Getting started with your e-commerce site By: Sally Ladrach on Tuesday, January 20, 2015
There is no doubt that a ton of business is done online these days. If you haven't made some sort of online purchase, you're definitely in the minority. Thus, a logical next step for many businesses is to take it online, and make your product or service available on the web.
The myth that many people believe though is that by putting your business online, you'll naturally do business in that space, and people will "just find you". But the reality is that it takes a comprehensive strategy to drive customer awareness of your new online store. This strategy may be, and most likely will be different from how you advertise to get customers into your physical store location. When we work with customers in this situation, here are some of the main points we stress:
- Make sure your current customers know about your new online store, and create an incentive for them to shop there. This is the easiest step, yet so many people forget about it. I'm not talking about putting out a Facebook post about your new website. We're talking about promotions such as free shipping, and loyalty discounts that help provide that extra piece of incentive we all need to pull the trigger for an online purchase.
- You don't need to put all of your products online. If you have 2,000 products, how often do you sell one of all those products? In most cases, just go with the 80/20 rule. Figure out what products are the most popular with your customers (that make up 80% of your in-store revenue), and invest your time in making sure those are up and running on your new site.
- Link directly to product on your website as often as possible. If you're promoting a specific product or service through different digital avenues (social media, email, business listings, etc.), link directly to a specific product or category of products. Not only is it good for SEO to create these sort of links, but if you're advertising a product, you should make it as easy as possible for your customer to find it on your website. If you have a "Product of the Week" or "Product of the Month", do yourself a huge favor and provide a direct link to it.
At the end of the day, we're here to help you develop a cohesive strategy, and if that strategy means getting your business online, our team is ready to help. We have pretty much seen it all, and will do everything we can to make that process as smooth and simple as possible.