Due to the eCommerce demand, business owners are moving their operations online. Moving a brick-and-mortar business online can be challenging. It would be best to have a strategic plan to analyze the market and define your brand online. Below is a guide to help you transition from brick and mortar to selling online.
Step 1. Choose a Website Platform and Buy Your Domain
The first step to start an online store is to get a perfect website and buy a proper domain name. When choosing your domain and website builder, there are a few things to consider. For your website platform, keep in mind:
- Shop options. Does the platform allow you to use plugins to set up a shop that allows a good user experience?
- Mobile-friendliness. It is a fact that most of your clients will use their phones to access your site. Therefore, you must have a mobile-friendly site.
- Security. When people are purchasing through your site, they need to know that their information is safe, making sure you give them payment options and have software to protect their information.
As for your domain, consider the following:
- Searchability. Choose an SEO-friendly domain. That means it should be short and unique so that you can stand out from the competition.
- Brand. Your domain must match your brand. If it does not, users will be confused. An unbranded domain could cost your clients.
- Industry. When choosing your domain, research domains of different companies in your industry know some best practices and comply with them.
Step 2. Define Your Online Brand
To attract more customers, you have to brand your business uniquely than your competitors. If you are transitioning from brick and mortar to eCommerce, you already have a brand established; the challenge is now moving online. There are a few different steps you need to follow to do so:
- Make logo variations. Your logo will need to work on your website and need to fit your social media profile picture and look good as an email signature.
- Define brand messaging. On your website, you will need to have more than just a shop page. You will need an About Us page, a Home page, and consistent messaging across all platforms. YOu will need to know your brand well enough to properly represent it in your digital marketing tactics and strategies.
Step 3. Design Your Site and Set Up Your Shop
When preparing to sell on your website, there are important things to consider. User experience is one of the most important things to work on. If people cannot easily shop by category or get information about sizing, they will bounce. To properly set up shop, use the following steps:
- Research the best payment options. Make sure you offer customers different ways to pay. Some of the most popular are PayPal, Credit/Debit, Square, and Stripe.
- Define your sizing and return policy information. Customers should access all the information they need to feel confident in their purchase without contacting you. Include a link to the information on every product page.
- Add testimonials. Another great way to build trust with your audience is to add testimonials to your site from other customers.
- Customize your look based on branding. Across your website, make sure your branding is clear and your missions and offerings are accessible.
- Organize your products. To help with user experience, ensure that your products are organized logically so that people can easily browse through your products.
Step 4. Set up Your Social Media Shops
To reach a larger target audience, consider setting up shops on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. On Facebook and Instagram, you need to load your product catalog or link your website, then tag the products on the post. Pinterest works like a search engine where clients can search and discover new products. Pin your products for your customers to view the prices and more details about your products.
Step 5. Set Up Analytics
After your website and social media are properly set up, you need to create an analytics account to collect fundamental data from your website. Most social media platforms offer insights to look at your performance, but you need a Google Analytics account for your website. Here is how you set one up:
- Create an Analytic account or sign in if you already have an account.
- Add the code to your website.
- Invite users through the admin tab.
- Take a tour of Google Analytics to understand how to read the data.
Step 6. Test
Before publishing the online store, you need to test. Testing is the best way to make sure you give the viewers an easy user experience. Test the online store on different browsers to make sure the store is easy to access.
Some important things to see are if the analytics account is tracking and if your purchasing works. That means purchasing a product and seeing if you receive a confirmation email and your information is available in the backend of the site. For Google Analytics, you should click around on your site and see the data reflected in analytics.
Step 7. Launch!
Now that everything is ready, it is time to launch your eCommerce business!
In today’s day and age, it is essential to have an online presence. By following these steps, you can successfully set up shop and ensure you shine online.