If your business is successful offline, chances have it that you’ll do fine online. Also if you already have a brand well known offline, marketing online won’t be difficult.
Getting online doesn’t hurt and should be considered by all business owners.
Getting your business online can:
- Help you expand your brand and store name to an international market.
- Compared to opening up a new store offline, having an online is a cheap way to expand your presence.
- Even if you don’t plan to sell anything online, advertising online to people within your region is an effective way to market.
Never create a website for your business just because everyone else is doing it. Make sure you have a reason to get online.
Some businesses don’t need a presence online, if your market is not the type to look for you online, then there’s no point in getting online.If you are going to create a website for your business, make sure it’s of a high quality. Making a quick website is not enough; you want to look professional on and off the internet.
Ultimately it doesn’t matter when you decide to launch your website. Once deciding to have a website expect about a month for the website to be up and running properly.
Having a special launch for your website is not essential and can be counterproductive as indicating that your website is new is often times less appealing then a website that has been around for a long time.
Once your website is up and running be sure to add the URL to your marketing materials.
Connecting Your Online And Offline Store
Your website and offline presence should match and be congruent. If your website does not match your offline store, users may be confused wondering if they’re dealing with the same company.
If you have a good designer, the designer should match your website up with your vision. It’s important to have a clear idea of who your market is and exactly what your image will be. You need a clear public identity for your business and the actions your business take should be congruent with it.
Don’t have a flowery website if your store is edgy and hardcore, this goes without saying. You want your website to match your offline business!
How To Manage Your Inventory
If you’re going to be selling online, your business will need to be able to fulfill those orders. If you need assistance with order fulfillments, you may want to consider outsourcing.
Every business is different, each with their own ways to manage inventory and stock. How you decide to fulfill orders is something you’ll need to take into account.
Deciding On Inventory
If you’ve been running a traditional brick and mortar business for some time you’re probably well aware of what sells and what doesn’t. You probably have a good idea of what your customers are looking for and who your primary market is.
When moving your business online, be sure to create a complete list of your entire inventory along with descriptions and details. Also speak to your suppliers as they may be able to ship your products from their warehouse.
The selling price of your product will probably be different from the price you have in your store. Be sure to check out your competitors online and see how they price similar products.
You don’t have to sell all your products online but you may want to sell just the highest selling products. Some products are easier to sell in the real world then online (since the user can’t interact and test the item out). Be sure to indicate and present the information the users want to see. Also, just because a product sells well offline doesn’t mean it will sell well online.
When selling online, it’s best to have a picture of your product for the users to see. The suppliers of those products will often have photos but if they don’t, you’ll need to get a photographer to come in. There are many photographers that specialize in product photography and the cost of their services can vary.