Divergent business blog.
5 Ways To Make A Smooth Transition From A Traditional Brick-And- Mortar To An Online Store!
If you are one of those businessmen, who believe that online stores will never really catch up to the shopping experience provided by traditional brick-and-mortars… You are in for a rude awakening!
Online sales are projected to reach nearly $500 billion by the end of 2018!
You don’t really have to bid goodbye to your brick-and-mortar store, though… You can simply embrace e-commerce, and set up your shop online. This allows you to be available 24/7, be visible to wider audiences, and have a lot more sales opportunities!
And, it’s not that difficult really… here are a few simple ways to ensure that your move to an online presence is free of hurdles!
1. Choose the right online platform:
Based on what you are selling, and who you are selling to, you first have to choose the right online platform. This could either be an e-commerce site of your own, online marketplaces like Amazon or Ebay, or social networks like Facebook or Instagram.
While each of them have their own sets of pros and cons, the choice would depend on your own requirements. You could also try using multiple platforms, before settling with the one that most suits your unique needs.
2. Design an attractive online store:
While designing an online store, make sure it reflects your brick-and-mortar store — customers should find a certain familiarity while shopping online.
If you have a seller’s profile on an online marketplace, there may not be much scope for customization, except in the case of a few like Amazon or Ebay. Social networks, too, have limited tools for sellers to customize their stores.
3. Build Effective Product Pages:
Online stores work very differently from brick-and-mortar stores. Online customers rely on product images, descriptions and reviews to make the purchasing decision. Make sure you use appropriate titles, descriptions, keywords, and images on the product pages.
Online marketplaces always have a provision for customers to provide reviews. On social networks, you can always ask customers to leave comments on your pictures and posts, and also review your services.
4. Make It Work — Online And Offline:
If you have your own e-commerce store, you could have a ‘buy-online and pickup-offline’ program that allows customers to make purchases on your site, and then swing by to collect them from your physical store. It saves them the time and money spent on shipping!
5. Keep Making Improvements:
Once you’ve moved your store online, make sure it performs well. Some metrics you can use to evaluate this are sales, conversion rate, where your visitors are coming from, the kind of products that are selling and those that aren’t, and cart abandonment rates,
Now that you know how to make the transition from a brick-and-mortar business to an online one, you will need funding to actually go about it.
Getting traditional small business bank loans is rather hard — especially if you have a bad credit history or an unfavorable credit score. Here are some alternatives you can choose from:
- SBA Loans: The Small Business Administration offers three loans programs to help small business owners to meet their funding needs.
- Online Lenders: If you are looking for funds to cover your marketing costs, you could always check with an online lender. However, these lenders offer loans only to businesses which have been active for a certain number of years, therefore making them unavailable for startups.
- Business Credit Cards: These cards are a lot like personal credit cards — you’ll get a credit limit, which is great when you aren’t really sure how much money you’re going to need.
- Personal Loans: You could always take a personal loan to meet urgent funding needs, especially if you have a good personal credit score and a favorable history.
- Investors: If you have a business with the potential to rake in high revenues, you can always get investors and venture firms to invest in your startup. However, you need to have an extremely scalable business model.
Of course, you could always opt for the less traditional loans, like the ones offered by Fresh Funding. We offer business cash advances, working capital loans, and business expansion loans to small businesses.
What’s more — your application (if you are eligible) can be approved in minutes, with funding disbursed on the same day!
To know more, get in touch with us today!