Local businesses and small stores around the world were hit badly since March this year. At first, we all went into lockdowns of various degrees. It took some time to grasp the full extent of the pandemic. Those who expected simple measures will do to bring this pandemic to a halt realized that until an effective vaccine will be widely available, life will never be the same.
Lockdowns obviously hurt small businesses the most. The shopping experience became very pragmatic and focused so fewer people are buying, and impulse buying were also impacted. As expenses continue to mount, and uncertainty makes it hard to plan ahead, it’s vital to think of ways to survive until life is back to normal.
Every business owner has a different way to cope, and there are no obvious answers here. However, a realistic and pro-active approach can be both the healthier way about it, and possibly, one that will help to cross this storm in one piece, at least financially.
Since Covid-19 started, online businesses were booming. People feel more comfortable to order in everything. This is well reflected in the financial reports of most major shopping portals as well as small shops that experience a significant increase in sales.
Opening an online shop allows a physical shop owner, to open another gateway to sell goods, even during quarantine periods and lockdowns.
Making an online business a successful venture requires a full commitment, dedication, and time. In this article, we will argue that starting an online shop in addition to your physical one, can help your small business finish 2021 in one piece.
First of all, you don’t have to. There are many other platforms that can help you achieve these goals. It’s also not about cost, as it is pretty low and similar for businesses that are just getting started. Other than being incredibly popular, the Shopify eco-system includes a wealth of complementary apps and themes. It’s really one of a kind. It’s surprisingly easy to build a professional-looking online store, handle logistics, payments, and everything else you need to get started.
How to get people to my online store?
Shopify Special Integrations
One of the common issues for stores in the covid era is being stuck with a lot of merchandise you have to get rid of, and fast. Shopify has many apps that offer integration with Amazon, eBay, Google Shopping, and others. Using those integrations allows any shop to publish their merchandise without marketing costs attached. Of course, most of these selling platforms take some commission on every sale. However, these commissions can be priced in advance, and do not require an initial investment.
That means that if your merchandise has some demand in the market, you should be able to control the number of sales by setting a competitive price. For commodities, this approach can be viewed as a relatively easy way to sell without investing in marketing, as long as you compete on price. While the margins won’t be the same, it can be a fast way to get cash, get rid of inventory, without the investment and time required to build an online brand.
People might surprise you
It’s likely that you already got those yourselves. Many small businesses reach out on WhatsApp, Facebook, and other social media agents with offers to purchase their merchandise without visiting the physical store. Some offer to buy directly, while others use digital stores. The best way at it is to try several ways in parallel. For example:
- Reach out to your regulars, your customer base might show more loyalty than in standard times. A lot of people would prefer to buy from small businesses they know, instead of giants as Walmart or Amazon. These are special times that require all of us to think about our social commitments.
- Reach out to your family, friends, and neighbors. Make use of the social groups you are a member of. Explain the rationale for moving to sell online. They will understand, and most likely relate to the situation.
- Offer group or quantity discount on the stock you need to sell quickly. You can even think of a good cause and ask people to participate with the purchase at cost. For example, warm clothes to those in need before winter. However, such initiatives require complete honesty. The goal here is to get rid of stock at cost or less and do something good in the process. Anything other than that will rightfully come with some unpleasant consequences.
How to get started with Shopify?
There are many tutorials out there for first-timers, that want to open their first shop. A good place to start can be the Getting Started Guide by Shopify. It’s worthwhile to join the Shopify forums and related Facebook groups to get some help doing things right from day one.
The tips mentioned above are a good way to get things started, build the initial crowd to your store. Then, you will likely see that some of them leave your shop without purchasing anything. Addressing this challenge is an ongoing one, that you will always try to improve using upselling apps like Juvico and other cross-selling apps. Explore the Shopify apps store, try different themes, and the many guides to transform your small venture into a real business that is worth growing.