Take Me Online
Although moving your business online can be relatively easy, it requires a lot preparation before.
Ironically, getting your business online does not happen with the click of a button.
With lockdowns, quarantines and the general population’s fear of being exposed, many retailers are aiming to take their business online and rightfully so. COVID-19 basically accelerated the e-commerce boom, especially in Lebanon.
What retailers are sometimes missing is that taking a business online still requires quite a bit of offline work. Generating leads and sales online doesn’t happen with a magic wand.
There are a few steps involved and we’re going to break down them down for you.
1. A Brand
If you already have an existing brand that you’re proud of, you can skip to Point #2 directly. If you don’t, creating (or maybe uplifting) your brand is the first thing you need to consider. This will enable you to secure all the brand elements needed to have a visually impressive online presence, from colors, choice of fonts, visual style and communication tone of voice.
2. E-Commerce Platform
If the brand assets are present, you need to consider the e-commerce platform that will best meet your business needs. There are a few ready-made platforms specialised in e-commerce out there, that will alleviate you from the time and budget required to create an e-commerce platform from scratch. But if you need a certain level of customization and control over your business, you may require some custom development. But as a general disclaimer, for many businesses, these platforms are serving their purpose.
3. Design & User Experience
Once the choice of platform is made, you need to select the most suitable way to showcase your product; if you’re working on an existing platform, then it’s a matter of selecting the most optimal template and then working on customizing it. If you’re working on a custom platform, then the user experience will be one of the key things that the designers will work on with the developers.
Great! The base work is done. Now we really need to roll-up our sleeves. Photography! Inventory Management! It’s not enough to have a brand and an e-commerce platform, that’s the easy part. You have a wonderful product? Yes? That’s amazing. But do you have photographs that showcase how amazing your products are? No? Then stop everything you’re doing. Without good photography, you will not go very far online. Competition is fierce and you need all elements to be on your side.
5. Data Entry, Operations & Management
It might start to seem overwhelming but it’s not. If you’re a one ‘man/woman’ show and you’re unable to find time for all of this, or the know-how, when you may need to consider getting someone to help with the operations… Who is going to upload and categorize all your products? Who is going to follow-up on purchases and delivery? Who is going to label things out of stock? Who is going to create bundles and offers for occasions? Etc….
6. Delivery Partners
You’re almost set but how did you expect the products will get to their customers? You need to figure out who’s shipping out and delivering your products to your customers. There are a number of those available and you need to be looking for the partner that fits your scope and target. In some cases a fulfillment partner can even offer you shelving space and so on…
7. Payment Gateways
Right, time for money. How do you collect payment? Securing this from the get-go is key. Selecting the right 3rd party supplier and linking them with your local bank is a crucial step before going live. And Cash On Delivery is always a good option to have as well.
8. Traffic to Your Store.
Everything is ready. My brand is awesome. My products are great and more importantly, they look great on photos. I’ve uploaded everything online and I’m ready to sell. Where is everyone? Driving traffic to your website is the last and most important key to getting sales and understand the consumer journey and how it can be improved. So you need to invest in ads, on Facebook, on Instagram and on Google, with surgeon like precision in your targeting in order to get qualified traffic on your website. You need to test, test and test some more to see which ads are delivering the best results. So monitoring, optimizing and reporting are important part of your e-shop’s success. Monitoring will allow you to understand your best lead sources, your top and least performing products, the level of cart abandonment, and so forth. Accordingly, you can improve the user experience and any other tweaks necessary.
This may all seem overwhelming and that’s why we’re here to help. We have the know-how and experience to onboard and accompany your brand in its online trajectory.
For a free consultation, get in touch with us.