If you have built a profitable business with a storefront, one of the quickest ways to develop and grow your customer reach is by moving your business online. While this may seem like a relatively straightforward task, many pitfalls can be potentially treacherous for any company during this transition. Taking time to fully evaluate your options and to plan an online strategy will help you to develop an online arm to your business that successfully generates cash. Here are some top tips to consider when moving a business online.
The Website Can’t Do Everything
Not every aspect of an IRL (in real life) business will be easily converted into an online platform for several reasons. Shipping costs, for example, may make larger products too expensive for consumers to order online. Another example is if you offer personalized service such as tailoring or altering an outfit. This kind of bespoke service is not possible without IRL contact. Take time to consider what products or services your business offers that can easily be transferred, what needs to be adapted to suit e-commerce, and what needs to be left behind. For some businesses, this may be obvious but for others, this selection process will be trickier. Do bear in mind any change to your operations will impact your bottom line. For instance, If you make the bulk of your profit from selling fridges or freezers, but your online business only sells the component parts, you cannot expect the same level of return. And you will also need time to build up your brand’s online identity. If there is a demand for the service in-store, there will likely be online demand too. Do not discard a profitable service too quickly. Think if there is any possible way you could offer a similar service online. If you have a creative solution then this may help you gain a vital lead over competitors.
Do your research. If you do not understand something then look up expert advice. For instance, Lead Generation is a vital part of any online business that is often overlooked. Many people can spend their whole career trying to become an expert in only one area of e-commerce. Utilize this experience and try to develop strategic approaches that will help you increase your online presence and return on investment.
Your delivery company is highly likely to be the primary contact your business may have with its customers outside of a website. If the courier service you employ is underachieving then your products may arrive badly damaged or long after they were expected. Poor delivery services will reflect badly upon your business. This will eventually reduce the likelihood of securing repeat orders with customers. Secure a contract with a courier company that is reputable and well-reviewed by other businesses is crucial. Many customers might not see any difference between you and the courier company so you will want the company to be of a high standard.
Lastly remember your website, just like your IRL store should reflect your business’s core values. Inject your personality into your website and social media accounts as it will make you stand out from your competitors.