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How To Get Your Business Online
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How To Get Your Business Online 

Covid-19 has hit small business owners badly. Those having a small brick and mortar stores are scrambling to get a decent footfall in their stores and business isn’t the same anymore. With many countries still under lockdown and people generally scared to step out of their homes to go shopping, many of these independent store owners are having a difficult time getting enough sales to make their lives a bit better in these gloomy times. But things don’t have to be this way for long. I mean, we don’t really know when the pandemic will go away (or it may never) but we as business owners have to look at other options to keep our businesses running.

One of the best alternatives is to get your brick and mortar store online and give it a brand new look and feel. With millions of people hooked onto the internet every single day, you can’t be left far behind and this is especially true in the times we live in. Your customers are browsing the internet on their mobiles every day and looking for easier alternatives than walking down the road to a physical store. While not everybody can become Amazon, but there are plenty of small online stores that do incredibly well. Let’s take a look at how we can move your business online with some easy-peasy steps.

1) Have a clear brand guideline: If your physical store did not have a personality, now is the time to give one. Your brand guideline should include your logo, color scheme, fonts, etc. to give a distinct look to your online presence. The fundamental understanding is that people should be able to realize that it’s your brand. Having a well-thought-out branding style gives you uniqueness to your overall online personality and sets the tone and voice for your social channels as well.

2) Choose a platform: This should be a starting point technically speaking. Your store is going to be hosted either on a self-hosted platform such as WordPress or on a platform like Shopify which is a bit easier to manage. There are some pros and cons of each of them, for instance – with WordPress + WooCommerce you can be the owner of the store yourself and have full rights to it. It requires a bit of an investment to get your domain name and web hosting account and a few plugins to get started with. On the other hand, Shopify gives you readymade store templates that you can get started off right away. Although the store is yours, the web hosting is taken care of by Shopify (which you don’t have any control over). Also, if you aren’t very well versed with coding, you may find Shopify a bit restrictive.

As a WordPress development company in Mumbai, we absolutely love the flexibility of WordPress over any other CMS. It gives you complete freedom and is a highly versatile solution for the majority of website owners.

3) Choose a domain name: A domain name could be anything that you choose for your online store. It is the name that will appear on the web and one that your customers will use to search you online. Registering a domain name is extremely easy and you can head over to any domain registrars such as GoDaddy or NameCheap and register a domain for your business. Once done, you need to also get a good web hosting account to host your website files. You can choose one and they’ll help you set up a WordPress site (if you’ve chosen to go with WordPress) to get started off with. Selecting a theme that is eCommerce based is a quick way to get a store set up and you’ll be off to the races – at least for the start.

4) Upload your products: Since you already have a brick and mortar store, uploading your products should not be a cumbersome process. However, initially, it is always a good practice to start off with the best-selling items. So for example, you run a store selling construction equipment. It is a good idea to upload the most running items and see how the sales come through. You can then expand on this and make your store appeal to a broader audience. Keep in mind the current situation as well – if you are able to procure items that are focused on the safety and wellbeing of construction workers and will help protect them for the viral exposure – consider adding it to your current line so as to attract more customers and bring in more revenue.

5) Create SEO driven content: Now that you have your store set up online, it is time to attract more customers. One of the best ways to do that is to generate quality content that your customers can read and appreciate. Although creating content does take a lot of time and effort, but the payback is equally enriching. Your content should speak to your customers about their needs, desires, and be able to respond to their queries sufficiently. You can incorporate a blog on your website and post about various details surrounding your work and how that helps your customers. If you aren’t able to generate content, consider hiring a content writing service that will prepare and provide custom content for your website and brand. Once you do this on a regular basis, you should see organic traffic come on your website without a dime spent on marketing.

This should be a sufficient guide for you to at least get your store migrated from a physical location to be an online entity. The steps mentioned above are very easy to follow, and there are a plethora of tutorials available on YouTube as well that will assist you in setting up an e-commerce store. We all know that things have changed drastically in the past few months and with the shift in events, business owners should consider a shift in their business models too. You can’t just rely on your physical store anymore because we don’t know when the pandemic will end. But we do know how to build an online store and you should be able to do that immediately.

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