Countless nonessential businesses across the country were forced to close their doors amid the COVID-19 pandemic. And although most states are in the process of reopening, many retail stores are still not allowed walk-in traffic.
As you can imagine, this has led to a spike in online shopping. While online shopping numbers have been steadily increasing for years, the pandemic has made it clear that if you want your retail business to succeed—both now and in the future—online sales must play a part in your operations.
If you’re new to the concept of online sales, don’t let that discourage you from making the adjustments necessary for your business to thrive. Below, you will find some practical tips for getting your online presence off the ground.
Dive into Ecommerce
Not so long ago, ecommerce was a cool new idea, and over the years it has grown to be a legitimate platform for various types of retail businesses. In fact, countless companies are run out of people’s homes these days. However, considering the recent events, the survival of your business may very well depend on your willingness to expand to the online market on one level or another.
The best way to approach it is to just get started. You want to be prepared, but you will learn a lot as you go, too. So, start researching the best ecommerce platforms and fulfillment services for your business needs, and begin setting up your store! If you already sell online, look for ways you can improve your process.
Get the Help You Need
A lot can be learned from researching the web, and that extends to the ecommerce industry. However, if ecommerce seems like a foreign language to you, and/or you’re overwhelmed by the prospect of incorporating it into your business operations, consider hiring someone to help you get started.
On job boards like Upwork, you can find qualified experts who will walk you through the process and even do a lot of the work for you. So, take a look at your options and hire an ecommerce developer today.
Upgrade Your Website
If your website is outdated, now is the time to change it. Whether or not you sell items or services through your site, it’s where a lot of your customers will turn for important information about your business, and it’s the first impression many prospective customers will have of your company.
Make sure your site looks appealing, works efficiently, and is easy to use. This is another task you might consider hiring a professional for unless you have ample experience designing websites.
Boost Your Social Media Presence
Social media is among the most powerful marketing platforms a business can use these days. Make sure your business social media pages (e.g., Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) are kept up-to-date with relevant content, and try to interact with customers for a more personal experience. You can even use your social media pages to link customers directly to your product pages and shopping cart.
Don’t Forget About Your Physical Store
Finally, your brick-and-mortar store will not be closed off to walk-in traffic forever. Evaluate the space and think of any ways you can improve it. Now is a great time to do some painting, install new retail fixtures, replace the flooring, and/or do any other tasks that will enhance the customer experience inside your store.
People still love to visit stores and buy products in person, but the rise of online shopping is undeniable. Get started with your online sales as soon as possible, and hire someone to help you if necessary. Also, be sure to upgrade your website and prioritize your social media presence. Lastly, take this time to make any necessary improvements to your physical store.