It might be difficult to attract clients as a new business owner if all you have is your store. In terms of technology, our society has progressed, and many businesses now use e-commerce to reach out to customers. Some business owners never considered having an internet presence when they first started out, but they don’t realize how important it is. It is no longer an option to do business without it; it is now a necessity, especially with the pandemic.
Having an online presence reaches out to a wider audience, which will generate more revenue. Now with that being said, the next part of having an online presence is to make sure you know how to do it right. In this article, we explain how you can develop your business by keeping track of inventory, building your website, and using the other tools you may need to get you started.
“When getting started, the first step in entering the lucrative realm of e-commerce is to develop an online company plan,” said Elie Katz, president and CEO of National Retail Solutions. “Convenience stores, hardware stores, and other small retail chains may like to explore the online consumer market but aren’t sure how to get started. You’ll need to decide what you’ll sell online and where you’ll keep your inventory for online orders.”
Fortunately, there are various tools available that can help you with inventory management in the most efficient way possible. There are POS systems that provide a data-driven stock management system that helps business owners monitor sales and online inventories. When using a POS system, business owners can see how much inventory they have in store and online. “Both you and your employees will need to put some of the inventory in storage for use in-store and online. If you don’t have the item in stock, a customer may be disappointed and leave, never to return to your store. This is why maintaining proper inventory is critical for keeping your customers happy and your business running properly,” Katz said.
Since business owners can now recognize there’s a solution to managing inventory, they may take other steps to develop a successful e-commerce company. The next step is to set up a website for your business. There are various approaches to establishing a site if you’re not familiar with web programming and design. Many businesses provide pre-built e-commerce website templates that include everything you need to get your store up and running, including marketing materials. Merchants may also hire a web designer to take their input and create a custom-designed site. Remember to inform the web designer what you are looking for on your site. DreamHost recommends having the following for your website: keep the theme simple, user-friendly, responsive, and mobile-friendly. You will have a successful website that is not just engaging but also enjoyable for your consumers if you request the following from your website designer.
“Getting your website on the first page of Google and other search engine results is an important consideration. If your business is on page 4 of a search result, no one will know about it; customers will only visit websites on the first page of results,” Katz said. “CreativeBloq suggests that a business owner should use GoogleAdwords Keyword Tool and WordTracker to get an idea of what keywords get the most searches. For example, if you type in the word ‘store’ you will be able to see an estimate of how many searches the term gets, along with related terms with the word. The website also recommends that you implement an impactful domain name so that your website looks more professional.”
Having an internet presence is helpful, but it won’t sell your product for you. At the checkout counter, hand out pamphlets to both present and potential clients. Magazines with demographics comparable to your own can also be used for advertising. You can also post advertisements on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, since they are the best platforms for selling merchandise.
“Once you have an online presence and your website is ready to go, the next step is choosing the payment methods you want to accept both online and in-person. There are a variety of payment methods to choose from, including credit cards, debit cards, Apple Pay, and PayPal,” Katz said. “Companies that process credit cards for a living may be of great assistance to shops in setting up a safe operation. It’s possible that hackers will gain access to your company’s technology. Hacking your website means dealing with angry clients who may never buy from you again, whether online or in person. Make sure your customers’ information isn’t stolen by having your website encrypted. You’re ready to start once you’ve decided which cards you’ll take and verified that your website is secure for users.”
Finally, business owners need to make sure that the shipping and arrangements being made are secure, as well as having adequate packaging to satisfy demand. Ideally, you should include shipping estimates for all goods on your website. Last but not least, you must also decide how and where purchases will be completed, whether they will be done in-store or at a separate location.
“With strategic planning, launching a successful e-commerce business can be satisfying and lucrative. It’s a trend that is becoming ever-more-popular,” Katz said. “Leveraging technology to help your business grow helps save you time and money while expanding to sectors not previously touched by foot traffic to your physical location.