Years ago, if you wanted to start up a retail business you had to go out and get a loan to secure a retail lease for your store, pay for vendor merchandise and cover your basic employee pay and insurance. Today all you need to do is set up a website and start collecting money.
While it isn’t really as easy as that, it must seem that way for many people. But the truth is, today getting started in retail, if it is e-retail, is much easier. While it may not be really as simple as just starting up a retail website, there are some things you should always do that will help to make getting a retail e-business to the starting line successfully. Here are a few basics you will need to know.
Making Buying Safe and Easy
There are so many horror stories out there about buying online and having your credit card scammed that many still prefer to shop in person instead of online. But for the smart online buyer, it is all about knowing which online stores are safe.
These will be the ones that have taken the time to have installed systems to allow secure payments online. Because most of this is done with plugins that you add to your website, it is relatively easy to ensure that your customers financial transactions will remain secure while shopping on your website.
Going with the Flow
When you put up that website, you probably aren’t thinking about what it feels like to the customer who lands on your site. You are hip deep in website development lingo and finding the right color of theme for your store. But the flow of your site is very important to the success of it.
There should be an almost intuitive logic to how to get from that first page to where they can buy what they need. It should invite them in without knocking them over the head with sales lingo. Does your site help your customer find what they need, regardless of what that is?
If your About Us page doesn’t show where your physical store is or your catalog is hard to find online, how can they ever buy from you? Make that website as easy to navigate as their local streets. Help them to go with the flow and directly to their shopping cart.
Social Media Promotions
You don’t have to be a social media whiz to promote your store on them. All it takes is a few minutes each week to post on Facebook and Twitter and maybe a bit of promotion using Facebook’s ads for special events or sales.
Many stores use a monthly newsletter to let their customers know about special events and sales coming soon. These only take a little time but they add to your sales and help so that e-commerce site pays for itself in no time at all.
Making it Online
These are just a few of the ideas you might want to consider if you haven’t already for an online store. With over half of all purchases being made online last year, now is the time to make your move to online. Your customers are already there, why aren’t you ready to join them?