop. You can begin with a basic plan and upgrade it later when there is a requirement.
Next, you will have to integrate your credit card or for that matter PayPal address. If you are using the trial version of the online store solution, you need not pay for that period. You will get an alert when the trial version of the software is ending.
Select a suitable theme
When moving from offline to online, select a suitable website template or theme. You will get these from the theme store. You can use a free theme or buy one depending on your budget. Make sure that there is proper synchronization between your physical store and online store. Therefore, look for themes by industry or collection and pick the one that best suits your brand.
It is true indeed that no theme is restricted to any industry. Then, it is beneficial to help you shift from offline to online fast. There are ways to personalize the website theme in a while.
Perk up your home page, product page, and contact us page
You need to make your online store accessible to your customers as quickly as possible. Therefore, perk up the most essential pages of your e-commerce website such as your home, product, and contact us page. Keep things simple and focus on the basic design like your storefront logo, tagline, and brand colors.
When it comes to the home page, it is like your storefront. Your customers will check this page for promotions, new offers, discounts, and deals. The home page also helps your buyers to navigate to your product pages. Michael Giannulis thinks that a storeowner can use a banner or for that matter a notification bar that provides essential info to consumers such as what buying and shipping options he can offer or something like how buyers can support the storeowner by purchasing a gift card.
You sell your grocery items, medicines, clothes, beauty products, etc through your product pages depending on your kind of business. So you need to make these pages eye-catching, persuasive, and elaborate. Use stunning product photos, short and crisp product descriptions, and smooth navigation on your product pages.
The next is your contact us page, setting the perfect expectation with buyers and making it clear where, how, and when they can get in touch with you. You can add a map of your store location for local buyers and a contact form for online shoppers. You need to ensure that your customers do not leave your e-commerce store without buying anything.
Include your products or items
Yes, when you add your products to your online store, it will take some time. Then, you can begin with this job soon. Read up the instructions carefully before adding your product pages and check whether data migration services are free or not.
Integrate gift cards
Start selling gift cards on the digital platform to ensure quick sales of your products and fast cash flow. First, create an online gift card so that customers can purchase and make payment for the cards via your web store. The purchased cards are usually delivered to a customer’s email.
All the active cards are easy to track and handle on professional e-commerce platforms because buyers cash in them in the days to come.
When you introduce new items for buying online or for that matter your products accessible via local delivery/pickup, your buyers can redeem the gift cards during checkout. The card you make usually does not expire.
Make sure you set up shipping
During the COVID-19 pandemic, people are going out and therefore, require delivery of items at their doorsteps. It means an affordable and easy shipping experience. You need to keep shipping expenses low, choose manual shipping, follow all orders, and avoid expensive packaging.
Include payment methods
There are a couple of aspects to mull over when choosing your payment methods. Make sure you add payment details so that you start receiving payments for the products sold online. Some of these payment methods usually mean third-party providers and you need to shell out a fee. Read up the rules as well as fees related to the payment method.
Email your buyers about your online version of the store
If you have collected your customers’ emails from your POS system, it is time to message them that you have opened an online store as well. Else, how will they know that you have an e-commerce website to help buyers procure goods during the corona pandemic from the comfort and safety of their homes?
Building an online store is imperative during the current COVID-19 crisis. People are staying at home and therefore, they need to shop safely to contain the pandemic. Your online store helps them do just that.