With the ongoing pandemic, online shopping (and online transactions in general) has become essential to reducing health risks. If you are running a brick-and-mortar store, this is the time to take your operations online – or at least, set up an online option.
When setting up your online store, take note of the following actions you need to take:
1) Do market research. One advantage of taking your store online is you widen your pool of possible customers; you are not limited by your physical store’s immediate location anymore. You already know your customers in your physical store – so how do you find people like them online?
Look at businesses selling the same products you have, and check out their customers and the online platform they are using for their store.
Check customer reviews on retail sites (like Lazada, Zalora or Shopee) or from Google search results to get a feel of what customers like and don’t like – these will give you an idea how to market to your target customers.
Also, don’t forget to check prices of products similar to yours to ensure that your pricing is competitive.
2) Choose your online platform for your store. This will be the home for your store, your products, so choose well. A cost-free way to start out is to set up a Facebook page and post items for sale there. You can also post your products for sale at Facebook Marketplace.
One thing to note in using Facebook as your storefront is that arranging payments can be labor-intensive, since the interested buyer will be messaging you personally. Facebook is perfect if you have the time, though, or if you have staff to do this, especially if you are retaining employees as much as possible this pandemic.
Another option in setting up your store is through online stores like Shopee, Lazada or Zalora; or via paid platforms with automated payment like Shopify. These platforms are ideal if you are aiming to get more customers and make transactions faster and less labor-intensive.
3) Advertise your store or product. Where do your customers spend their time online? Ideally, through your market research, you can get an idea where. Perhaps they engage in social networks like Facebook.
Take note that some customers are more active in one platform compared with others, so consider that before deciding where to advertise. In both Facebook and Instagram, you can customize your ads to reach people only in a certain geographic area. This is helpful especially when you are just launching your business and might want to reach nearby customers.
4) Get good partners to support your business. Since you will now be selling online, you need to have your products delivered to your customer, and these products should arrive in good condition, and as quickly as possible.
One partner you might want to consider for this is MyEntrego, a logistics solutions provider with proven e-commerce experience, nationwide delivery coverage, reliable lead times, an efficient and user-friendly online tracking system, all at a competitive price.
MyEntrego is part of Entrego, a technology-driven business solutions provider for the fulfillment and logistics needs of enterprises.
5) Keep things simple. When starting out, you might want to sell only a small number of products to your customers, perhaps the hottest-selling items you see among stores like yours. Over time, you can add more to your stock as you take note of your customers’ feedback.
Take care to do all the actions above and see yourself successfully launching and earning from your online store, even during this pandemic. Happy selling!