Managing any business requires extensive planning and strategizing, and they often need costs. When it comes to the retail industry, there are many costs involved, primarily if you’re operating a physical brick-and-mortar shop.
Overhead expenses can accumulate each month. With the rise of the e-commerce way of doing business, you can’t help but think if it’s a sound decision to switch now and save on all your overhead expenses.
Bringing your business online poses enormous potentials for growth in sales and revenues as more people prefer online shopping. Not to mention, you can reach a broader customer base.
However, it’s worth noting that business owners might feel perplexed about smoothly transitioning their physical stores into the virtual market.
You don’t have to suffer from such stress as long as you consider following the tips and advice below on how to transition your brick-and-mortar business to on-screen selling seamlessly:
1. Set Up Your Online Platform
When shifting to virtual sales, it’s crucial to have a platform that makes it easy for your buyers to navigate and purchase from your site.
Your platform should have different functions such as easy inventory management, accounting features, and logistics systems. You must prepare to add your offerings into them and modify changes easily anytime.
Online retailers will eventually need e-commerce software to integrate their sales tools, inventory tracking, and process financial transactions.
It’s best to partner with online shop providers who already have stable and reliable systems for your consumers to have smooth purchase and shipment transactions.
Check out your preferred providers, like the ecommerce agency in Birmingham to get a head start regarding your online sales platform.
2. Reassess Your Business Plan
Your next step is to examine whether the goals and deliverables outlined in your original business plan still match your overall brand.
While shifting to online mediums, you might add some target market that can be different from what you have before.
Check your social media and website analytics for demographic and interest information about your customers. By doing this, you’re determining if you’re targeting the right audience.
Assessing your business plan will require you to rate every aspect of your business. Now that you’re shifting to a virtual market evaluate your prospects’ buying behavior and purchasing decisions. There will be some changes that you need to adapt to.
Also, you might want to be on the lookout for additional business opportunities. For instance, you can market internationally this time to reach out to global consumers.
While your physical store can only sell to local residents, shifting online automatically means you can ship your items nationwide.
This time, you should start considering your shipment logistics rules and regulations, costs, and other distribution variables.
Take a look at the top marketing strategies to apply, and you’ll be able to expect maximum results.
You’ll have to spend more time monitoring your website and platform improvements, digital marketing, and fulfillment when you move from a brick-and-mortar retailer to e-commerce.
The budgets that were once set to compensate overhead operations will now shift towards website maintenance, cybersecurity enhancements, online payment platforms, and online customer service.
All these require detailed planning and budgeting to transition your operations in an organized manner.
3. Consider Logistics and Order Fulfillment
Changes in operations may be required to transition to online sales. You’ll need to determine the best reliable logistics partner for your order fulfillment.
The need to create a win-win deal for all parties, such as your business, consumers, and providers is imperative.
Research on all the factors to be considered in fulfilling your orders. Study all the aspects, such as digital payment methods and online payment solutions.
You will also have to be organized in dealing with sales taxes in other locations. If you intend to sell globally, you’ll need a thorough study of logistics and payment.
Lastly, be sure that your packaging and label represent your brand in an effective way, consider it as a form of a marketing strategy wherein every time the customer sees your packaging, brand retention is present.
4. Retrain Your Salespeople
While your business model shifts from brick-and-mortar stores to online stores, it’s understandable that your staff will require retraining.
There will be operational changes, and your salespeople will need to be familiar with everything else from scratch. Educate your sales team about using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software for your e-commerce site, as well as any customer service software you use.
It’ll be easier for your salespeople to succeed if they use technology in conducting sales.
Teaching them how to use new tools is a good start, but you need to encourage them to maintain a personal touch even when conducting sales online.
While emails and chats are the primary way to communicate with customers, train your people to continue building relationships with customers as personally as possible.
After all, you hired people and not robots, so your customers expect empathy and someone who can listen to their concerns and queries in a professional and friendly way.
Their effectiveness will be most remarkable if they can connect with customers emotionally and cultivate honest and sincere relationships.
You should encourage sales representatives to connect with prospects through various channels and have them use whichever online channel they feel comfortable with.
5. Optimize Your Website
People are now shifting to transacting digitally, so your website should be user-friendly and easy to navigate.
If there’s a glitch on your checkout page or your site doesn’t load on mobile devices, your customers will leave your site in an instant.
This will translate to a loss of sales, and your competitors will earn from these instead.
It’s crucial to add enough eCommerce services when preparing your website. Make use of SEO so anyone can easily research your site and make a purchase.
Provide tools and resources such as blog content that can give value to your customers. Overall, you’ll want to prepare and optimize your website to encourage more online sales.
It’s important to place clear and easy-to-understand product descriptions on your website, this lessens the chances that your customer needs to ask for more details.
It would go a long way if you can add images, videos, and any additional information. A complete and functional website is really essential for your e-commerce business.
It’s also valuable for your customers to have access to customer reviews and feedback on your website. This adds credibility and trust to your online business.
You can position your business to successfully transition from brick and mortar to e-commerce by considering an online platform that best suits your products, reassessing your business plan, reviewing your shipment and fulfillment strategies, ensuring your staff is well-trained and optimizing your website so all consumers can navigate easily.
By applying these tips, you can take advantage of higher sales and more effective business operations when shifting to virtual markets.