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5 Fundamental Rules for Bringing Your Brick-and-Mortar Online

Posted by Drew Estelle on Aug 19, 2019, 11:03:50 AM
Drew Estelle

If your brick-and-mortar is trying to get a foothold in the digital world, it may seem like a formidable task. Luckily technology advances make it easier to get up and running online.

But even with the help of technology, there is a lot to contemplate before its use. In particular, you will want to consider these 5 fundamental rules for bringing your brick-and-mortar into the digital space.

Woman thinking about her options for an eCommerce platform.

1) Choose your eCommerce provider wisely.

When choosing an eCommerce platform, it’s important to ask yourself a few questions. What tools do you need to run your business? Do you need certain integrations? 

An all-in-one eCommerce platform is ideal when you don’t want to pay for extras, but you may need very particular integrations to work with the technology you already have, such as a Shopify website. What's more, you can find integrations, like Sezzle, to increase your customers' average order value!

Another large consideration for brick-and-mortars is whether or not they would like a Buy Online Pick Up In Store (BOPIS) options. When looking for different platforms, think of what tools you need or already use for your business.

See how BOPIS is giving brick-and-mortars a winning edge!

You’ll also need to ask yourself if this technology can carry you into the future. All businesses hope they will grow in the future, but they may not know to what extent. Find a platform that will help you grow and scale. You need a platform that can help your business get up and running online but can also keep up with higher demands as your digital sales start to rapidly grow.

And lastly, set up your online presence with a forward-thinking company you trust. If you're not tech-savvy, choose one with a customer support team you can always rely on.

Woman on using her phone and laptop simultaneously to shop various sales channels.

2) Use multi-channel marketing to reach customers where they are.

Multi-channel retailing is the practice of selling on multiple channels such as websites, retail stores, social media, mobile, etc. When you’re on many channels, it’s easy to meet your customers anywhere they are.

If they're on your website, add a banner to "join the conversation on Facebook." If they put a dress in their cart from your website, retarget them with social media advertisements to accelerate the check out process. 

Don't forget to send a text and email when big sales are going on! Your loyal shoppers will appreciate being in the loop. For new customer acquisition, use existing services like Facebook & Google ads.
These are all excellent tactics to meet customers where they are and to encourage certain customer behavior, such as driving foot traffic to your storefront with a sale advertised on your website.

Related Reading: Why All Successful Retailers Have Multiple Virtual Storefronts

A designer uses her laptop to communicate with her customers.

3) Never stop engaging with your customers. 

This should be a golden rule. Going digital should not stop you from engaging with your customer base as you would in your store.

People are loyal to brands because they have an emotional connection with them. Connect with your customers, whether it be social media, through customer support, or a personalized discount (Hello, birthdays!). Building relationships is critical to any business. People buy with those they trust!

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4) Making the shopping experience as frictionless as possible.

Today’s brands know they need to deliver a seamless shopping experience across all channels.

Fortunately, technologies have paved the way for faster, easier, and more convenient shopping. It has not only optimized check out, but it also allows for greater speed, personalization, and wow experiences. 

Technologies can help you streamline these processes so you can keep a smooth experience for you and your customers. 

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5) Protect your brand with multiple ways to shop.

It makes me nervous when I hear, "I just sell on Facebook," or "I only sell on my website." If you put all your effort and resources into selling on a single channel, you risk catastrophic failure. 

Social media algorithms can shift and block your customers from seeing new posts. Websites can crash. Brick-and-mortar sales can shrink. Don't rely on one channel to make all of your sales. Integrate ways to shop from mobile apps, social media, websites and even in person. With multiple sales channels, you always have a fail-safe no matter what happens.

Final Thoughts

Successful retailers understand the need to bring their physical stores online. There is more opportunity than ever to heighten brand awareness, amplify revenue, and improve customer experiences.

However, It’s not without careful consideration of an eCommerce platform that can serve their needs. This requires an understanding of the importance of keeping connected with their customers, how multi-channel retailing fits into that, and making certain they are protecting their brand by spreading their efforts and resources to other channels.

Topics: Technology, Brick-and-Mortar

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