How Retail Businesses Are Moving Shop Online in a Hurry
In recent months, brick and mortar businesses have been forced to make some major changes. Even before COVID-19, retail shops were struggling, but since then, pandemic foot traffic has all but vanished.
Even as non-essential businesses are allowed to reopen, most have learned the importance of being online. Retail stores and even services have moved their companies on the web.
Luckily, many business owners have been able to make this transition in a hurry. Thanks to user-friendly web services, e-commerce infrastructure, and streamlined business management tools, it’s easier than ever to operate remotely.
A Move to eCommerce
Small stores and boutiques haven’t had much time to hire a developer and deal with the slow build of an eCommerce platform. Instead, they’ve taken a more straightforward route.
Web services like Shopify have offered a straightforward and user-friendly way for business owners to launch a site fast. All these sites require that you do is take photos of physical products and upload them to a well-designed online store.
Shopify is undoubtedly one of the best solutions for eCommerce fueled businesses. The features are robust, and you can do everything from securing a domain name to integrating with social media. You can manage your online payments, and the company also offers various fulfillment services.
Others have found that it’s easier these days to skip the custom eCommerce site altogether. Amazon and Etsy already have an infrastructure for businesses to sell their products to a large customer base.
Amazon is a route for business owners who need to get their products in front of potential customers as soon as possible. That said, it can be used as a placeholder until a custom online store is up and running.
Since over 40 percent of customers prefer shopping online than in person, businesses will reap the advantages of an online store even after their physical shops are reopened.
If stores weren’t focused on social media before the pandemic, they sure are now. There’s no better way to connect with a new audience, whether they’re local or far away.
Social media is free advertising. You can think of your website as the storefront to your business and social profiles as billboards or commercials. According to Business Insider, 36% of internet users in the US say that social networks are as important as other sources for making product choices.
Using social media is a way for you to attract customers from anywhere. By improving your presence on platforms like Instagram, you can show off your products and build your brand.
You can use Instagram Live and Facebook Live to reach out to customers, teach classes, and share your business story. If you want to highly target your base, you can do so easily, through Facebook ads.
Moving online means that your team has to adapt to a different style of work quickly. For many of them, this may be the first time they’ve ever had to do their job remotely. For managers, it’s good to know that tech is on your side. There are a few ways that businesses are helping to keep employees safe and engaged.
Companies are embracing digital ways of working. Salesforce is one tool that helps you keep employees engaged and automates new processes. With this software, you can take advantage of cloud technology to better connect with your customers and employees.
According to this article from the Salesforce blog, one of the best ways to keep the energy up is to host a daily standup. No matter how big your team is, it’s a good idea to have a 10-minute meeting every workday.
These platforms are easy to learn. If you take a quick training or follow a few helpful tutorials, you can take advantage of these essential business tools.
The Future of Shopping
While it may seem like a challenge to move shop online, it’s essential for any successful business today. Even though the coronavirus shutdowns hopefully won’t last for a long time, trends remain.
People prefer to have the convenience of shopping online. That said, just because you start selling products through eCommerce doesn’t mean you have to leave the brick-and-mortar behind.
Once we return to the daily grind, you can think of the money and energy you invested in the transition online as a blessing. You may find that your workflow suits your team better. Chances are if you build your web presence, you’re going to have many more customers to please.
Moving a retail business online requires a different approach to marketing, but it also opens up a world of options.
Since the start of the pandemic, both small stores and major retailers have been rushing to get online. Stores no longer have an option to stay offline, and the shutdowns just exacerbated an already growing trend. Luckily, there are many tools available for business owners making this transition with urgency.