Expert Tips For Adding E-Commerce to a Brick-and-Mortar Store
Increasingly, brick-and-mortar retailers incorporate an e-commerce component into their businesses – in today’s digital age, this step is crucial. Not only to capitalize on the opportunity for growth and increased productivity but to remain relevant.
As retailers embark on this digital expansion, they will probably have questions about web design, which platforms to use, and themes. As important as all of these aspects are from a traditional perspective, e-commerce products and marketing are the most important, especially in the beginning.
E-commerce vs. Brick-and-Mortar Retailers
Marketing and selling an item inside a brick-and-mortar store is fundamentally different than doing so online.
With in-person shopping, a customer can physically handle an item before buying. Take, for example, a pair of shoes; with a brick-and-mortar store, you can go inside, look at the shoes, sit down, and try them on. If they don’t fit, you can ask a clerk to bring you a different size or try on another pair – or both.
Also, a physical location does its marketing. Thousands of customers pass brick-and-mortar stores daily. Subconsciously, those physical locations stick in customers’ brains, and when they need products, those physical locations may come to mind.
Conversely, selling anything on the Internet is different.
Photos and Product Descriptions
Product images, product descriptions, and inventory management are critical for e-commerce but may be challenging for brick-and-mortar businesses selling online for the first time.
A thorough and detailed product description helps give shoppers a sense of what they’re buying. A good rule of thumb is the more detail you can add, the better.
The same thought process applies to photos.
As the old saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” In e-commerce, this saying is 100% true. Well-done photos give customers a sense of what they are buying, make them comfortable, and adds to the feeling that they are making an informed purchase.
Know Your Customers
building an e-commerce presence is exciting. It can be tempting to jump right into the revenue side of things and start focusing on what products to sell. But before you get there, it’s essential to check and update customer formation, look at competitors and figure out if online shoppers are or will be different from those in your traditional brick-and-mortar location.
Remember, in e-commerce; geography is no longer a restriction. While looking at data, don’t be afraid to broaden your perspective. Just be mindful that the way people shop online may be different.
What Products to Sell?
While you may sell hundreds or even thousands of items in your brick-and-mortar retail store, it’s a good idea to start with a small number of things when you begin selling online. A good rule of thumb is to only consider including your best-selling items online while you get started.
Ask yourself: What do my current customers who look similar to this online audience buy? What do they ask for in my stores?
If you’re unsure of how to round out your offering, look at your most popular items. Add products that go well with them. As a bonus, this practice could save you money on inventory and promos because you can use things you already have on hand.
Don’t Forget Where You Started.
As you go through building out your e-commerce platform, it is essential to keep your brick-and-mortar customer base in mind and engaged when they are not with you by offering incentives in-store and online to visit your e-commerce store or share it and their purchases online.
The Importance of Marketing
There are tons of little things to be mindful of when expanding into e-commerce: what payment type to use? Contact information, shipping, and return policies and procedures, and much more.
But as I said earlier, nothing is more important than marketing. You need to know who your audience will be, their preferences, and their buying habits among online shoppers. Above all else, you need to be keenly aware of the vastness of an online customer base, separate and apart from the foot traffic you may be used to in your physical location.
As a retailer, you need to be able to speak directly to your online customers. It would help if you had custom campaigns based on hard data that speak to prospective customers’ wants and needs individually.
Your campaigns need to be tailored enough to reach each customer in a way that compels them to convert when visiting your site. But also, your marketing campaign is to be multifaceted enough not to exclude potential customers.
The only way you can truly get the individualized and customized e-commerce platform your business needs is to go with professionals.
At Agency Partner, we understand the intricacies of building a seamless, intuitive, and flat-out sexy e-commerce platform.
Click here now and let Agency Partner aid you in your digital transformation.
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