If you can’t deliver your products, you don’t really have an online business. The COVID-19 pandemic is bringing more customers online, giving businesses an opportunity to get online quickly or enhance their online presence to make sales.
There are many platform options to move your business online if you haven’t already. However, there are also a number of things to consider in order to start selling.
Here are the six key things recommended to business owners do to become web-based sellers:
Your products need to move from the store shelf to a digital catalog, Lockyer says. You need to show customers what your products are and what they look like. That means you need an image, description, and product attributes, such as colors and sizes, he says. All of this information will live as a product database for your store.
“Start building your product catalog immediately. You will need web-ready images of your products, as well as accurate descriptions and available variations.”
When a customer buys something online, it has to be picked off the shelf and put in a package that has a shipping label. Do you have a shipping supplier? Can you print shipping labels? At a minimum, I would think about your fulfillment process.
Can your retail staff be re-deployed to online sales fulfillment to help get your products shipped? Keep in mind that Post and other delivery services may be overwhelmed with deliveries. It may be challenging to find a service to deliver your product if you don’t already have a good partner lined up. If you can’t send the product, then you don’t really have an online business.
If you’re going to be selling primarily online during this period, how are you going to accept payments? What’s your plan to manage funds for a transaction? How is the payment going to get into your bank account?
Although there are several options to receive payment online, and often platform solutions make it easy, some of these options come with higher transaction fees than others. Also, some require connectivity to a business bank account.
Lockyer says you will need to consider how your new business expenses, such as online transaction fees or unrecoverable fulfillment costs, could affect your product pricing.
“Now is also a good time to complete an online competitive audit to see what pricing has been set in the marketplace.”
You will need to review (and possibly) revise your product pricing strategy as you enter the world of online sales. Do you want to provide free delivery to attract customers? Do you need to do any price adjustments, given the situation? Do your existing store policies consider these situations?
you may have entirely new questions from your customers that you aren’t used to responding to and in a new format. Someone will need to monitor questions that come from your online store.
“Now, you will have to respond to people in a different way. Be prepared to be responsive to online shopping questions or business online.”
In addition, most eCommerce platforms will include a level of email automation. Be sure to set the right kinds of expectations with your customers in your automated emails (order confirmation, shipping notice, etc.).
If you’re already online you need to make sure that your website is transactional. There are several options available that require varying amounts of technical support in order to get online.
Growing your business online equates with higher revenues, direct communication with customers, and easier access to global markets. Getting online fast can make a huge difference in your business at this time.
Contact Musato Technologies to learn how our ICT solutions can assist your business online and the success of your digital transformation.
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