How to Move Your Business Online Successfully
In today’s tech-driven world, every business should consider moving at least key products and sales opportunities towards a digital model. It brings a lot of value to the business in terms of staying competitive, increasing global reach, and reducing operational costs. Millions of businesses are part of the growing eCommerce market. In 2019, global eCommerce sales surged to over $29 trillion, and more recently with the COVID-19 pandemic, online sales skyrocketed.
However, moving online successfully requires a carefully thought-out strategy. Here are five steps you can follow for a smooth transition to move your business online:
Start with a strategic plan
Switching from a physical store to a digital store is not a simple move. The first step should be conducting a broad analysis of how this shift will impact the business. During this stage, communicate clearly with all stakeholders- including employees and customers so they can be aware of the changes.
Lack of transparency when moving online can introduce some discomfort, confusion, or trust issues. For this reason, businesses should develop clear communication to prevent uncertainties that may impact productivity.
Set up a business website
Once you have a strategic plan in place, it’s time to create a fully functional business website. The website will serve as an online brand ambassador. It is the main point of contact with the customer base, so ensure it is well-designed and user friendly.
In addition to your own website, it can be helpful to have an additional presence on sites like eBay, Amazon, or Etsy. However, competition in these popular marketplaces is fierce, and you will have less control over product marketing. A better option is to use a platform like Shopify or Woocommerce to build an eCommerce store onto your website. It will offer more flexibility in terms of design and e-commerce plugins.
Creating a business website goes beyond the development part. You have to choose a friendly domain and secure hosting provider. Above that, focus on creating high-quality content and implementing the right SEO strategies. Here’s a guide on how to create a business website.
Get the right integrations for your store
There are several software integrations that every online store can use to improve their business processes as well as customer experience. These include:
- Project management tools for smooth communication
- Multiple secure payment gateways
- Email automation for abandoned carts, order confirmation, delivery, product review, and more
- A reliable order tracking system
- Performance and monitoring tools for sales and marketing campaigns
Another important step is integrating order shipping and fulfillment methods that work well for your business.
Load your products and set prices
High-quality product and services pages are an essential element of any online store. When designed professionally, they enhance your legitimacy and keep potential customers on the page. Whether you choose to upload products separately or use inventory spreadsheets, be sure to customize each entry with unique product descriptions. Every listing should have a product title, description, high-quality photos, pricing, shipping information, sizing information, and any other information that would be relevant to the buyer.
It is also a good idea to add a customer review section where happy customers leave their feedback upon purchase. This can have a significant impact on your conversion rate.
Ramp up your social presence
A strong social media presence is essential for a business to succeed in the online domain. Social media marketing helps your message to potential customers. On social media, you can engage prospects and create an immersive viral experience for potential customers. When used correctly, social media can drive tons of traffic to your business website and blog.
Apart from social platforms, consider creating a listing on Google My Business and update it with the correct business information. This simple step helps increase the brand’s local visibility because potential customers can easily find your business profile on the web without visiting your website.
Going online is the surest way of scaling your business and increasing its reach. The good thing is that moving a business online should not be a complicated or exhausting process. By following the steps above, even the smallest brands can easily work their way towards a smooth and successful transition.
Looking for help? Tired and believing there has got to be a better way?
Let’s talk about your business. With over a decade of experience leading companies and transforming lives, and a Master’s degree in Org. Development and Leadership, Mike can help you find the best way forward!