Let’s talk about the simple process to move your brick and mortar business online.
I am in no way telling you that you MUST move your brick and mortar business online. The reason is that it might not be the best action for you to take right now.
But on top of that, there are obvious pros of brick and mortar business that you can’t get with an online storefront.
So, let’s go over the effects of e-commerce on brick and mortar stores before we actually dive into the process of moving your brick and mortar business onto the internet.
The Effects Of E-Commerce On Brick And Mortar Stores
The Meaning Of A Bricks And Mortar Business
If you own a business that runs offline- separated from the internet world. Whether you sell products or services, this means that you run a brick and mortar business.
How Online Shopping Differs From In-Store Shopping
Why You Don’t Need To Close Down Your Brick And Mortar Business
You can set up multiple physical storefronts. This is a huge advantage when you consider that, as of now, most retail sales still happen in physical stores.
Having a physical storefront also let’s customers touch your products. This increases sales and reduces unhappy returns. Pictures and videos can’t compensate for what physical interaction can do for decision making.
Going off of that, your brick and mortar business makes it easier for customers to build relationships with your brand representatives. Even Amazon which once was exclusively online now has multiple physical locations to complement their online businesses.
All of these pros mentioned so far lead to the last one which is improved customer service and logistics. Having a physical storefront will reduce hassle on the customer’s end when it comes to things like returns, shipping, and interacting with the brand.
That said, there are pros to moving your brick and mortar business online that can’t be surpassed.
Why You Need To Move Your Brick And Mortar Store Online
One of the obvious pros is that going online with a website will significantly expand your reach and increase your sales.
Here are some statistics behind online shopping vs brick and mortar shopping. As of right now, 8 out of 10 Americans are online shoppers and 90% of people try to find product and service details on the internet to make final purchase decisions.
Not only are you creating convenience for your existing customers, but you’ll also be in a position to attract new ones. There are no geographical boundaries online, neither are there any business-impeding holidays. Your store will be open 24/7.
The second obvious pro is that an online storefront reduces the cost of operations by a longshot.
An e-commerce website doesn’t need light fixtures, cash registers, scheduled staffing, or expensive real-estate. Depending on how you do it, it is true that launching an online business CAN be expensive. But even if you go the expensive route, you’ll find that those costs can be offset with additional sales.
Now you might be thinking about the time and mental stress that it might cause you. That’s valid and it’s okay if you already feel stressed reading this article.
But trust me when I tell you that, just like with the financial costs being reduced, your time put into the website will be reduced in the long-run.
One of the best things about the internet is that once you establish something, it is very easy to keep it there, duplicate it, or make small changes to it in as little as a few minutes or even seconds.
How To Move Your Brick And Mortar Business Online In 5 Simple Steps
So, now that that’s cleared away, let me actually show you how to move your brick and mortar business online.
This doesn’t necessarily mean closing down your physical storefront to open an online one. In fact, I would advise AGAINST that, especially if you are doing this alone or for the very first time.
Moving your brick and mortar business online is best done gradually. Think of your online storefront as a partner to your physical storefront.
Now, supplementing your brick and mortar business through an online store definitely sounds complex and overwhelming. But, that’s not the case nowadays.
In this day and age, you find or hire help to fill in any of the gaps in the process that make you feel uncomfortable.
Step 1: Create A Website Strategy That Will Help With Online And Offline Traffic
Many businesses invest money in building a website for a basic online presence and then stop there. That’s not enough.
A website is online real-estate. It has to look pretty but also be functional. So, let me expand on what a website strategy entails.
Your website strategy should include 5 components:
- Your website goals
- Your value proposition (eg. what you offer to online visitors)
- Your target audience
- Your online branding
- Your promotional planning
If you’re new to the whole website game, we have a course called the Sticky Website Strategy Intervention. It’s an intensive workshop that holds your hand through putting all 5 of those components on paper. Check it out HERE.
Now, going deeper into this, in the offline world, if you put up a business in a well-trafficked area of town, you’ll get guaranteed visitors. They see the building, they stop by, and they buy your stuff. On the Internet, it’s a different story. Once your site is built, you still need to put significant effort into getting found.
Get listed on Google Places. Get listed in local directories. Get listed in industry directories. It will benefit you tremendously if you learn the basics of how Google works and what search engine optimization is.
Your next best option is to hire a professional to do that work for you. If you’re interested in this route, I’ll write an article about what to look for and link it HERE when it’s ready.
Step 2: Build Your Website
After you’ve established your website strategy, building your website is the first big step to moving your brick and mortar business online.
Use that website strategy to narrow down how you want to build your website. Consider things like what you want your website to do, what you want your website to look like, and how simple you want it to be on YOUR end if you need to update and maintain the website.
And, if you plan to sell your products and services online, you should also consider what your online store experience will be like for YOU on the management end and for your CUSTOMERS on the buying end.
After you do that, you can either build your own website or hire a professional to do it for you. Remember to be strict about your budgeting here. If you are not familiar with technology and web design, this is a step where you could lose a lot of money for mediocre results.
If you’re interested, we offer a done-for-you website called the All-Done Limelight Website. It’s a $99 website-in-a-box SERVICE for people who don’t like technology or just want to stay away from it as much as possible.
We have a team of professional web designers and internet marketers who create beautiful, fully-customizable, and fully functional websites (WordPress and NON-WordPress) for artists and small businesses like you. Check out that service HERE.
Step 3: Connect Your Website To Google Search Console
Do a quick YouTube search and you’ll find dozens of easy-to-follow tutorials on how to do this. The reason you want to do this is to set a foundation for your website.
Google is the primary search engine that will leverage your traffic, so you want to see all of the data and reports that Google has on your website.
You can set it up and forget about it. Or, you can use the data to grow your following and increase traffic and sales. Regardless, I highly recommend any website to connect to Google Search Console.
Step 4: Give Your Website A Makeover So That It Becomes Unignorable
If you’re completely new to the website game, check out our marketing & SEO videos. But more than anything, I highly recommend that you go through each task in my Ultimate Checklist for Unignorable Websites.
It is 100% free and has 22-pages of actionable tasks for the most essential framework for establishing any online presence. That framework involves…
Step #1: Get People To Your Website On Auto-Pilot
Step #2: Make An Unignorable First Impression
Step #3: Get People To Know You, Like You, & Trust You
Step #4: Make A Sale
Again, it is 100% free and 100% friendly for people who can’t stand technology. You can get HERE.
Going through that checklist is the smartest and cheapest way to audit and optimize your website without any code or geek-speak. Once you go through that entire checklist, you will be in the top 90th percentile of everyone else on the internet.
That means that you will be able to get people to your website on auto-pilot, make consistent unignorable impressions, get people to know you, like you, and trust you, and then buy your stuff!
Step 4 is all about priming your online presence to be the best that it can be. Yes, this is also the step that will take the most time, but like I mentioned earlier, it shortens your workload in the long run and puts you ahead of everyone else you are competing with.
I don’t want you to feel overwhelmed and THAT is why I created the Ultimate Checklist for Unignorable Websites. It will make your life so much easier to have a blueprint of tasks to carry you through this seemingly scary process.
It is worth EVERYONE’S time to use it. Again you can get it at LimelightWebsites.com forward slash checklist.
Step 5: Analyze Your Website Data And Make Improvements
Once you’ve overcome the huge milestones of strategizing your website, building your website, and getting visitors, it’s time to see what those visitors are doing. Ask yourself…
How long are they staying on my website? Are they actually looking at my stuff and clicking on it? Are they buying anything? Have I been getting more foot traffic in my brick and mortar business ever since my website launched?
Maybe you want to try a new marketing strategy like starting a Facebook Page so that it will be easier for your target audience to find and learn more about you.
That’s A Wrap!
And that’s the basic 5-step process to move your brick and mortar business online.
I know that it’s more complicated than it sounds, but you are not alone on this journey of struggling and making your website garner the results that you want and crave.
If you found this article helpful, be sure to share it with your friends who run their own websites.
See you soon, guys! 🙂