You have a brick-and-mortar store, and you’ve thought that online sales might be a good additional income stream. You make and sell something to friends this time of year and you like the idea of taking the next step toward making a business of your hobby. Maybe you’ve just heard that 93% of consumers do some of their shopping online and you’d like to get your share of the profits.
Whatever the reason, lots of people are trying e-commerce. Are you likely to be successful?
First, think about what you’re selling. If shoppers can get the same things from you and from every major online retailer, then e-commerce probably isn’t going to work for you. If you have something special to offer, though, your chances are much better.
Next, think about fulfillment. Online shoppers expect everything to be in stock, and they expect to get it fast. You won’t have sales associates to suggest an in-stock alternative, either. If you’re adding a little e-commerce to your in-store retail, are you prepared to deal with inventory issues and shipping when your staff is probably already very busy? If filling orders isn’t an issue, you’ll probably find that the option of online shopping will also bring more people into your store, since many people browse online before they go out and buy in physical stores.
If you don’t have a brick-and-mortar store, then you can do your selling with far less overhead. Just be sure you have a system in place to fill the orders.
Finally, think about timing. If you have a great idea and no website, you may not have time to get your site built, reach a good ranking with search engines, and build up traffic in time to benefit from this year’s holiday shopping season.
If you have a current website, though, this is the perfect time to add e-commerce to it. Your band’s site can sell downloads and CDs. Your physical store can offer a selection of products online and encourage shoppers to come in to finish off their gift lists. A service business can add a bit of online shopping, too–how about online sales of hair products for your salon or gift certificates to your gym?
Oyova can easily add e-commerce functionality to your current website, or work with you to plan a completely new e-commerce site for the future. Contact us to discuss your needs.