Right now, there are over 1.8 billion people purchasing products online. If you're ready to transition to eCommerce, here are some tips and things to consider when embarking on your digital transformation.
As we've seen in the past couple of years, the world of commerce is going digital– and it's going fast. Consumers are favouring the convenience of finding the products they need online and the ease of online purchasing. Small businesses all over the globe are looking to make the transition to digital storefronts, but many aren't sure where to start. Taking your physical store digital is much easier said than done and requires quite a bit of time, management and logistics to keep it up to date. However, if you've decided it's time to finally make the switch to online, here are 5 things to think about when starting the online transition process.
Choosing the Right Platform for Your Business
Before you can start selling or offering services online, you'll need to find a platform that works for your business. There are few things you'll need to consider when choosing a platform, such as: Whether you are product or service-based business; will you need a scheduler built in to your site?; will you need an online payment program that is linked to your in-store POS system?. Your platform is the foundation of your online store and online presence. Some popular choices are: Etsy, Squarespace and Wix.
Do you want to transition to e-commerce, but need help creating your website or online store?
Is Your Website and Online Store Mobile-Friendly?
The majority of internet users are accessing the worldwide web from a mobile device, so it's important that your store is accessible via mobile and is mobile-friendly– meaning your site is optimized for mobile viewing. Your website must have a great UX design that is easy to use on both desktop and mobile. Another option is having an app built for your business. Find out whether website or app is best for business here.
Purchasing and Checkout Flow
How will potential customers purchase and receive their goods or services? Does your e-commerce platform accept all major credit cards? Will you offer payment plan services, such as Afterpay or Klarna? Many self-website builders such as Squarespace and Wix offer built-in e-commerce platforms that merge with PayPal, Square and/or Stripe. Many of these services also offer card readers, so your online store and physical store transactions can all be found in the same place.
Website and User Security
It's important that user security is taken into account when making the transition to digital. Even the largest of businesses have been victims of data leaks and breaches. Your customers want to feel that their information is safe and secure when they shop and you want to protect the integrity of your business. The last thing you would want is your customers' personal information getting into the hands of hackers, fraudsters and scammers. The best way to make sure your website and online payment portal is the case is to reach out to an expert. However, at minimum, ensure you website has a secure server through an SSL certificate.
Online Presence and Digital Marketing
Last, but not least, you want to learn how to use your digital presence to your advantage. While going digital means a much broader reach, it also means more competition. It's important to have a digital marketing strategy in place to help attract new customers and clients to your store and keep existing customers coming back. There are many ways to market your business online, from social media and email marketing to ads and content marketing. This always a great way to interact with potential customers and set the tone for how your business is perceived online.