In another life, I spend most of my time in what most would consider regular ole’ retail sales. You would sit around, wait for people to walk in the door, offer as much value/products for the budget of each customer, and then hopefully make a sale. While the “How To’s” of sales have not changed much over the thousands of years we have been doing it, where we sell is quickly changing and “Brick & Mortar” businesses are having a hard time adjusting.
The internet has changed our life completely, it has made the buying process so much easier than it used to be. The time savings given is to the point where some people actually get upset when they have to walk into a store. In a few studies, we have seen a decline of over 3 million customers going into local stores from 2015 to 2016 alone. With fewer people coming into your store, this is where your business needs to innovate.
The easiest way to scale their business is to offer an online purchasing solution to their current customer base. This not only does it save your customers time, but make it easy to share their experience with their others. Really our current “new school” way of selling is looking much more “old school” like the trends of the 40-50’s. Word of mouth is a huge but using the internet to scale the voice is really the name of the game.
Building a store into your current website can be done fairly easier on multiple platforms like Wix, Shopify, and even WordPress. Most providers will easily integrate into a shipping solution as well. You can start reaching out to people within your region, and then grow out nationally as you start selling more and more products. My recommendation is to keep it very practical and be patient. E-Commerce will give you the ability to touch many more people than you have walking in the door, and when they do visit that transaction holds much more context and value.
I would definitely recommend you integrate Facebook, Google Adwords, and other forms tracking in the site as well. You want to do this as soon as possible because the more information you capture the easier it is to advertise to your customers. You have the ability do so much more in the long term and I will be following up this blog post to discuss how this works and what to do.
The best piece of advice I can give you is to just do it! Taking action now, whether that is building something for your self or finding an E-Commerce design firm to do it for you, you need to start doing this as quick as you can. Every day a local brand doesn’t scale their business is another day they are losing money.