The recent lockdown situation has majorly impacted the already struggling retail industry and there is no going back from this. The good news? We’ve seen even the latest adaptors (to the world of online shopping) browsing, clicking and placing order after order so fast that the existing eCommerce businesses have been struggling to keep up! There is no mistake that any retail store needs to be an e-com store from now onwards and here’s what you need to do to make the move fast.
Gone are the days when you need a custom-built website taking ages and thousands of dollars to be finalised only to realise that the developer didn’t understand anything about how consumers shop online. Choose one of the super simple platform subscriptions offering you an online shop in a box (such as Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCartel or others) and go live literally within hours without having to pay anyone else.
Now that you have a beautiful-looking website, it’s time you let the world know. But remember, people you’re targeting online are usually not your previous customers. You need to start advertising outside of that crowd. With Facebook and Instagram, you can literally run an effective campaign for $5 a day and start getting sales in. Just make sure you define properly who the audience is and who they’re not. Don’t target people who might be interested in what you’re selling but target people who definitely are interested in what you’ve got and watch the sales come in.
The main difference between having an online and offline store is that you can’t see your customers live. So, you can’t see what products they tend to always go to, what they’re touching or trying. That’s why you need to learn how to read the story behind the numbers you collect. Every single click (or a lack of it) is valuable customer feedback and it will guide you to what you need to do next. Forget asking individuals about their opinions as you’ll get responses from people who were never going to buy anyway and you won’t be able to make the right move from there.
Whilst consumers who shop online have different behaviours to those who shop offline, their senses still have the same needs when it comes to making a purchasing decision and your website needs to mirror that. Give your customers the feeling that they just have done that. Like showing them an image of someone else touching it or smelling it. With other senses turned off, online shopping is a very visual experience and the more images, thorough descriptions and reviews you’ve got, the higher you’ll be able to price your products and they’ll still sell like hotcakes.
With an e-commerce store, you’ve got instant access to the whole world. Whilst you need to be careful and systematic, the world literally is your oyster and you might hit the lowest acquisition costs and the highest return on investment in remote areas or countries you never imagined. Remember that selling online is not just about weathering the storm and making a quick buck, but it’s also about serving people who need access to your products and services.
Moving your store online and start making sales can be quite fast. Just change your mindset from doing what you used to do to taking advantage of the easily accessible tools and technologies and your store will experience huge growth in no time.
Silvia Myers, eCommerce Growth Specialist