Ecommerce has advanced in many ways since its start, which was established around 40 years ago in its earliest form. It’s getting increasingly high-flying shopping choices for many consumers as it changes the way in which people live, shop, and do business.
As estimated in the report by Statista, eCommerce revenue will exceed $638 billion in the U.S. by 2022.
The current situation of the COVID 19 pandemic has caused a global crisis where e-commerce can be the go-to solution for keeping retail businesses floating. Businesses that have taken up eCommerce are observing a success because most shoppers are staying at home to maintain social distancing.
So, this is the perfect time for offline retailers to transform their business in digital i.e. to work on a robust online shopping model.
Shifting to eCommerce can be a challenging task for brick-and-mortar stores; however, we make an attempt to make things easy for you through the following article.
Reasons to move from offline to online:
- By having your business online, you can go after the latest shopping trends to match the taste of your customers.
- The ongoing COVID 19 pandemic has offered a golden opportunity for online sellers and retailers which will also give a long-term boost.
- Setting an online business requires a very little initial investment or start-up cost. Also, you can sell at the global level which boosts your selling competencies multi-folds.
- Online purchase offers easier access to customers while also matching their expectations.
Benefits of taking your business online:
- Opportunity to manage the business from anywhere in the world
The possibility to operate a business from anywhere is one of the vital benefits offered by eCommerce. It also helps to save time so that you can look after the more serious concerns.
- Low operation cost
The cost of operating an eCommerce store is relatively lower as compared to the physical store. It doesn’t involve keeping up the showroom or appointing any salesmen, hence the overall cost gets reduced.
- Provide the ease of shopping to your customers
It is the easiest way of shopping which can be done from anywhere and also saves time and money. Customers get more options online than a physical store where they can quickly compare the price between a few items.
- Customers can do the purchase at any time
Online stores can be accessed by customers 24/7, and you can actually sell products while you are asleep. So, there is no limit of time for customers to shop online.
- Product information that helps to ensure quality
Ecommerce websites provide all the information about the product, its description, and its usage. Information about products aids to ensure the quality of the product.
- It can be easily expanded to reach a large audience globally
When you have a business online where everything is set up properly, minimum complications occur. So, it gets easy to expand on a global scale where your target audience is not just limited to a city or town but covers the whole world.
- Eases the efforts and time required to track the performance
In the case of online business, all the metrics and records are maintained automatically with accuracy. Hence, you can easily track daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly performance just at your fingertips.
Which elements you should think about for a successful digital transformation?
At first, you should analyze the current workflow and then decide the steps to fit your expansion plan of moving online.
- Examine the approaches used by the sales team and then opt to streamline the sales.
- Decide on the integration of existing systems such as ERP, CRM, etc. into the new eCommerce solution.
- Organize your product catalog in such a way that it is handy for your customers.
- Make the effective use of managerial workflows which will help to enhance the decision-making process.
- Make sure that your staff learns the new system which will ultimately lead to the simplified consumer buying process.
These are the finest preparatory aspects to consider when shifting your retail business into digital. Further steps will include creating a plan, understanding technical requirements, choosing a platform, build a website, selecting products for sale, estimating a budget, planning a marketing strategy, and maintaining inventory and warehouse.
- Create a plan for the online business:
Think about getting new equipment such as packaging supplies if required. Distribute the workload within your existing team and hire new employees as required. Set the goals for expansion in the customer base and sales. Also, decide the timeline to go live.
- Understand technical requirements:
Set up the server depending on the features and compatibility with your business model. Pick up a suitable domain name that will be an online identity for your business. Look for a secure and competent hosting service based on the size and requirement of your business.
- Decide on a platform:
While selecting a platform, you should see if it can manage maximum products with a faster page-loading, offers security for undisruptive transactions, is scalable, and balances the load, whether to go for open-source or proprietary, etc. Magento is the highly preferred platform that satisfies most of the business needs.
- Build a website:
Setting up your website to shift all your products online is also a very important step as it creates a first impression to convert your readers into buyers. For this, first of all, select an attractive and user-friendly website template. Then decide on the essential pages to be added including the home page, return and exchange policy, contact us, product pages, and FAQs, etc. Add the content on your website which is appealing and lucrative.
- Work on setups that are vital for an online eCommerce store:
Set up POS and multiple payment gateways depending on your target customers. Build up the shipping methods for the timely and complete delivery of your orders. Create a mobile app for your online shop that is greatly responsive to all mobile devices. Creating digital gift cards also works best for businesses shifting from physical store to digital store.
- Select products for sale:
For the selection of the products, competitor analysis will help a lot where you can notice their best selling products. Then do the required modifications of your product display to a broad range of consumer base without wasting time and money on products that aren’t profit-making.
- Assess the budget:
Take into account monthly billing of advertising, packaging, shipping, etc. To reduce the cost, see if you can execute any job on your own.
- Plan a marketing strategy:
First, focus on your overall goals, target audience, and what you have to accomplish. Then choose a marketing channel that you think will work best. It can be SEO, Email marketing, Updating local listing, and Posting on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. You can also unite your website to various sales channels including Amazon, Walmart, or eBay to draw customer attention.
Online shopping is taking over the brick & mortar stores when the retail world is evolving so swiftly. And the shift has now become unavoidable. Are you ready for digital transformation?
Guest article written by: Nicholas Winston writes articles on technical topics while working in a Custom software development company. In addition, He is an avid reader who loves to binge a variety of books and informative articles.