From Physical to Virtual: How to Move Your Business Online

Peter A. Liefer II | Posted: February 1st, 2023 | Updated: February 17th, 2023

Moving your brick-and-mortar store to an e-commerce channel doesn’t have to be complicated, especially when you have reliable online guides to help you with the transition. Having an e-commerce website is arguably the best way to give your company the reach and growth potential it’s capable of. With that in mind, it’s clear why building an e-commerce business has become so popular in recent years. Plus, with over 75% of people shopping online at least once a month, now’s the time to make the switch.

 

Move to E-Commerce to Reach New Heights of Success

E-commerce businesses provide convenience by allowing customers to shop online from anywhere in the world, at any time of day. If you choose to go virtual, it will be easier for your company to target customers outside your local area and increase brand awareness. It also gives you access to larger markets, opening new doors for growth.

In addition, starting an online business gives you access to more data than ever before. You can track your customer behavior, preferences, and purchase history to better understand their needs and desires. You can also use the information gathered to improve customer experiences, create targeted marketing campaigns, increase sales, and more!

 

How to Shift Your Business From Offline to Online

Now that you understand why you should have an e-commerce website, let’s begin mapping out the basics of how to build a successful online business.

  1. Choose Your E-Commerce PlatformFrom Physical to Virtual: How to Move Your Business Online

Magento, WooCommerce, and Shopify are some of the best e-commerce platforms available today. It’s important to do your research before making a choice, and the best way to ensure you select the right channel for your business is by asking yourself these questions:

  • What features does the platform offer? 
  • How easy is it to set up and maintain the platform?
  • Is the platform secure and compliant with relevant laws and regulations? 
  • What level of customer service does the platform provide? 
  • Does the platform integrate with other tools or services you use for your business, such as accounting software or analytics platforms?

Wait, wait, wait. Information overload!

We know this can be overwhelming, and that’s why web design and development companies like Primeview exist. Our e-commerce website design and online marketing services can help lighten the load or completely remove difficult decisions from your hands. By teaming up with us, rest assured you can get the most out of your e-commerce site and grow your business with powerful, cutting-edge tools and features designed to help you succeed.

Once you have chosen the appropriate platform for your business, it’s time to start building your online store. This process includes choosing a domain name, selecting themes or templates to customize the look and feel of your e-commerce website, adding product descriptions and images, and integrating payment options, among others. If you need assistance with these and more, Primeview can provide the complete e-commerce business solutions you seek.

  1. Decide Which Products to Sell on Your Online Storefront  From Physical to Virtual: How to Move Your Business Online

Making the transition from a physical store to e-commerce can present businesses with more major decisions. For instance, you can offer all your products for sale digitally or choose specific items depending on factors such as packing and shipping costs, ease of returns handling, and resale potential. With careful consideration, you can make informed choices that will support the growth of your business, both in real-world locations and virtually (if you decide to maintain both).

For example, if you specialize in hardware or home improvement items, you will have an easier time selling replacement door knobs, light bulbs, wires, and other quick-to-ship items through online channels. On the other hand, larger pieces like natural marble tiles and six-foot doors can be much more difficult and expensive to ship and send back if the customer decides to process a return.

When considering which items in your inventory to transition from your physical store to virtual, think about which items are popular, sturdy, and easy to ship. Also, provide detailed notes about materials, care, and other essential information. If you wish to offer everything in your inventory online, compare the pros and cons of different carriers to determine which shipping solution is right for you.

  1. Spread the Word About Your E-Commerce Store

It’s time to bring in the customers! If your existing brick-and-mortar store has a great reputation, you can harness that success to draw customers online and maintain an already loyal customer base. The next step is to build your digital marketing strategy for further growth.

Online marketing involves leveraging social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and others to build relationships with existing and potential customers. It can also include creating content such as blog posts, videos, and podcasts to help tap into your target audience. You can also use email marketing to inform customers about new products, updates, and promotions.

Last but not least, you should consider putting money into paid advertising channels like Google Ads or Facebook Ads to reach more people, as well as invest in search engine optimization (SEO) to ensure your website is visible on major search engines like Google and Bing.

  1. Make Your Return and Refund Processes Super Easy 

Before discussing actual returns and exchanges, ensure your return policy is clearly outlined on your website. Customers should know what to expect before they make a purchase. 

Moving on, ensure that your process of initiating returns, exchanges, or full refunds is straightforward. This means providing customers with comprehensive instructions, including a return shipping label for convenience. It’s also helpful to integrate your returns platform with other third-party services, such as PayPal or Stripe, to make the refund process easier.

Finally, remember that your returns process should be secure and compliant with relevant laws and ordinances, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

  1. Provide the Best Possible Customer Service From Physical to Virtual: How to Move Your Business Online

Customer service strategies are essential for any business, especially an e-commerce store. So, how do you give your shoppers top-notch care and support?

For starters, consider providing multiple channels for customers to contact you, such as phone, email, and live chat support. You can also use automated solutions like FAQs and chatbots to help customers find immediate answers to their queries.

When interacting with customers, be patient, friendly, and helpful. Responding promptly to customer inquiries is also key; most customers expect a response within 24 hours of reaching out. In addition, you should always strive to resolve any issues that may arise, especially since modern entrepreneurs live in the age of cancel culture.

By following these tips, you can provide excellent customer service and ensure your shoppers have a positive experience with your e-commerce business. This will help you build relationships and increase customer loyalty, ultimately helping to grow your company.

 

Migrate to the World of E-Commerce Today

The pandemic has changed the shopping habits of millions, with 60% visiting regular stores less often and 43% choosing to shop online than before.

By taking the time to move your business online, you can create a successful e-commerce store that will reach more customers. Plus, with the right combination of digital marketing strategies, you can foster stronger customer relations and boost your ROI. Contact Primeview for a free quote on the services mentioned above and more. We would like to be an asset to your growing business.