For many small businesses in Canada, it\’s time to go the online route. It\’s the only reasonable decision to make in order to stay afloat. With the coronavirus pandemic closing shops all over the country, there is no other way to continue to process sales than to do so online. So what steps need to be taken in order to successfully transition your brick and mortar business into an online-only shop for the foreseeable future?
Make your online store mobile-friendly.
Even though the vast majority of Canadians are staying home (thus, giving them easy access to their desktop computers and laptops) you definitely want to ensure that your online store can be viewed on mobile devices. Millions of shoppers use their smartphones and tablets to cruise through the internet and make purchases from online shops. According to 3DCart.com, the majority of shoppers nowadays access the internet from their smartphones.
“That means your website has to be optimized for mobile viewing,” says the site, “The majority of designs are already mobile-friendly, but you should be testing your website regularly to make sure it’s easy to navigate on mobile. Statista claims there are almost 200 million mobile shoppers in the United States alone in 2018. This number is too big for businesses to ignore!”
Develop and grow an email list.
If you haven’t already, the time is now to begin reaching out to your customers via email. Establish your list by contacting customers by phone, if necessary. Reach out to them through social media, if possible. The bottom line is that it’s important to send out emails that introduce your latest sales, discounts and product lines to members of your customer base. That way, they’ll be regularly informed about what they can buy and how to buy it from your store online.
“Don’t wait to build your online audience,” insists Kevin Sides on Shipmonk.com, “Leverage your shop’s existing foot traffic to build your email list. For an easy strategy to implement today, create an in-store campaign to gather newsletter opt-ins at the point of sale or while shoppers browse. Encourage sign-ups by offering a coupon to be emailed to them for use on their next purchase, or enroll them into a raffle for a chance to win a store gift card.”
Create an easy checkout process.
There’s nothing worse for online retailers than having customers abandon their carts at the end of their shopping excursions. It’s vital that you create an easy checkout experience. That way, your online shoppers won’t ditch their intentions of following through on paying for their purchases.
“You’ll quickly learn that one of the biggest challenges for online businesses is abandoned carts,” says 3DCart.com, “People will add products to their virtual shopping carts only to abandon their carts right before entering their credit card process. You can cut down on this by making the checkout process as easy as possible. The more steps someone has to take between viewing their cart and checking out, the more likely they’ll leave your business page.”
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