Should Your Business Expand Online?
Online retail sales have been climbing steadily since 2011 and show no signs of slowing down. Customers like the convenience of shopping online and having an online presence means your store can be open 24/7. But how do you know if you are ready to expand your business by creating an online experience for your customers? SilverEdge has compiled a few questions you should ask when making the decision to expand online.
How will you ensure a consistent experience?
Digital interactions influence 50 cents of every dollar spent in the retail store, or approximately $1.5 trillion, according to a study from Deloitte Digital. That means the online experience you create is crucial when retaining customers. You’ll want your customer to feel welcomed from the moment they enter your site and when it’s time to check out they want to know that your site is secure. Pay as much attention to detail online as you do in person and your customer’s experience will be consistent.
What are the continued costs to both market and maintain your online presence?
A common mistake that small business owners make is assuming that once the online store is live, customers will flock to it and their investment is complete. But having an online presence also requires that you keep up with the changing algorithms of search engines and social media sites as well as invest in digital advertising to drive traffic to your site. Look for a software platform that has third party integrations for marketing, loyalty, and online advertising. Many eCommerce platforms, such as Lightspeed, will provide you with the tools you need to make your online store a success – without having to hire a fulltime marketing agency or employee.
Are your competitors selling online?
Having the market intelligence to support your decision to go online is crucial. If your competition isn’t selling online then find out why. Study your competitors’ sites to make sure you compete as well online as you do from a brick and mortar standpoint.
Do you have a clear and detailed profile of your customer?
The trends and buying patterns that you see in your store will be reflected online. Make sure your site is designed with your current customer in mind and your chances of attracting a new online market will increase. And don’t forget that online browsing and research drives in-store sales as well. Make sure that the questions you hear in the store are easily answered in your presentation of products online.
When you’re ready to expand online the team at SilverEdge can help you select the right eCommerce software and set up a payment gateway that is fast and secure. We are here to guide you through an expansion and help your business grow richer. Schedule an appointment today to get started.
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