One of the least expensive ways to expand your retail store in a big way is to add an online shopping capability. Adding e-commerce to your store is a great way to reach customers you would have never been able to reach before and a great way to reconnect with a customer that you may have previously lost to an out of town move. Here are a few ways you can increase your retail sales through the use of e-commerce.
Use Your Online Presence
Chances are that you already have an online presence to market your retail location. This is an excellent tool for not only bringing in customers to your storefront, especially those that do not want to wait for items to be shipped, but it is also a great way to lead potential customers straight to your website to purchase from an online store. Social media sites are also getting into the e-commerce market, with many adding shopping buttons to their ads and pages. Social media alone is an effective marketing tool for e-commerce, but nothing compares to shopping directly from an online store.
Make It Convenient
Make sure your e-commerce site is user friendly! When shopping online, a huge frustration is using a site that doesn't make it easy to reach and purchase the items that you want. This can turn many users away. Not everyone is comfortable popping into a boutique to try on clothes or shop around. They prefer the anonymity of online shopping. There is typically less sales pressure, and sizes can be easier to navigate. Having an online store that is easy to navigate is a great way to reach those that exclusively shop online.
Capture Customer Emails
You can gather customer emails in a few different ways at your retail store and even online. Email can be a great way to let your customers know about an upcoming event or sale you may be having, but it is also a great tool to leverage to get customers to your new, or new and improved, e-commerce site. You can reach a broad audience pretty quickly with emails, or keep it targeted, letting a customer know when something they usually buy is on sale.
Always Be Open And Available
Not many small stores stay open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However, your website can take orders just as well at 2 am as it does at 2 pm. The 24/7 availability that comes with offering e-commerce can help you make sales from insomniacs, shift workers, and others whose off-hour shopping options are usually limited to certain grocery stores and Walmart. No longer do your customers have to make time to get ready, possibly get kids ready, and drive to your store to shop. E-commerce works exceptionally well for parents of little ones, the chronically ill, and those with hectic schedules, but even for the average consumer, it's sometimes easier to shop online than at a brick and mortar store.
Make Sure Your Inventory is Up To Date
Keeping your inventory up to date in your online store is imperative to make sure that portion of your business is successful. There nothing more disappointing than seeing that the item you want is out of stock. You should make sure that have items available for all sizes that you cater to so that nobody is left out and encouraged to not shop at your store anymore. Having an all-inclusive inventory by offering petite and plus sizes can be a great way to reach a broad audience and increase your online sales.
Optimize For Mobile
Mobile e-commerce sites are those that are specifically optimized to recognize when somebody is on a mobile device such as a tablet or cellphone and automatically making the site easier to navigate from a smaller screen that is touch sensitive. Shopping from a mobile device is the most significant growing sector of e-commerce today, growing at more than twice the rate of e-commerce as a whole. If your business doesn't have a mobile-optimized website, it may be worthwhile to invest in one soon to capitalize on the customers that exclusively shop from their cell phone.
With over 12 years in the business, Quikstone Capital Solutions has proven to be a trustworthy and knowledgeable lender specializing in small business funding. Over 60% of our clients are renewals looking to continuously grow their business. Whether you need cash for emergencies, cash to cover unexpected costs, or if you’re looking to make long overdue improvements, Quikstone Capital can help.
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