Internet Shopping – The move to online retail
The internet is now the number one shopping destination globally, and not surprisingly. For customers, it’s ideal. There’s no need to get in the car and visit ten shops without finding exactly what you want. This way, it’s all in one place and you needn’t battle with other shoppers for the nearest and driest car park. We have all become a bit impatient too. Purchases from your phone, tablet or desktop at any hour of the day or night help satisfy the ‘I want it now’ impulse even if actual delivery is some way off.
If you have a product or service but do not yet offer it online, you could be losing business. In today’s world, the sooner you move online, the better.
As with anything, do your research first. Look at other sites and see what works and what doesn’t. Shop online, or at least pretend to, and work out which structure might best fit your needs.
Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re taking your business into cyber space.
These words are a bit like keywords, which can be used to drive traffic to your site. In essence, when you move online, you want your business to appear at the top of the list in any search engine. That’s where AdWords can help. If you’re not au fait with AdWords, don’t fret. There are specialised professionals to help. Simply Google them!
Ensure your site is easy to use. If it’s not, those impatient customers could lose their cool and potentially head elsewhere to shop. Think about clear but attractive layouts and easy navigation. Don’t overload it with too much text or too many images – just keep it simple. Once again, there are professionals who can help.
Cash or Credit
More often than not, customers will pay by credit card, so ensure you can offer a secure payment option. However it pays to remember that not everyone has a credit card, so also look into offering a direct debit option, as well as bringing in a third party like PayPal. Talk to your web designer about the options. Take into account the cost of each and remember that if you don’t offer it, you could be turning business away.
Ensure you have someone on board with the skills to keep the site updated. This is often an integral team role and can also double as a marketing or graphic design position.
Don’t over promise and under deliver in such a fast paced environment. If your Instagram or Facebook account says you have something in store, make sure it can also be ordered online. If not, it won’t be long before the backlash begins on your social media sites.
It’s important that your customers are taken care of. Ensure your site has clear information on shipping, a concise returns policy and contact details so you can be reached.
‘The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.’
Socrates, Greek Philosopher