We have witnessed a large growth in online sales, and large is almost an understatement for the spike that the ecommerce industry is currently experiencing. Companies are missing a huge opportunity when they limit themselves to only selling through a storefront, because storefronts can only capture local and traveling distance consumers. Even with the promotion and sales support of a website, how far is a customer willing to travel? The answer to that question is not very far.
Checklist: Should you open an ecommerce store- Yes or No?
- Do you sell products?
- Can your items ship easily and readily?
- Can your staff support an online store?
- Is there interest for your products nationally?
- Can your products compete with current online competitors?
If you answered yes to the first question of the checklist, then an ecommerce store is right for you. Although if you answered no to the preceding questions you might have some obstacles to overcome; obstacles that are definitely worth overcoming. If an online store is in your business plan, you should identify what is keeping you from selling online. Now is a great time to start looking into ways that you can grow as a company and capture a new market that was before out of your reach!
Tips for getting started
From personal experience, I know that there are a lot of store owners who want to sell online but are confused about where to start, which services to use, and what tools they’ll need in order to do business online. You should do research and see what some of the options for shopping carts are out there. Here is a great place to start on identifying the top ten essential shopping cart features. I have also learned from experience that you don’t just want to go with the first site that you find. Some of the shopping cart providers try to “lock” you in with their free trial. Look for demos that will give you that same experience as a free trial, less the headache of setting up products and an account to test the capabilities of said cart. Verify that the cart has a strong reporting feature and you aren’t going to have to pay a bunch of extra money to use all the features of that particular cart. One cart that competes really well as a total package cart is ProductCart. This cart gives you complete control over the store’s design. Some carts offer templates for your store, which can leave you very confined and create stores that look like 1000 others on the internet. Here is some more information about building a professional online storefront. A professional online store can increase sales for your company and help grow your brand all together.
Sources*Online Shoppers will spend 327 Billion dollars in 2016 (Forrester Research Inc.) *Annual Mobile sales reached 38.4 Billion in 2013 (18%) (Internet Retailer.com) *Since 2002, online retail sales have increased by 300% (ecommercedefense.com)