How to Transform Your Offline Business into Ecommerce in 5 Easy Steps
Now more than ever we're realizing the fragility of being in the brick-and-mortar business. Location, opening hours and inefficiency are some of the factors which draw a hard line around when and where you can serve your customers, and all limit your opportunity for exponential growth.
How do we work around this? By taking your business digital. This doesn't mean abandoning your physical presence, but using the internet to increase your customer reach, save on cost, and potentially boost profits.
Running an offline business has its perks of its own: in-store visitors that convert into customers, local brand awareness and recognition etc. but taking your business online gives you infinite possibilities to reach brand new customers.
We are going to show you how to build up your eCommerce website in just 5 easy steps that you can easily do from the comfort of your couch:
1. Take Stock of Your Offline Business 2. Buy a Website Domain and Web Hosting 3. Choose a User-Friendly eCommerce Platform and List your Products on your Website 4. Develop an eCommerce Marketing Plan 5. Market your eCommerce Business
Step 1: Take Stock of Your Offline Business
Your first step is to figure out what products do you sell that people actually search for online to buy. Google Trends is a handy tool to find insights into the popularity of certain search queries.
Once you've decided what products you'll take online, it's time to start creating a Product Architecture. This is a simple spreadsheet which details the most important attributes that define your products such as Product Type, Title, Description, Images, and Variants. For a quick shortcut, you can view and download a sample product architecture .CSV file to use as a template.
Step 2: Buy a Website Domain and Web Hosting
You more than likely already have a business name, so that will make it a lot easier when name-checking available domains on a web domain registrar. You're also going to need web hosting (a service which will host your website online) and a business e-mail address. Both you can generally get from the site you acquire your domain from.
Step 3: Choose a User-Friendly eCommerce Platform and List your Products on your Website
There are so many user-friendly eCommerce platforms on the market today, but we found that Shopify is one of the easiest to handle when it comes to building up your online store. You get a 90-day free trial when you sign up, and it only costs 29$/month afterwards. You can also integrate all of the marketing apps that your eCommerce business will possibly need.
Step 4: Develop an eCommerce Marketing Strategy
In order to create a powerful Marketing Strategy you will first need to answer a couple of questions:
Who is your target audience? What do they value as important? What social platforms are they most active on? What do they need right now?
Who are your competitors? What sets you apart from your competition?
How will you reach your target market? When it comes to connecting with your audience, you should combine a variety of marketing tools depending on the type of users that you are looking to target e.g. Google Search Ads, Google Shopping, Social Media paid Ads, Sales Promotions, Email Marketing and Organic Social Media Posts.
What will be your online Marketing Budget? The most important thing when defining a marketing budget is to first establish your IDEAL COST PER ACQUISITION (CPA), in other words, what is the cost you are willing to pay for a conversion so at the end of the day you are making a profit. For the first month, we recommend defining an initial starter budget so you can acquire conversion data, and get an idea of what your actual CPA is going to look like. Simply divide the total amount spent on marketing by the number of conversions generated. For example, if you spend $10,000 on marketing, and generate 1,000 conversions, your cost per acquisition will be $10. This will help you define how much budget you are going to need in order to sell a certain amount of products.
Step 5: Market your eCommerce business
Now that you have a beautiful eCommerce webpage, a marketing plan and a marketing budget it's time to set up your campaigns, press LAUNCH, and count your conversions.
Still not sure how to transform your business into digital? Contact us for a free consultation.