As experienced business people like Hans Eckhardt Tuscon know, one of the keys to success no matter what industry you are in is flexibility and a willingness to adapt to changing business environments and practices. Without question, one of the major changes in the last decade has been the rise of the internet as a place not only to promote your business, but also as a place where business is actually conducted. More and more, savvy and busy consumers expect to be able to do their business online, and if you don’t have an online store, you may find that you quickly lose business to the more tech-friendly competition. That doesn’t mean you should jump onto the ecommerce bandwagon without some careful planning, however. Here are a few things to bear in mind as you consider the prospect of opening an estore for your business.
You need to have a marketing plan
While it is true that customers won’t find your site if it isn’t there to find, it is also true that simply having a site isn’t enough bring customers to it. One of the most important things to consider is whether you should work with a professional to make sure that your site is optimized to be found by search engines like Google. And, just like with your brick and mortar business, an online store needs to be supported through advertising/marketing campaigns. Make sure that you have a plan for promoting your site. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you are limited to online promotion strategies, either. While you should certainly have a campaign that takes advantage of the many effective emarketing options to broaden your reach, don’t forget the power of the traditional campaign elements as a way to raise awareness about your site. This can include ads in the newspapers or magazines, billboards, flyers and other techniques.
You need to look like a “real business”
One of the most important things to remember when you are setting up your online store is that appearances matter. This doesn’t mean that you need to have an extravagant site with lots of bells and whistles. But it does mean that you need to have a site that looks professional and legitimate. Studies of online consumer behavior suggest that this is one of the most important things about keeping a customer on your site once they find it. Many online shoppers express reservations about shopping on sites that seem to be “fly-by-night” because they have concerns about things like the security and privacy of their credit card or banking data, worries about customer service or support if something goes wrong, or even the basic fear that they will give their money and nothing in return. Be sure that you take the time to make your site as professional as possible.
Neither of these things is especially difficult to carry out successfully. Whether you have the skills yourself or you prefer to hire a professional to assist you, it will be well worth your time and investment to bring your business online.