Do you wish to grow your retail business and reach more customers? Moving your business online is the easiest way to achieve that goal. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of companies have moved their businesses online and have expanded their reach beyond borders. In fact, having an online presence has become essential for businesses to stay relevant in this competitive market.
While setting up an online business from scratch takes a lot of time and energy, moving an existing offline business online is comparatively a lot simpler. If you sell products directly to customers, you may need to look for logistics support and rent commercial trucks. Apart from that, the rest of the steps are almost the same for all B2C businesses.
1. Buy A Domain Name:
In order to have a website for your business, you need to buy a domain first. It is better to choose a domain name that helps describe your brand. Since you have been running a business for long, you must already have a store name. You can use the same name for your website domain. There are several platforms that sell domain names to businesses. You can check them out and see if your preferred domain name is available or not. You can try a few variations of the name if the preferred domain name is already taken.
2. Develop The Website:
After buying a domain name, you need to start building your website. You do not necessarily need to do it yourself. You can hire a professional to get the job done as per your requirements. It is important that you spend some time with the professional discussing what kind of website will be appropriate for your business. An e-commerce website is usually beneficial for retail businesses. However, you may also consider a blogging website if your business focuses on services and consultation.
3. Work On The Site’s Functionality:
Once you have created a website, you need to ensure it has everything a potential customer is looking for. While you can start by improving the appearance of your website with a proper theme, you should make sure that it is easy to navigate. Using the right design, logo, fonts, and color palette will help you attract more customers. You also need to add the necessary content to the website. Apart from adding images and videos or various products, you will require well-written content for the “About Us’ page, ‘Products/Services’ page, ‘Terms and Conditions’ page, and more.
4. Get The Necessary Legal Procedures Done:
Before you introduce your business to people on the Internet, you need to go through a few standard legal procedures. Since you have an existing business, it will be easier for you to navigate through this step. For example, you generally do not need to apply for a dedicated license for an online business. The existing license for your offline business will work just fine. However, if you have changed the name of your online business, you will need to get a DBA (Doing Business As) license. You will also need to register for an employee identification number (EIN).
5. Set Up Payment Process:
Whether you are selling a product or service, you should be able to take payments from the customers to make the sales. In today’s date, customers prefer to shop on websites that offer them multiple payment options. You can also ask the web developer to integrate various payment gateways on the website. If you are working with a Shopify-based website platform, there are several plugins that can help resolve payment issues. The same goes for WordPress-based websites as well.
Having a website for your business may not get tons of new customers overnight, but it is definitely the starting point. With proper search engine optimization and the right digital marketing tactics, you can take your retail business to new heights.