Many businesses around the world are shifting from offline to online. Nowhere is this more apparent than in retail where many industry giants are closing their physical shops and moving operations online. With so many consumers making purchases digitally, it makes sense for some companies to make the switch. Below are some tips for moving your offline business to an online one.
Figure Out What to Offer
Moving from offline to online may be easy or challenging, depending on what services you provide. Naturally, there may be services (or even products) that you can no longer offer now that you are going online. To ensure that your customers stay happy, take the time to figure out what you can offer and how it provides value. If you’re not that experienced with online working, start small and learn how to navigate everything first. Don’t add too many products until you and your team have learned the ins outs of your new systems.
Build or Enhance Your Website
It goes without saying that the website will be the bricks and mortar of your online business. As such, you’ll need to ensure your site is optimized, modern, and efficient. If you haven’t given much care and attention to your website, it’s a good idea to hire a site designer or even a marketing agency who can help you showcase your products and services. This includes ensuring the links work, that the site is easy to navigate, and that you have a secure and easy-to-use payment system.
Establish Your Online Office
Moving from a physical office to an online one may take some adjustment. Depending on your situation, you may want to do this gradually by splitting your time between the office and the computer. You may even decide that your business requires a mix of remote and office work. If this is the case, you could downsize the office and relocate to a smaller one. While there will be some headache involved with packing, cleaning, and moving, a cheaper rent with less space to manage will be worth it in the long run.
Expand Your Online Marketing
If you don’t already utilize the power of digital marketing, you’ll want to start. While many traditional businesses are accustomed to direct mail marketing and word-of-mouth, the online world demands a different approach. This includes optimizing your website for SEO so that customers can find you when conducting a Google search, as well as making yourself visible on social media channels. While digital marketing can be simple at its core, it is also a complicated one to get right. If you’re new to digital marketing, it’s worth bringing in an expert who can help.
Develop a Solid Online Payment System
If your business sells its products and services online, you’ll want to make sure you’ve developed a secure and solid platform. When choosing an online payment processing provider, be sure to pay attention to any fees. Generally, you’ll be liable for a percentage of each transaction so it’s important to be aware of these for budgeting purposes. You’ll also want to investigate the length of contract and any other incidental fees.
If you’re selling physical products, another option is to sell your goods on an existing platform such as Amazon or Etsy. The reason is that these save you the headache of building a platform yourself. This can be a desirable option for companies who are new to selling online.