If you’re not selling your product online in 2018, you’re missing out.
Nearly every single U.S. adult with internet access has made an online purchase in their lifetime. Perhaps even more telling: 80 percent of U.S. adults have made an online purchase in the past month alone.
Together, those e-commerce sales accounted for about 9 percent of all retail sales in 2017 — and it’s only growing.
Are you missing out?
Establishing a strong online e-commerce presence allows small businesses to reach new markets who might not otherwise visit your brick and mortar store, such as the hungry college student who orders your food online, or the mom who purchases your boutique baby clothes from across the country.
It also means engaging your current customer through a new, easy to use online store. That’s important, considering about half of consumers prefer shopping online.
Here’s what you need to do to begin selling your products online.
Determine your goals
Understand what e-commerce success means for you and your small business.
Are you determined to move a percentage of your sales online, or do you have a particular growth goal you need to meet? How can e-commerce help you reach new customers in your target audience? Set SMART goals that reflect your business goals.
You will also need to decide what product or products you are selling. For a small, growing restaurant, this means selling meals through an online ordering system. Retail stores may want to start by offering only a subset of best-selling products to ensure timely order fulfillment and to maintain a healthy stock.
Hire an e-commerce web developer
Launching a professional, high-performing e-commerce site requires hiring a professional. Hire a web developer who specializes in e-commerce with a proven background in creating sales portals that convert.
Not sure where to start? Ask for references from fellow small businesses, especially those with strong e-commerce capabilities.
Choose your e-commerce platform
There are hundreds — if not thousands — of popular e-commerce platforms available. It can be dizzying, and each platform comes with its own pros and cons.
A good e-commerce choice fits with your marketing, sales and customer service goals. Order placement, fulfillment and management should be seamless and simple.
As your partner, your web developer should offer suggestions on the best e-commerce platform for your needs. A web developer may also create a create a unique online store from scratch, or work with you to customize your chosen platform.
Build Your Web Presence & Your Marketing
E-commerce is an essential part of your overall web presence. A mobile friendly, easy-to-use website — paired with a robust e-commerce platform — ensures that the buyer’s journey is smooth, pushing prospects to sales.
Launch, relaunch or revamp your online marketing as soon as possible to align with your new e-commerce site. E-commerce opens up dozens of new marketing channels to reach customers and sell.
Your shop and site should include high-quality product photos to show off your best assets. Manage your social media closely to build a devoted audience, and leverage social ads to push users to your new store. Monitor keywords and ensure your site and shop is SEO-friendly.
Armed with a new e-commerce platform, your small business is ready to wow your customers and tap into a rich new audience. Ready to get started? Find out how 312 Sites can build a custom e-commerce shop and optimized website for your small business today.