Whether you shopped at home early in the morning or decided to become part of the 43% that shopped online while on the clock, you definitely helped to make history. More than $6 billion in sales were recorded with the obvious leader once again being Amazon. Add that to the estimated $5 billion spent online on Black Friday and you know brick and mortar retailers are shaking in their boots.
The fact that online sales have soared over the last 5 years is not news anymore. What is surprising is how slow many large retailers were to adapt to the changing consumer trend. You’d think that the writing on the wall would have caught someone’s attention. Instead we keep hearing of traditional retailers closing locations to try to stay afloat. Does this sound familiar? The newspaper industry experienced the same downfall with traditional print news outlets hanging on until they no longer could and were either bought out by digital news firms or simply closed their doors.
As we work with smaller business owners and they see the increase in online sales, our phones have started ringing with owners inquiring about a transition to online transactions. “How can I sell online?”, “What is the cost of adding e-commerce to my site?” are just some of the questions that we answer weekly.
With the introduction of services such as Shopify and Stripes, transitioning to an online store is easier than ever. You no longer have to pay an arm and a leg for a custom shopping cart or have to wrestle with your merchant services rep to connect to your credit card account. Most online stores can be up and running within a week with the product prepping for online being the most time consuming task.
Here are 5 tips to help you go online quickly:
- Establish which online gateway you will use (Paypal, Stripe, Shopify, etc.)
- Meet with your webmaster and discuss your plans to establish a transition plan and budget requirements
- Establish an online marketing campaign. Will you offer an online discount?
- Prep your product. Make sure you have good product pictures and descriptions
- Remember that you eat an elephant one bite at a time. You don’t have to launch with every one of your products. If you have a large product catalog simply break it down into steps based on product categories and establish a timeline to add each category after you go live.