Commerce

How to Transition from Brick-and-Mortar to an Online Store

The popularity of ecommerce makes starting an online store seem like an attractive option for many entrepreneurs, and brick and mortar business owners can certainly benefit from adding online shopping options. With the current pandemic, retail businesses, especially small ones, are suffering and may be looking to transition entirely to online sales. Fortunately, there are plenty of potential customers. 69% of the U.S. population shops online, and it’s projected that number will reach 91% by 2023.

Online stores bring convenience to customers and can potentially offer them better selections than their local stores. However, you’ll lose an edge brick and mortar stores have in that customers can inspect products and ask questions in person. Because of this, you’ll need to offer the best customer experience possible online to make up for this shortcoming. Here are some of the most important things you should focus on when turning your retail store into an ecommerce shop.

POS Integration

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If you’re running a physical store, odds are you’re already using a point of sale system to automate the sales process, update customer information, and keep track of inventory. With an ecommerce POS integration platform, you can use this system to help you create and update your store’s website using data you already have. With easy access to your sales data, you can decide which products to feature prominently on your website. It also makes it easy to convert your entire inventory and begin including pictures and product descriptions.

The best platform can even connect all of your applications through seamless integration, which lets you keep track of all your sales systems from one location. This unification makes it possible to quickly process orders from multiple channels, which is perfect if you’re still running your physical store in addition to your online one. Ecommerce solutions can even help you scale your business as your growth continues.

Search Engine Optimization

Your store has no chance at success without a good online presence, so SEO should be a top priority. You can start by optimizing your site for all devices and including popular keywords in your site’s title tags, meta descriptions, and in your product descriptions. Where you’ll really want to shine, though, is in your content marketing.

This is the new king of online advertising, and it refers to any original content you create that shows how your business can help customers. This might be through providing educational material, or you might demonstrate how your products and services can help your audience. For example, an online shop that sells motorcycle gear and accessories might write blog posts detailing the best safety gear. You could also create video content that answers the questions you most frequently get from customers. Considering video is predicted to make up 82% of web traffic by 2022, getting on board with video content now is critical.

Including backlinks in your content to get clicks for your own site is one of the best ways to boost your rankings in search engines, and a powerful integrated ecommerce service like NitroSell includes SEO and SEM strategy as part of the package.

Objectives and Key Results

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Having a plan for your ecommerce site is great, but it won’t be effective if you don’t have a reliable way to implement it. That’s where OKR software comes in. Objectives and key results is a goal-setting framework meant to increase productivity, encourage transparency, and ensure company alignment. It’s comprised of two basic parts.

Objectives: These are your main organizational goals. They should be easily understandable, and it’s best to focus on just a few at a time. A great example could be to increase online orders by 20% before the next quarter.

Key Results: These are the metrics by which you measure progress toward your strategic objectives. If you found that after two months, online orders had increased by 15%, you would be on schedule to meet your objective. Key results help you determine whether your objectives were too easy or too ambitious, and what you can do to better meet them on the next attempt.

OKRs are also a great way to ensure all your team members are working toward the same goals, and they can make your transition to an ecommerce store much easier.