Since the pandemic, many businesses have been forced to halt operations and relocate their platforms online in order to ensure consistent, stable revenue (during the pandemic and for the future). If you're used to conducting business in person and aren't sure how to transition your platform online, reading this article should help.
However, like any major business decision, there are a number of factors that you need to consider carefully before you make any moves. Factors to think about include:
1. Understanding your company's objectives and nuances
Not every business can thrive in an online environment. To truly begin the process of transitioning your business online, you must first understand your business goals and the nuances that govern them. For example, do you cater to B2C or B2B audiences? Will your current customers shop online as well? Will the transition necessitate a complete reorganisation of your current business processes? Answering such fundamental questions will provide you with a good starting point for determining whether it is a good decision to venture into the online working model.
2. Your Preferred Platform
First and foremost, you must consider the platform on which you intend to build your online store. There are two main options here: use tools designed specifically for building web stores, or use a different CMS and add plugins that transform it into one.
Missio is one of the most popular platforms for creating online stores, and it's important to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each. Content management systems such as Missio and WordPress, on the other hand, can be transformed into eCommerce stores by using plugins such as WooCommerce or EasyDigitalDownloads.
3. The Cost of Creating and Maintaining Your Online Store
Though reduced staffing needs and rent payments may result in cost savings, there are costs associated with running an online store that you must consider.
There are numerous costs associated with creating and running a website, ranging from purchasing a domain to paying for hosting.
However, not only is there a cost associated with designing and building your eCommerce store, but there is also the yearly on-going cost of maintaining it to consider. When deciding whether eCommerce is right for you, make sure the costs outweigh the benefits.
4. Security and payments
Your online retail business will almost certainly accept online payments. In such a case, you must make every effort to ensure your customers' privacy and security. To prevent hackers from stealing their personal and credit card information, your website must have PCI-DSS compliant payment solutions.
In terms of payment mode, you must consider the nuances of your business as well as the general payment preferences of your target audience. So, if you are selling high-value items, or if your order size ranges between $10,000 and $20,000 USD, the cost of a credit card will be prohibitively expensive. Similarly, if you are a B2B company with low margins, credit card payments can help you.
5. Your Marketing Strategy
No online store can be successful unless it has a solid marketing strategy in place to drive traffic and increase customer numbers.
As a business owner, you are no doubt aware of the importance of high-quality marketing, but the online world opens up new possibilities and paths for you to take.
There's a lot to think about, from personalised recommendations to selling through social media to keeping your blog updated with relevant, engaging content.
As a starting point, it's critical to understand the best content sharing platforms and how to use personalised product recommendations - but there are numerous resources online that can help you develop a marketing strategy before moving your store online.
Hopefully, you are now aware of the steps that must be taken in order to successfully transition your business into the digital space. Contact Missio if you want to learn more about taking your business online.