If you have clicked on this link, it means only one thing, you are really planning to create an online store for your offline business. It means you’re serious about taking your enterprise to the next level or in simple words, to turn your business dreams into reality. It also means that if you truly wish to compete in today’s ecommerce world you need a strong presence on the internet now more than ever. Correct us if we are wrong but isn’t that the place where your customers spend most of their time nowadays- researching, buying, socializing? You bet it is.
Now I totally understand if you are still harbouring questions such as “why should I have an ecommerce website for my brick and mortar store? I mean isn’t this how we have been doing business for centuries?” and we couldn’t agree with you more. Your offline store can craft a unique experience for your customers in a creative way that wouldn’t be achievable online. But think again, is the higher setup and maintenance costs with a limited customer base really worth it? No, you do not have to answer this one.
I know what your next question will be, “how is creating an online store any better than my brick and mortar store?” Let’s find out:
- Online stores give your customers the freedom to shop 24/7/365.
- It allows your customers to compare the different prices and find the best possible deals.
- The internet answers all their queries much more efficiently than your local salesperson ever would.
- Your online store requires no buildings to construct and no vehicles to buy. Simply build your website at very low startup costs and start selling.
- Also to operate your ecommerce website, all you need is a solid internet connection and you can virtually live and work from anywhere.
- A significant difference comes in the form of cost savings. Believe me, you will save big.
- And lastly, it helps you target the global market. Here, you can literally have tens of thousands of people visiting your online store at once.
Now we understand with you managing your brick and mortar store, adding one more item to your to-do list might seem overwhelming. But since you know that creating an online store is the right thing to do for a successful, modern business, let’s take this process one step at a time. First of all, we might need to get rid of some of the main concerns that offline store owners have about establishing an online presence.
3 Major Concerns While Taking Your Business Online
- “I do not have time”
Of course, you don’t, with the majority of your time spent on keeping those shelves clean and organized for your day to day customers. But understand this, building an ecommerce website can take less than an hour. There are several online resources such as StoreHippo that makes setting up an ecommerce store real quick and easy.
- “My products/services cannot be purchased online”
Seriously, are you kidding me? Several studies have found that an overwhelming majority of consumers search for local products and services online. And these consumers feel more confident and comfortable with businesses that have a professional online presence with a website and branded email.
- “I am not a technical guy”
Now we cannot vouch for whether or not you have the technical skills needed to create an online store but we can guarantee once your store is all set, running it, using the domain name, redirecting your social media page, etc.doesn’t require much of a talent. This is where you have the biggest advantage of going with StoreHippo ecommerce platform. Even with basic skills of operating a computer, you can set up your store and go to market in no time with the DIY StoreHippo ecommerce platform. The entire process is simple, quick, and inexpensive. Also, you get pre-integrated payment and logistics solution.
Online Store Startup Guide
Okay, now that we have gotten it out of our hair, it's time to look for some tips that can help you give your offline brick and mortar store an online makeover. Oh, wait! Here they are:-
Grab a domain name for your ecommerce website
Getting your own domain name is the first thing we need to do. It is like a foundation upon which your site will rest. You can easily get it online either for free or Paid (such as GoDaddy or Namecheap).
Focus more on design and infrastructure
Those who are tempted to just “throw up a website and be done with it”, please don’t. There is much more to your site, so focus your time, attention, and resources on the design and infrastructure of your ecommerce website. This will be your face to the online public, so make it shine.
Make your online store safe and reliable
If you wish to achieve success with your online store, giving your customers a safe and reliable experience is mandatory. You don’t want them to encounter your store with bugs and error messages, making them appear unsafe? They will run faster than you blink.
List your business on Google, Yelp, etc.
There are search engines where you need to list your business after creating an online store, thus allowing others to gain information about it and leave reviews. Here you can thank the customers who give you good reviews and try to improvise based on the ‘not so good’ reviews.
Start a blog and grow your fan base
You might have heard somewhere that ‘Content is King’. Well, it's about time to put it to good use. Today consumers want much more than price lists, menus, and product offerings, they want expertise and what better way to show it to them than well-written content.
Be more social, your customers love it
If your ecommerce website is not on social media, believe me, you are missing out on something big here. So, don’t wait, go get twitter, Google+ and Facebook account for your store. Later on, you can try Pinterest, Instagram, etc. to gain an even bigger hold on the market.
Familiarize yourself with SEO
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is an important marketing tactic to consider now that you have decided to go online. Remember the search engines? Well, learning the SEO techniques is what will get your ecommerce website to appear in the top search results.
Lastly, get professional help to get started
We understand you are new to this whole ecommerce thing. We also understand how difficult it can be to know the many steps of rolling out an online store. Fortunately, there is a help to be had. Try StoreHippo, it can get your store up and running in no time.
Using our ecommerce platform, you won’t have to worry about hiring professionals to build your ecommerce site. The DIY StoreHippo Ecommerce platform gives you a mobile ready site that works well on all devices. The flexible and scalable platform is safe, secure and allows your customers to place orders on the go from their smartphones. Let’s see what else we got:
- A free SSL certificate to provide a secure environment.
- Drag-drop tools to help customize your store design.
- In-built SEO tools for faster site optimization and SERP rankings
- A powerful blog engine for posting those awesome blogs.
- Offer a strong omnichannel integration for effective marketing
- Inbuild discount engine to run promotions and sales
You surely are excited about taking your offline business online. But that doesn’t mean that things will happen overnight. Speed up your go to market time and create an online store with StoreHippo.
For more help into getting started with your online store, join hands with us. We at StoreHippo, help entrepreneurs transform their ideas and personal initiative into success. Explore the features of StoreHippo ecommerce platform by starting your 14-day free trial now!