5 Tips on shifting your business from brick-and-mortar to virtual

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Whether caused by the current global health situation or simply to change your business model, turning your store into an online business is quite a challenge.

These five tips aim to help you focus on what’s essential and how to make the transition to the digital world smooth and successful.

1. Claim the right domain name

To jumpstart your move from a physical store to a virtual space, you have to choose a domain name. When choosing a domain name, try to stick with your original business name, especially if your customers already know you by that name. 

There are hundreds of domain name extensions you can choose from to personalize your website. If it is too long, create a shorter version so that it’s easier to remember. If the name you want is not available anymore, find the closest alternatives.

2. Choose a reliable hosting platform

Find a hosting platform that provides you with the features you need. You may want to seek consultations with different providers so you can have two or three options to choose from.

There are hosting platforms that offer customizable layouts and there are those that have pre-made templates for a variety of niches. Whatever you think will help you set up quickly and more efficiently should suffice.

If you sell products, make sure the hosting platform you choose allows you to make online sales. It should also have features like website security and tracking of orders.

3. Create and post engaging content

Now that customers have to visit your shop online, might as well give them good reasons to do so. Creating a blog section and posting blogs that are relevant to the products or services you offer will surely make your website more valuable. If you sell clothing, post blogs about the latest fashion trends, different fabrics and the benefits of each, or maybe tips on how to put together the perfect outfit for certain occasions.

Videos are strongly recommended to help boost customer engagement. There are many different types of videos you could do to invite new customers and keep existing ones. Testimonial or customer review videos are great because not only will it serve as proof of your credibility as a brand, it also puts faces on reviews, giving potential customers something they could relate to. You don’t need to spend a fortune to create videos for your online shop. Use a free online video editor that provides all the essential tools and features to help you create interactive content. 

4. Learn how to sell or serve online

One major challenge you may encounter as you transition to a virtual space is determining how to sell your products or services. If you sell many different products, it may be overwhelming to potential customers if you post them all online. So, start with a few, maybe your top sellers, and slowly add the others, introducing them as a new addition to your line of products. This will help give customers something to look forward to.

Each product must have its own page. It should have large, high-resolution images or make it zoomable, especially if the customer needs to see specific details. Add a detailed description and a subtle call-to-action to help customers purchase with confidence. 

What if you offer services? Find a way to make it available as a product. If you offer spa services but had to close your shop down for some reason, offer an at-home spa kit delivered right to your customer’s doorstep. Thinking outside the box may create a new revenue stream for you and your business. You can design your online sales funnel using video too.

5. Double-up on customer service

The in-store experience involves welcoming the customer, assisting them, answering their queries, and making the overall interaction pleasant and memorable. In an online store, it would be different. 

Always offer customer support, be it via chat, phone, or email. Make sure that you are always accessible and available to address questions, complaints, and concerns. If you are unable to, hire a designated person to do those things. Getting an immediate response and resolution will help customers feel satisfied and more likely to share their positive experience with others.

Transition your business online with success

The move from a brick and mortar business establishment to a virtual store in the digital realm can be quite daunting. These tips aim to help give you a glimpse of the basic things you need to do to make shopping easier and less stressful. 

Once you have your website set up and running, you have to focus on maintaining the shop, like you would your physical store, making sure it is clean, working, and efficient. With a little bit of elbow grease, the future of your business may even be brighter online.

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