Someone once said, “In the future there will be two kinds of businesses, those with a website, and those going out of business.” Traditional stores will always have their place, but combining a brick and mortar presence with a home on the World Wide Web could be a good way to go for a lot of traditional stores.
Let’s think in terms of an independent local store or small local chain of stores. For years, many local stores have had to compete with nearby national or regional chains. Now that e-commerce has become so prevalent, even local stores without nearby big chain stores are feeling the pinch.
There are many benefits for a store having an
online presence in addition to their physical stores.
It will increase your exposure.
More follow up with customers
- Combined with a newsletter and a blog, you can keep interest going in your store and assure long term customer loyalty.
Higher profile on Google
- Google searches generally display the businesses near where the searcher is searching from, to add more value to the search.
- You can expand you choices to your customers beyond your local community.
Creating a modern image
- Your customers will appreciate that you are keeping up with modern business trends and giving them more options and access to information about your store and product line.
Capturing the tourist market
- Many stores and other businesses have been able to turn visitors into loyal customers with a companion e-commerce website.
Creating another sales avenue
- Any new opportunity for people to browse and purchase your products is good thing.
So are traditional stores becoming obsolete?
Traditional stores will always have their place. But the “Mom and Pops” will increasingly find it difficult to survive in the modern marketplace as e-commerce and large chains have already been entrenched into the lifestyles of the vast majority of people.
The good news is that even small independent stores can compete in the modern online marketplace and they can get affordable access to professional quality websites. We at Web Tek Plus, are here to help merchants of all sizes to get started.
How to get started in preparing your e-commerce plan
To make our job in planning out your online store you can go through to check list below. Read it through then grab a notepad and pencil (or open up a file on your computer) and start to jot down the answers to the questions below. Then just fill out our “Get a Free Quote” form and an E-Commerce Consultant will call you.
Online store planning check list
- Do you want to want customers to just be able browse you products or do you want them to be able to purchase online?
To start with just a catalog site is one option then adding e-commerce later.
- Do you want to have a shopping cart or have it set up with individual Buy Now buttons?
- Will you be charging taxes?
- What about shipping?
- Will you need a shipping calculator?
- Or will shipping be calculated into the price of each item?
- How will you shipping be set up?
- Will it be by weight?
- Will there be shipping zones?
- Do you know all the items you will be selling online and have the images and the information details for them all organized?
- How many items do you plan to start with?
- How large do you expect your store to be?
- Will you be offering coupons?
- Will you have scheduled discounted prices?
- Will you have different employees helping you to manage your store, with different levels of access to the back end?
- What kinds of reports would you like to generate in your back office?
- Do you want to offer membership to your online store, so that members can have some of their information stored for later retrieval?
- Do you want to have some sort of inventory system built into your back office?
- Do you want any shopping enhanced features like customer reviews, upsells, similar product listings, suggested companion products, product groupings (into different sizes or colors)?
- Do you want to have live chat?
Now you have a start in your preparation to start your own online e-commerce presence
Above are some of considerations to ponder when planning on online store, but don’t get overwhelmed. Just take it a step at a time. We will walk you through the whole process and make sure you choose the right kind of e-commerce platform for your needs.