How to Start Your Online Store and Sell During COVID-19
With an increasing number of brick-and-mortar store closing their doors to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses are now trying to figure out how they can open their doors to online sales.
Currently, it is advised against travelling to public places (even prohibited in some places). No wonder so many subscription services and eCommerce businesses are seeing a surge. Online supermarkets and healthcare providers are already seeing increased interests and sales through online portals.
Make Your Online Selection
Before jumping into the online world, you will need to plan out your store, your merchandise and much more. Ask yourself questions like:
- What does inventory look like?
- Are there packages that you would like to offer?
- Do you have merchandise that you could put up for sale?
- What is your shipping capacity? How are you going to deliver? Do you need to hire a fulfillment partner?
Remember, many people are dealing with financial woes and instability. It’s no small gesture to acknowledge that, thank those who support your business, and give genuine well-wishes to those who cannot.
Website Branding and Functionality
You won’t have much luck selling online if you don’t have an easy-to-use website and an eCommerce store. Remember, your website is your virtual identity. Exhibit the same character and aesthetic across your site that you deliver when people walk into your physical store.
Providing an excellent user experience (UX) is key. Understanding and valuing the foundational elements and intents behind great UX can transform how you approach all areas of your business. The benefit of good UX is increased customer loyalty and more sales!
Choosing Your eCommerce Platform
When choosing an eCommerce platform, there are few qualities that you should pay attention to:
- Website Integration
Will your website and storefront seamlessly integrate? Make sure that the store you choose offers a direct integration with most website hosting platforms like Woocommerce.
- Ease of Use
Make sure whatever you choose has an intuitive interface that is easy to learn.
Technology is changing fast and you want to partner with a platform that is always improving. When you choose best-in-class solutions, you have the benefit of what each platform provides today, but also any future updates.
Choose a platform that allows you to control and configure your ideal customer experience.
What is the barrier to entry like? How hard is it to get started? Right now it’s important to be able to get up and running quickly. Make sure that whatever option you choose, it’s easy to get started.
Promotion and Marketing
Once your eCommerce store is live and your club is established, it’s time to get the word out!
- Your Website
Don’t underestimate the importance of your website. Make sure that it’s easy to find, fast, simple to navigate, on-brand, and super clear how to sign up
- Social Media
Social media is a great way to increase your direct sales through your website and increase awareness about your business. Focus on customer features, education about your business, and contest/giveaways.
- Review Sites
Google My Business, Yelp etc are common sites that people use to find businesses to visit. Claiming your business on these sites and actively monitoring and engaging with users can be the difference of thousands of dollars in new revenue.
Email can be used to attract, convert, and nurture prospects and customers.
There has never been a better time to start your online store. If you are also looking to up your online game, we are here for you and happy to provide our resources. Please reach out to our team and let us know how we can help you support customers during COVID-19 and continue to grow your business.