Customer purchasing habits have changed dramatically over the last few months due to the ongoing pandemic. As more and more people are staying at home in response to government quarantines, more and more businesses have also had to adjust to online selling in order to continue to reach their customers.
Transitioning from a traditional brick and mortar store to an e-commerce website is simple enough. However, the multitude of steps necessary to transition to a successful online store can be daunting for some SMEs. That said, here are a few quick tips to help make that transition much easier for your business:
1. Create and Secure Your Domain Name
One of the first things you’ll need to do is to create and secure your domain name or your URL. You can easily use sites like GoDaddy.com to purchase your domain name. Alternatively, some e-commerce platforms like Shopify will have purchasing a domain name as an included feature.
Ideally, you’ll want to choose a domain name that is exactly the same as your business’ actual name (ex. EnderunExtension.com). This will make it easier for your existing customer base to find you online. If this isn’t possible, go with a similar name. For example, an art store by the name of Jane’s Art Supplies can go with “janeartsupply.com” instead. You may also choose to change the top-level domain from “.com” to “.com.ph” or “.ph” if you would still like to use your full business name.
2. Adjust Your Sales Plan to Account for Online Selling
Selling online is very different from selling in a physical store. Given this, you’ll need to adjust your current sales plan to accommodate your new e-commerce website. You’ll need to gear marketing strategies and ad spend towards social media–and you can’t just rely on Facebook alone. This entails market research into the online habits of your customers and making the necessary adjustments to your sales funnel. Fortunately, many organizations have been running online business courses to help SMEs make sense of it all, especially for the less tech-savvy business owners out there.
3. Choose Responsive Web Design
Mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets, have long surpassed desktops and laptops as the primary internet device for most people. This means your new e-commerce website’s design should take the smaller screens found on mobile devices into account. This is especially true since 88 percent of online consumers are less likely to come back to a website that does not display or function as intended on their device.
Nowadays, this problem is usually addressed by opting to build a mobile responsive website, a type of web design that automatically adjusts your website’s parameters to the screen size of the device accessing it. This way, your website displays and functions correctly regardless of whether your customer is on their desktop or their smartphone.
4. Lead All Digital Marketing Back to Your E-commerce Website
Lastly, you want to maximize the amount of traffic that goes through your website. This means making sure all your social media posts and ads link back to your new e-commerce website at all times. You should also consider registering your business on applicable listing sites like Foursquare, Zomato, and the like. After all, not everyone will find you solely through Google.
These are some of the more important factors to keep in mind as you continue to build your business’ e-commerce website and online presence. If you are interested in learning more about how to sell online, it may be a good idea to sign up for online e-commerce courses like Enderun Extension’s SME Management Bootcamp.