From Bricks-and-Mortar Business to an Online Store
Moving your bricks-and-mortar business online may not be as difficult as you think. Now more than ever, you can be sure that you’re losing business if you rely only on a bricks and mortar business model. It’s no longer a question of if you should be setting up an online store, but rather when are you launching.
As more and more bricks-and-mortar stores go online, it is important to keep pace with your competitors. In addition, your customers expect to find their favourite brands engaging in online store marketing. Those customers are looking for you online, and if you are still only operating a bricks-and-mortar store, they cannot find you. But they will discover your competitors.
7 Steps to Setting Up an Online Store
- Get a domain name
- Get a website
- What are you selling
- Tell a compelling story
- Create a marketing strategy
- Set up socials
- Plan for growth
Quick guide to set up your bricks-and-mortar business online
Unlike in the past, kickstarting your business website is no longer complicated or expensive. It is now possible to maintain your bricks-and-mortar store while enjoying the full benefits of online store marketing at the same time. We’ve put together a quick-look checklist of what you need to take your business online.
1. Get a domain name
It’s easy to register a domain name and very low cost. You’ll need one for your website, and it also provides a professional foundation for your email address. No more Hotmail or Gmail addresses for your business.
2. Get a website
A hard-working website doesn’t need to cost a lot of money. Plan what you need your site to do and write a short brief. Once you can describe what you need with a brief, get some quotes. Some bricks-and-mortar businesses start building their own websites. There are some really intuitive DIY website builders available. Keep your website simple to begin with but do include a shopping cart element to sell your products and services online.
3. Work out what you’re going to sell online
Depending on the type of business, this can be quite easy or take more thought and planning. If you have a range of products, you may want to start with a few select lines and add them as you go along. Make sure you think carefully about the ease of packaging dispatch and delivery of these products. If you have a service-based business, you can set up packages or develop products based on your skills and expertise like e-books, downloads and audio recordings. When determining what to include in your online business set up, consider what sells well in your bricks-and-mortar business.
4. Presentation is paramount
Think about the care you take in your bricka and mortar product display. Present it in the best possible light. Enlist a photographer to take great images or a graphic designer to create covers, packaging and so on. Make sure any copy you include makes sense and tells a compelling story. Your customers will be making a buying decision based only on what they see or read on your website.
5. Create a marketing strategy
How are you going to drive traffic to your website? Consider including an opt-in element on the home page for a newsletter or free report to build your database. Set up a regular newsletter or email schedule to keep in touch with customers and highlight new products or offers. There is a lot more you can do to support your business with digital marketing. When you’re ready for some high powered digital marketing strategy and want to grow your business online, so are we.
6. Set up social media pages
Social media is a valuable part of your marketing plan and helps grow your database and get customers excited about your business. Social media offers a cost-effective way to highlight your brand and introduce special offers. If you feel uncertain about how to engage your bricks and mortar business with the world of social media enlist the help of a social media specialist.
7. Plan for growth
Plan for the future now – plan for 10,000 orders, not 10. Find a fulfilment solution so your lounge room or office doesn’t look like a warehouse. There are a range of options for outsourcing this and it’s absolutely worth every cent in freeing up your time to work on your business and earn more revenue online!
Shake up your bricks-and-mortar business & move online
We can help with all your online business needs, from domains through website design and digital marketing. We’re Australian owned and operated and offer our customers, whatever their size, big business technology and support at small business rates. Call us on 1300 638 734 to speak to one of our consultants and find out how you can start building your online shop business today.