The recent crisis has disrupted nearly every business and service in the market place. But, if you’re a brick and mortar business, it’s been especially hard for you. In store traffic is down to non-existent and your unique location and personal service just became a liability instead of a differentiator. So, now where do you turn to find the silver lining? E-commerce.
If you’re not an e-commerce retailer, you should take the time to become one – quickly. You may think e-commerce is something that’s just not you. But, as more and more of our customers are cut off from us, we need a way to be there for them, especially if you have something they could really use in this unique time. Whether your products are something everyone needs or just a really good distraction to keep us from going crazy working in our home offices, now is a great time to add an e-commerce channel to your business. My neighbors and I are ordering everything from groceries to running shoes to lifejackets just so we won’t have to get out or chance driving up to a closed business.
And remember, e-commerce doesn’t mean you have to be a national business or that you have to spend a lot of money to get started. Some platforms let you get a store up and running for less than $20 a month. These platforms help you keep up with your inventory, purchase and print shipping labels and process credit card and PayPal payments.
If you already have a website, you may just want to add on an e-commerce platform. But, if you’re not married to your existing website and looking for an all-in-one provider you may be looking for different options. Either way, this is something you can do quickly and easily with very little support. And you don’t have to put everything you sell on your online store. Start with your best sellers, you most unique items and go from there.
Entry Level E-commerce Platforms to Get You Started:
Finally, just because you build it, doesn’t mean they will come. So, you need to invest some of your advertising budget in driving traffic to your online store. Digital advertising is much more targeted and efficient than shotgun-style formats like TV, cable and radio, so think about who you want to reach. How old are they? Where do they live (by city, county, or metro area)? How much income do they have? What are their interests (running, design, cooking)? You can choose specific types of people to reach and only send your ads to them.
Digital advertising is our expertise and we’re very good at helping local businesses through times like these. We’re here to talk it through, be a partner so you can stay top of mind with your customers, reach the right audiences and make it through this challenging time.