Three Reasons to Bring Your Traditional Offline Business Online

Despite the ubiquity of eCommerce, there are still quite a few traditional stores who are not online. The reasons could range from fear to lack of know-how. Creating a sense of urgency means helping traditional business owners understand how being online can help their businesses grow and prosper.

Better Customer Support

With an offline presence, visitors will have to wait until the store is open to browse and shop. You have a list of frequently asked questions that answer some of the more common concerns. With an online presence, your store is readily providing 24 hours support and browsing capability. It even gives you the opportunity to influence customer-buying decisions while you sleep. For example, say you sold a customized product, such as specially designed shoes. In an effort to really engage with your audience, you put up a series of videos describing the process of how your shoes are customized and handmade for perfection. These videos are available on your site and on YouTube as well as other locations so that visitors can get to know your brand and understand the pride you take in your product or service. You are able to distinguish yourself from your competition and help customers understand your brand.

Low Start-up and Operation Costs

Your physical store requires a lot of equipment such as display stands, point of sale machines, and rental space. Online, your start-up costs are significantly less and you don’t need additional staff. As long as you can maintain a steady supply, your customers will not have a problem. You can spend tens of thousands of dollars designing your site, but the truth is a good online store can be designed for little money. Maintenance costs can be little as $100 per month, and you can run it yourself or use your savings to find someone to host it for you.

Global Presence

Without an online store these days, clients will begin to wonder if you’re serious about your business. As a local brick and mortar, you are limited to your local environment, which could change at any moment for a variety of reasons. There could be more competition or residents could move, leaving your business vulnerable and with lacking leads. Online, with a little marketing, you can become exposed to the global market, including peers in your industry. You can build a network of business owners, share information and even get ideas about how to improve or expand your offerings. Being able to get income from multiple streams can help your business become more flexible and adaptive. Having an online store can be so much more than just selling.

There are myriad reasons to get online and you have many options. You will need to research and register you domain name, find a good eCommerce hosting company, choose your platform and install the themes, your products, and finally, your payment processor. You’ll want to make sure your shipping policy, privacy policy, and terms are ready and loaded before your launch your online business. The rules you learned from running your offline business still apply even in the online environment. Learning to navigate the online business world is an adjustment, but if you create a plan beforehand, it will help you to succeed.

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