Running a physical retail store is no easy task. You not only have to worry about reaching sales and profit targets; you’ll have the added responsibilities and expenses that come with keeping premises in working order. There are the bills to pay, the rent or mortgage, having the correct paperwork and licenses in place, not to mention keeping everything clean, tidy, and keeping everyone who enters as happy as possible. Therefore, many existing and fresh new businesses are taking their company to an online space, instead of a physical one, and becoming e-commerce owners.
E-commerce, of course, comes with its own challenges; however, you’ll be able to focus on selling your products and getting them to consumers, without worrying about if a top shelf has been dusted recently. You’ll also be able to utilize the array of software and technology that’s available to e-tailers, which can take a weight off your shoulders regarding an array of admin and financial tasks. So, if you’re starting your journey into becoming an online shopping destination, or you feel like moving your store from a physical space to the internet; keep reading for some ideas and inspiration that might provide a helping hand.
Marketing With Instant Results
If you’ve ever had to roll out a marketing campaign for a physical store; you’ll understand how delayed the results can be. People might read your ad in their Sunday paper, see it on T.V or the internet, but then they’ll have to make plans to visit you in their free time. This can prove unsuccessful for many, as by the time consumers have a free moment; they may have forgotten your advertisement and decide to shop somewhere nearby instead. The beauty of an advert for an e-commerce site is that it can be accessed immediately, no matter the time of day or your customer’s location. This especially works if a patron discovers an ad online, and decides to click through to invest in your brand or business.
Once a customer is within your online retail space; you can also provide them with special offers, sales, and items of interest, through pop-up technology. Giving a person the chance to instantaneously purchase something they like the look of through marketing will enhance their customer experience and ensure they return to shop with you again. In a physical store environment; a consumer may see an ad or a product picture, and have to seek it out in store, or realize that it’s no longer, or not yet in stock. Anything that could put a negative spin on their time with you could affect their decision to return in the future. The software and tech that’s available to you in an e-commerce environment are there to provide a shopper with a comfortable, simple, and straightforward shopping experience, so utilize it wisely.
Utilizing Data, Patterns, And Analytics
Another plus point about having your consumer traffic coming through your store online is the ability to track and analyze their time with you, and even after they leave your retail space. Understanding your target audience and how they spend their time and money is the perfect way to enhance your chances of a sale and their overall customer experience. Check out articles like Is Visual Visitor Worth Signing Up For? So that you can figure out the software you need to invest in, and understand how it will work for your business. You’ll be able to see who is a new patron and who has returned again to shop with you; this will allow you to send out specific and targeting emails to them, with the idea of tempting them back to you once again. It will allow you to retain some of the personal-style service that you once had in a retail environment and physical shop.
Unlike asking a customer to fill out a survey, or watching them as they walk around your shop; an e-commerce environment gives to the opportunity to record each action, which will result in valuable data. The technology within your website can also analyze the data and analytics, and provide you with clear instructions about what has and hasn’t worked in the past, and ideas about action to take in the future regarding direct marketing, pop-ups, and utilizing ad spaces in other areas of the internet.
Simple, Affordable Visual Merchandising
Whereas in a retail store you’ll need to invest in props, prints, interior accessories, and seasonal or themed items; you can pretty much create these visuals quickly and free of charge to apply them in your e-commerce shop. Your space online can be as subtle and paired-back as you like, or it can embrace a change in season with full force, and colors and patterns can change accordingly. Introducing a new color palette to your long-standing branding is a great way to move with the seasons or highlight a specific time of year or day.
You could go a step further and add seasonal animations to your products, or perhaps when visitors take action and click or purchase something. Check out articles like How Can These Ecommerce Trends Boost Your Sales In 2017? And discover what other online brands are doing to keep sales high and customers engaged to gain some inspiration.
Retaining Customer Service And Care
You might feel that customers will lose out on the care, contact, and interaction side of a traditional retail environment when they shop online. However, there is more tech available than ever before to provide your patrons with excellence in assistance and advice as they navigate through your items, and choose what to buy. Again; pop-up technology and software is the perfect way to remind people that there’s always someone there to speak to should they need help. You can also consistently have your contact details in clear view of the shopper for out-of-hours so that they feel secure and happy in the fact they can ask a question and receive an answer to any queries.
The technology is there to make your life as an e-commerce owner easier and more informed, and will also enhance a shopper’s experience with your company. Therefore, there’s no better time to consider switching from a physical space to an online environment regarding selling your wares.