1) Evaluate Your Products/Services
Determine which products or services you’re able to provide online. During this time many businesses are still not able to sell their products or services online but find an alternative. Below are a few examples of what we have done with our clients to provide an alternative to their customers online.
Barber shop - opened an online shop for customers to buy their grooming products and apparel.
Business centre - provided virtual offices that allow their clients to work from home which allows them to provide their clients with service support.
Fitness studio - is offering virtual classes, private training and support online.
Catering company - provided an online service where clients can buy groceries online with contactless delivery or curbside pick-up.
Even though many businesses will not be able to provide the same products or services they once had there are many ways in which you can provide a similar service to your customers in the meantime.
2) Allocate Your Budget
Now with the expansion of an online store, there will be additional fees. Make sure you are cutting your regular expenses on your brick and mortar store so you can have enough money for your online store. When running an online store there are fees to run them effectively such as;
monthly platform fees
online expansion cost
3) Choose A Platform
One of the most important decisions when creating an online store is to make sure you pick the right platform for your products/services you will be selling online. Since there are many options certain platforms will be better suited for your business and management style.
Listed below is a range of platforms that you can use to open an online store;
Each platform comes with different pricing, tools and complexity so make sure you choose the one that fits your business best!
4) Setup A Payment System
Luckily most of the platforms you join have integrated payment systems allowing you to collect payment easily and track numbers routinely. Some might ask you for a percentage of your sale to cover the cost of processing the payment. The top five online payment systems used in Canada are;
TD Merchant Services
Our agency however strongly suggests using the payment system that is linked with the platform you have chosen so the journey for your clients online is seamless and there are hardly any errors along the way.
5) Figure Out Fulfillment Shipping
Now that you have your online product/service, platform and payment system in place the last piece to the puzzle for your online store is making sure once someone orders your product or service it is fulfilled in a timely manner.
For many service industries, this is a simple process. Your clients will normally pay a fee for the service and they will then tune in online to reap the benefits. For example, if you are offering online fitness classes your clients would pay a fee per class and then be given a link to the live video class in which they can tune in.
For companies selling products online, you will need to find a reliable shipping courier. You can also negotiate rates with couriers directly to get shipping discounts that will help entice customers to convert at checkout. Some of the best couriers online stores use in Canada are;
We hope these tips help you successfully add an eCommerce channel for additional revenue to your traditional brick and mortars store! If you've done this before and have any other tips, do share them in the comments below.