The way people shop has changed quite a lot over the last few decades. E-commerce has taken the world by storm and we keep seeing more and more businesses focusing on creating a strong online presence. If you’re thinking about giving e-commerce a go, chances are you’re wondering how to execute the move to the web. Listed below are the most important steps for successfully moving your business to e-commerce.
Come up with a plan
The first and one of the most important things you need to do when moving your business to e-commerce is to come up with a plan. If you want to move from physical to digital, you need to know why you’re doing it and how you plan to do it. Just like when starting a business, you might want to conduct market research and make sure there are enough people on the web who’d be interested in what your company has to offer. Once you’re sure that adding an online store is the right move, it’s time to figure out how you’ll do it. Most of the time, it’s a good idea to keep operating just like before until you have a plan in place.
Build a strong supply chain footprint
Giants such as Amazon prime have completely transformed the way e-commerce works. Not so long ago, same-day deliveries were considered a luxury but companies like this have turned it into a norm. If you want to keep your customers satisfied, building a strong supply chain footprint is imperative. After all, how can you expect to meet the norm of same-day deliveries if your supply chain could use some tweaking? When moving from traditional stores to e-commerce, you’re tasked with building your footprint the ground up and starting shipping stuff from several locations.
Take an omnichannel approach
Ask any consumer from a few decades ago and they’ll tell you they prefer shopping in real stores. Fast-forward to 2019 and almost everyone shops online. More and more businesses are adding online stores while still selling products in their brick-and-mortar stores. This is even the case with companies in more traditional sectors such as the oil and gas industry. For example, there are companies that offer oilfield equipment on the web with amazing success. The most important thing to have in mind is that your real and online stores aren’t two separate entities. Create an integrated shopping experience and you’ll do well.
Keep a close eye on your data
One of the biggest shocks you’ll face when moving to e-commerce is that there’s little you can do to persuade a customer to make a purchase. Limited interaction with your customers also means you won’t have a clear picture of how well your company is doing. Luckily, collecting data has never been easier. If you start keeping track of the right data and learn how to use it, you should be able to figure out how the company is doing and what areas of your work could use a little bit of improvement.
Think about security
Another huge difference between running a real store and an online store is security. With bring-and-mortar stores, you have to think about both burglars and hackers. Protecting your business from both is a must and the last thing you want to happen is have some of them get their hands on your equipment and data. When running an e-commerce business, you only need to focus on securing your website. The more security measures you take, the more will people trust your business. For starters, try to get an SSL certificate and show everyone just how secure your site is.
Encourage customers to write reviews
Studies have shown that people now trust online reviews way more than they trust friend recommendations. This is mostly because there are so many reviews they can read and learn more about your products. Not to mention that so many users put an emphasis on the star rating when choosing the e-commerce business they’ll turn to. Your brick-and-mortar store may have used more traditional marketing channels but a switch to the web shifts the attention to digital marketing and customer reviews are a perfect way to start. Especially since it also impacts your ranking in search engine result pages.
The bottom line
Right now, the e-commerce sector is booming. No matter how well your brick-and-mortar store is doing, selling your products online can help you take it to the next level. Luckily, executing a move to the web shouldn’t be tough. All you need to do is follow these steps and there should be nothing stopping you from creating an online store everyone will love. Once your store is all set up, you’ll get a chance to communicate and connect with a wider audience.