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

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

If your brick-and-mortar is trying to get a foothold in the digital world, it can feel like a formidable task. Luckily technology advances make it easier to get up and running online quickly with minimal effort.

However, even with the help of technology, there is a lot to contemplate before its use. You'll need 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 E-commerce Provider Wisely

When choosing an e-commerce 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 e-commerce platform is ideal when you don’t want to pay for extras but might want the option to integrate with other revenue boosting technologies, such as Sezzle.

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.

Related: How BOPIS Is Giving Brick & Mortars A Winning Edge

Investing in technology that can carry you into the future is possibly the most important consideration of all, though. Your platform should help you grow your revenue, and then support your business as demand grows.

If you outgrow your systems, you're going to be spending more time and money on the next tech solution, so it's wise to consider this sooner rather than later.

Lastly, be sure to 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're at

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.

 

 

A designer uses her laptop to communicate with her customers.

3) Never Stop Engaging with Your Customers

Going digital should never stop you from engaging with your customer base as you would in your store. People buy with those they trust, so continuous engagement is paramount!

Online channels make it possible to build trust in many ways, such as social media posts, website chat, or personalized, automated emails. Virtual selling through Facebook Live has been a hot and growing trend as well.

Facebook Live sales mimic in-store interactions without requiring a physical presence. Live video allows a real-time, two-way dialogue in which you can engage with your shoppers. Greet them, ask how their day was, answer their questions, and demo your products! Anything goes, really.

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4) Make 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 impressive customer experiences. 

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

Related Reading: 3 Ways Facebook Chatbots Are Winning Boutiques More Sales


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5) Protect Your Brand with Multiple Ways to Shop

Social media algorithms can shift and block your customers from seeing new posts. Websites can crash. Brick-and-mortar sales can shrink. If you put all your effort and resources into selling on a single channel, you risk catastrophic failure. 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 takes a robust e-commerce platform (like CommentSold!) to help them set up shop across multiple channels, keep up with customer expectations, and keep on top of evolving e-commerce trends for the most business resiliency.

Looking to expand your physical storefront to online channels like Facebook and Instagram? Learn how to get your business online and get started with social commerce.

Topics: Technology, Brick-and-Mortar

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