In a world where the influence of the Internet is ever-increasing, traditional retail businesses can seem to be under attack. This does not have to be the case, however. What if there was a way to shift your retail business into more of an Ecommerce business? What if instead of trying to fight the wave of Internet retailers, you learned how to ride it, while maximizing your profits? Below is a list of tips on how to shift your small retail business into a more Internet focused Ecommerce.
1. Learn From the Giants
Amazon is and has been a giant in the online retail industry. One way they are innovating is by combining a physical shopping experience with online buying. One way they do this is by opening what are essentially show stores. Take their bookstores as an example. The idea behind the opening of the physical bookstores is that customers can still get a tactile, physical shopping experience while still being able to buy the book online. Amazon wants its customers to be able to actually touch the books they will buy and have conversations with fellow shoppers, while still encouraging their shoppers to actually make the book purchase online. What it amounts to is essentially an interactive, physical display for their online merchandise.
This method of shopping may be a way for you to keep a physical shopping experience for your customers, but having their actual purchases be done online. This is cutting-edge marketing and shopping and is predicted to be the future. This idea is encapsulated in the future store manifesto, the idea of an omni-channel shopping experience.
2. Have the Right Software
This tip comes from Thomas Smale’s piece from Entrepreneur. Having the right software program for your online business can mean the difference between the life and death of your company. If you are planning on switching most of your business to online purchases, you need to make sure your customers’ experiences are as smooth and as enjoyable as possible. If you are truly planning on moving your company onto the Web, do not be afraid to invest in the right software to help manage your website. A good website that is easy to navigate and visually aesthetic can help keep customers interested and draw them in. It all depends on the type of program you use.
3. Utilize Social Media
This tip comes from Chad Brooks from Business News Daily. With how far social media is able to reach now, it would be almost silly not to utilize it for your business. Social media is a great platform for you to promote your online business, as well as providing a way for you to interact with your clients.
4. Optimize Email for Mobile-Use
This piece of advice comes from Sophia Belnap. As more and more people start using their phones to access the Internet, the need for all facets of your online business to be mobile friendly become more important. This is true of your emails to customers as well. Making sure that your customers can access and read your emails while on their phones by using a variety of methods is important.
5. Optimize the Check-Out
This piece of advice also comes from Thomas Smale’s article. Often the frustrating part of shopping at a physical retail store isn’t the shopping itself but the checkout. Don’t make the same mistake in your online store. Make the checkout experience fast and easy and keep your customers satisfied. Remember, the practicality of online shopping is its ease. Keep this in mind when designing your checkout process.
If you are trying to take your business onto the Web, the list above can provide helpful hints and tactics to help you succeed. Remember, instead of fighting the rising wave of Internet shopping, try instead to ride it by successfully transitioning your business into more of an Ecommerce store.
Guest contribution by Paisley Hansen.