How Small Businesses Transition from Offline to Online Sales

Brick and mortar stores still have their place in business, but these local stores must start the transition to an online presence. When you sell products, online sales expand your reach and allow you to compete with other online retailers, such as Amazon.

Worldwide 1.8 billion people are purchasing goods online including groceries.

Bringing your offline business onlinerequires a website, e-commerce platform and marketing. You’ll find that a website and e-commerce solution is easy thanks to Squarespace or WordPress. But the hard part is getting all of your customers to go to your website and start the transition to making online sales.

A few tips on how to start are:

Start With Your Current, Local Customers

Your current customers are likely looking for you online. If you have a website or just created a new website, you want to encourage your in-store customers to check you out online. There are a few ways to do this, including:

  • Posters on the door telling everyone that they should “visit the store online”
  • Business cards should be updated to include the website’s URL
  • Coupons can be given to in-store customers that they can use online
  • Promote the website on the receipt that you give to your customers

If you tell everyone in your store about your new website, chances are that they will go to the website to view what you have to offer. When ringing up customers, all cashiers should try and promote the website, too.

Start Marketing the Website Online

There are a lot of opportunities to market your website online. If you want to promote primarily to locals to start, you can do so by purchasing pay-per-click ads. Facebook and Google have filters that allow you to refine your ads to your exact demographic.

But this is a costly marketing tactic, so you’ll want to go with a method of marketing that will lead to organic traffic versus paid traffic.

This is where SEO services can be beneficial. Through SEO, your website will be added to all search engines and you’ll start ranking for key keywords that your potential customers are searching for online.

Keep in mind that you don’t need to do just one form of marketing.

Since SEO efforts can take months to pay off, it’s best to use a combination of paid and organic traffic to try and market your website. Over time, you can lower your efforts on pay-per-click ads and transition to more organic methods.

Social media is also a great place to promote your website and your products.

A lot of businesses already have a social media presence, and now is a good time to use that presence to promote your website. Coupons and special deals are a great way to entice your followers to go to your website.

You can put a limit on the number of times a coupon can be used so that you don’t lose out on money in the process.

When you make a post about your new site, be sure to ask your followers to share the post to let their friends and family know about your site.