How To Take Your Offline Store Online

When you’ve worked for years to create your brand in an offline capacity, it can be daunting to reimagine what you offer might look like for an online audience. However, there are countless benefits to taking your business online – especially in the current landscape.

Numbers from Statista show many consumers across various industries have chosen to shop online rather than offline since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, 30% of respondents in the UK said they’d chosen to get their groceries online, and 27% said they’d deliberately looked online for clothing rather than getting them from a store.

Analysts at Edge Retail Insight predict this shift in consumer behavior, as a result of Covid-19, will add a staggering £5.3bn to UK eCommerce in 2020. It doesn’t matter whether you operate in the realm of food and drink, clothing, books, and other entertainment or something more niche – adding an eCommerce arm to your business, and doing it well, could prove extremely fruitful.

The numbers don’t lie and mean you could be reaching thousands – possibly even millions – more consumers by introducing your beloved brand to the online world.

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So Where Do I Begin?

The first place to start is by doing your research. Work out what your competitors are doing, take a look at their websites, and figure out if their approach is your idea of success.

You’ll also need to investigate which eCommerce platforms you think might be a good fit for what you offer your customers. You’ll have options, depending on the size of your business and also your ambition to scale online. From Shopify, WooCommerce, and Sylius to Magento Commerce and Oracle Commerce Cloud, there are many great options for a variety of circumstances, so deciding which solution is the best fit for your brand may take a while. However, this is definitely a decision worth thinking through.

Before you set up your eCommerce site, conduct an audit of your online presence. Do you already have a website with no eCommerce option, pages for your business on social media, or even an email list? If you don’t have social media in place, now’s the time to think about setting something up to build some online momentum.

What Next?

Now you’ve set the groundwork, there are a few important business decisions you’ll need to make – are you switching completely to eCommerce or keeping your offline store open too? Write down your goals and vision for the future, as there might be a few factors you’ve overlooked. Once you have a strong plan in place, you’ll be in a great position to move forwards.

Here are our top steps to success:

  • Set up your eCommerce platform – you’ll need to select a theme, create the essential pages including the homepage, product pages, and contact us page and also set up payments and shipping.
  • Widen or build your online audience – hopefully, the wheels are in motion in this regard, but once your website is set up, you’ll have extra brand assets to promote and can use this to expand your reach even further.
  • Promote your eCommerce option to your current customers – loyal clients or customers will be excited for you, so promote your online store with them first and you’ll build strong foundations.
  • Don’t forget your email list – if you don’t already have an email list, it’s time to start creating one. Offer a discount, promotion, free resource, or product in exchange for email contact information.

If you’re still feeling a little lost and don’t know where to start, but you know you want to execute this transition perfectly, why not employ the experts? Contact a design and development agency about your brand and discuss what you’d like to achieve with your eCommerce venture. This way you’ll receive advice, a clear picture of what needs to be done and you’ll work alongside specialists throughout the process.

Whether you choose to try and set up your site yourself or employ a design and development team to realize your vision, we hope these simple steps to taking your offline store online have set you on the right path.

If you are interested in even more business-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.

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