Ecommerce is wildly popular, and it isn’t hard to see why. Online stores offer customers the convenience of shopping from home, not to mention it’s a safer option during current lockdowns. Ecommerce platforms also offer a greater selection than many customers would have available locally. Of course, starting an online store has plenty of benefits for retailers as well. Most notably is the increased customer base. It’s predicted that by 2021 there will be over 2.14 billion online shoppers.
With numbers like that, it’s little wonder why so many entrepreneurs see e-commerce as the best route to start their business. Even if you’re already running a successful brick and mortar store, you stand to gain a great deal by taking your services online. Here are some of the best ways to make sure your online debut goes smoothly.
Find a reliable supplier
You can’t sell your products to customers if you don’t have a reliable way of getting them. If you’re already running a retail store, it’s safe to say you’ve figured this one out, but for those just starting their business, you’ll need to work with either a manufacturer or a wholesaler. If you’re selling name-brand items in your store, you may be able to order them directly from the manufacturer if your order is large enough.
If you can’t afford to do this yet, your best bet is to get your products from a wholesaler. If your store sells computer parts and accessories, for example, you can find USB wholesalers who can sell you products cheaply enough for you to still make a profit on them.
Provide a great customer experience
One of the worst things you can do is rush the launch of your site. You only have one first impression, and it needs to be as amazing as possible. This means your site should be optimized for both desktop and mobile devices. Mobile now accounts for over 50% of web traffic, so catering to these users is crucial for online sales.
Online stores have a disadvantage compared to traditional retail businesses in that customers can’t inspect products in person. It’s important to make up for this with convenience. You’ll need to make your checkout process as simple as possible, and it’s a great idea to offer free shipping if possible. You might also offer a loyalty program to encourage repeat business.
Build your online presence
No business succeeds online without an SEO strategy. You may not be able to afford a full team of experts when you’re just starting your business, but there are still some effective things you can do. Arguably the best is creating original content that showcases your business. This could include blog posts that offer expert insight about your niche. You could also make videos that show off the advantages of your products. The more you can connect with potential customers, the more they’ll trust you, and they’ll be more likely to buy from you.
Use your Point of Sale system
If you’re already running a retail business and trying to take things online, it’s likely that you’re already a POS user. This will make it easy to create your online store with an e-commerce POS system. An e-commerce solution provider can help you create your virtual store using the data you’ve already collected in your POS. Once your system is fully integrated, you’ll be able to offer your customers omnichannel retail while automatically updating sales data, customer information, and simplifying inventory management.
Invest in Customer Relationship Management
Your customers are your most important resource, and you need to treat them as such. Even if you can’t offer the cheapest prices or fastest shipping, providing the best customer service can still be a deciding factor in favor of your business. One of the best ways to do this is with customer relationship management (CRM) software. This lets you automatically collect all customer data in one location, and it makes it easy to keep track of your interactions with customers across all channels. Providing automated service options and using sales data to make specialized offers can help you retain your customers and impress new ones alike. Customer satisfaction is the key success of any business.