How to Use Your Brick-And-Mortar Store for Launching E-commerce Business

Traditional retailers have always been not just stores, but something that unites communities bringing people together. Today brick-and-mortar businesses are going through tough times. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, there was an obvious threat of being devoured by such monster online retailers like Amazon and eBay. Then the pandemic hit forced lots of mortar stores to close their doors and wait. Obviously, finding effective ways of shifting sales and revenues to the world of online shopping is very important for keeping your business afloat.

Does it mean that a traditional way of handling retails is dying out or going through agony trying to survive? During times of social distancing and voluntary isolation, the answer may be not too promising. However, when the coronavirus nightmare ends, people will be desperate for getting out there and enjoying life again. Retail stores will be packed with people wanting to see and buy things. This is the way the human brain works – it needs not just visual but tangible experience.

For now, taking into account current circumstances, E-commerce business comes handy and offers to reach out to your primary customers through online retailing and shopping deals. Current statistics show a huge number of people who rather go online for shopping experience (more than 2 billion) than spend money in mortar stores. 

By 2021 these statistics most likely will be doubled since E-commerce already climbed to the top of the business mountain. An old saying “better be safe than sorry” when it comes down to sticking to traditional approaches of handling a retail business sounds a bit outdated. So, if you own a mortar store, look closer to new opportunities. Consider the novice approach of creating a business online as something beneficial. Learn more about the steps needed to achieve this goal successfully.

Step 1. Find host provider for the upcoming mortar store website

Find host provider for the upcoming mortar store website

When picking a provider to host your online store’s website, look into such options as Wix or Shopify platforms. It’s up to you whether you want to use the first option or not. You can choose self-hosting instead. Self-hosting suits those who control everything or want to create a customized website that would look the way they like. The problem here is in the time-consuming process while trying to set everything up. Besides, you are the one who is responsible for fixing everything in case something isn’t working.

Wix and Shopify platforms were specifically designed for making websites. These platforms offer different useful features and take care of your e-store promotion. However, in case your e-store grows, you might come up with the demand for something which is more advanced. But keep in mind that choosing another platform to run your business takes time and can be more tricky than you think.

Step 2. Create an effective website and maximize consumers engagement

Create an effective website and maximize consumers engagement

Launching an E-commerce store means building and designing an efficient and functional website. It will represent a brand you work with alluring customers in. Since an average consumer spends not more than 10 seconds while looking through web pages, keep a website clean, as well as well maintained. This is crucial for capturing, as well as for retaining attention. 

A trick here is to keep the website’s design user-friendly because it is very important for establishing an online presence and visibility online. A good way to check the functionality of your featured website would be to collect customers’ feedback before your website goes live.

Some tips on things to keep an eye for while creating an effective website:

  • Make a mobile version of your website.
  • Make sure that it’s desktop friendly.
  • While requiring customer accounts, keep this optional or even avoid it (make optional).
  • Defaults should be your cheapest options.
  • Use auto-fill and ask for minimal information from customers.
  • Offer various payment methods (PayPal is most common).
  • Make frequent posts on your websites like articles or videos and share expert content for free.
  • Make sure that  “send to a friend” links are available and activated.

Step 3. The domain name is a must

To create an E-commerce website, have your website’s domain registered first. A registered domain places a website online and makes it visible in the virtual world. An address will be assigned to your website for future access. This is needed for the designation of the site’s location on the Internet. 

You can simplify this process by utilizing the platform GoDaddy for domain registration. This platform has lots of simple instructions, as well as suggestion tools that will make this process even easier. Once you have your unique domain name all set, pick a domain extension –  .com, .org., or .net. Keep the domain name short and catchy, so customers won’t have any trouble memorizing it. But remember that it also needs to illustrate your business’s agenda and deliver a message.

After a domain has been registered, again manage it with the GoDaddy platform by hooking it to WordPress. GoDaddy also provides hosting – shared (cheapest but can take time to load), virtual or VPS (since it offers stability, it’s almost ideal for a modest size online store), and dedicated (used by larger businesses because of high traffic streams) servers.

Step 3. Increase your E-store functionality with WooCommerce

Increase your E-store functionality with WooCommerce

WooCommerce is an e-commerce plugin used by over 2.4 million E-commerce online stores worldwide. This is an extension for WordPress, which is necessary for making your website as more functional as possible. Once you install the WooCommerce plugin, it will select methods available to accept payments online (either  Stripe or PayPal, or maybe even both). An option for offline payments is also available, such as check payments, bank transfers, cash, or delivery.

Then choose your shipping options. Before setting up shipping methods, check with requirements and shipping details specific to the area of your residence.

Another feature available in WooCommerce is adding products. These goods can be anything you used to sell in your brick and mortar store or any other items that you have for sale. Take the following steps: WordPress dashboard > WooCommerce > Products > Add New. 

Then take some time and add titles with well-written descriptions to every product you just added. Add high-quality descriptions since it is one of the most effective ingredients used for boosting sales.

Step 4. Manage the store inventory online

Time to create an inventory with options you can manage manually:

  • SKU – a unique and mostly alphanumeric identification that tracks a particular item in an inventory you created.
  • Stock quantity – shows the number of items in stock.
  • Allow back orders – determines how to manage backorders.
  • Manage stock – tracks the product’s stock via WooCommerce.
  • Low stock threshold – signifies the limit upon which you want to receive notifications.
  • Stock status – shows a current status of item’s stock (visible only when the Manage stock is disabled).
  • Sold individually – sets a number of goods available to customers per visit.
  • While managing an inventory, try one effective marketing strategy called “upsell” or “cross-sell”. It matches goods with fashion apparel which is similar in style offering it to customers as a suggestion. This option is available in “Product data” in “Simple products” under the “Linked products”.

Step 5. More functionality in WooCommerce for your inventory

  • Attributes – assigns more details to your products (check with a user guide for this option);
  • Product short description – appears on the listing page next to product imagery;
  • Taxonomies – allows showing extra product data based on a class after selecting the category of  product or adding product tags;
  • Product image upload – add product images either from your image library or create new ones (make sure that images have high resolution). Click on the button “Set Product Image” to have your selection saved. After that, it will appear in the box called “Product Image”.

After you have everything set, don’t forget about hitting the “Publish” button in order to add all items to your website.

Step 6. Show off your online business and make it visible to the rest of the world

Show off your online business and make it visible to the rest of the world

When you have the whole process completed and are ready to put yourself on the road to success, time to think about the promotion. Try spreading the word about your online business with the Moosend marketing platform. No special technical skills are needed. Just create and activate an account on this platform and it does promotion for you. With Moosend you’ll promote your business by creating email marketing campaigns, subscription forms, or landing pages,  and much more.

Stay safe.

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