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Learn How to Launch Your Business Online & Start Selling ASAP [Quick Guide]

Earth is closed! You might have seen the memes, but you most certainly will have heard how the Covid-19 coronavirus has wreaked havoc on businesses all over the world. If you happen to be one such business person, don’t lose hope.

work during corona
People are indoors, in either self-quarantine or lock-down. Apart from reducing the spread of the virus this way, people being indoors means business can still go on. Ask those working from home and they will tell you that everything is progressing, albeit slowly, online.

If you are the owner of offline store, brick-and-mortar business and want to run your business online, this article is for you.

Are you ready to launch your business online?

Here we go!

How To Get Going Quickly – First Steps

e-commerce setup

This is often the hardest move, but modern technology has made it quite straightforward to transform your business online. Whether you are an independent business owner or work for small shops, or restaurants and cafes, you can still use the internet to your advantage.

Here’s How TheRubyTap Wine Bar did it !!

Offline to online store

The Ruby Tap Wine bar, for example, took quick action in setting up online order system helps people to make orders online. They could come pick up their purchases from the curbside when ready. It was a great way to encourage safety while at the same time keeping business going.

See what happened after they launched an online bottle ordering system!

In your case, things might be a bit more complicated. It is not a bad idea to start a little late, while still being quick about it.

Start with buying a domain name if you are not having one. Domains are ridiculously cheap, demand only annual pay, and can be redesigned to your heart’s content. You will need to invest a little cash to get this going, but your efforts will prove fruitful.

Now the next part will be to use trusted and ready to use framework for your online store. We recommend going with Shopify, WooCommerce hosted on WordPress or any other eCommerce platform depending upon your requirement. They will save your lot of time in developing the system and offers world class ready to use features for your online order system.

A blog, along with some reviews from existing customers, can make you stand out in your own light even though you are technically the ‘new e-kid on the block’. Content writing businesses can help infuse your blog with sufficient content on short notice.

Have some of your preferred customers post their reviews of you and your services. The rest is a promotion game waiting to begin.

Biggest Pitfalls – Watch Out!

home delivery

You need to remember that these are dark times, and you cannot just leap on the success bandwagon overnight.
A major pitfall that no one will tell you about is the mistrust of online shoppers. Many who do not normally opt for e-commerce are now being forced to. Additionally, you have more people looking for a lot more things online than just what you are providing. It is therefore imperative that you come across as trustworthy, learned in your business, calm and efficient, and do it all using written words, videos, and images.

Customers are ready to buy, Are you ready to sell ?

The chain of supply-demand has to be maintained. You need to have field agents ready to home-deliver, or at least set up your marketing campaign in such a way that people know where they can come collect their purchases safely and without incident. Try a dummy run yourself just to see if you can deliver to those living in your neighbourhood.

Shopify, WordPress, Woocommerce… These are your online management hubs, using which you can adequately handle all things customer-related. Order management, keeping a central data repository, GDPR, spreadsheets, etc. can all be maintained if you are willing to set aside time for them. You can lose sight of several factors if this step is not followed, so spend those few hours a day on ‘paperwork’.
A bank, no matter what they say, will not bail you out. Do not rely on their hollow promises at a time like this. Banks are more interested in high-end corporates and large business chains. Your comparatively simpler business needs you to be smart and give time.

The Right Resources – Choose Your Weapon

e-commerce resources

People are strapped for cash right now, which means you cannot afford to be a ‘freeloader’ when hiring some of them to help keep your business afloat in an online marketplace.
Just keep a handful of trusted employees, get a few recommended online social media savvy individuals, and pay them a cheap but guaranteed amount of money to help you sort out varied business demands at different times of the day.

Love Thy Competitor

Peers as well as rivals will have ideas to share with you. These are trying times, which are somehow uniting people rather than dividing them. Put aside your pride and ask those in your business circle for advice. Even one small point can turn the tide in your commercial favor.

Pay that Debt Off

Small business loans, as long as you are sure of repayment, can prove to be a good choice in these testing times. It will help you pay for your online presence as well as keep your employees committed.
Not everything you read online is true. The same applies to people you talk to before transforming your business online. Trust, but verify. Double-check everything, in fact you can ‘hire’ a family member or friend to do this on your behalf.

SBAgov and EcomChat are two fine examples of online chat forums that are essentially ‘by the people, for the people’ threads (or conversations), aimed at shedding light on e-commerce issues amidst ongoing chaos. Use the tag #ecomchat to ask questions on Twitter. You will find that several people from all over the world will be willing to ease your doubts. They also pick some important questions and discuss them with the users, as shown below :

ecom chat example

Client Reviews boost your reputation

Your current customer base is the fuel for your online rocket. You need to call them and entail their help. Merely request them to leave a review online, preferably on your website or blog (you must have created one expressly for your present e-commerce requirements). These reviews are crucial, because the last thing fresh customers want is to see a ‘blank’ company that has made no real impact in the lives of people. Yours has actually influenced real-life people, so it is important that your online portal reflects that. Here is an example of client testimonials on a Digital Marketing Agency website.

customer reviews
‘Payment technology’ is the term applied for all online payment options. You need to set this up, so people can choose one of a handful of ways to pay online when shopping with you. Don’t forget to make COD, or cash on delivery, available as well.

Get the Lead, when you least expect it

Make excellent use of free trials and free tier accounts to integrate live chat options on your portal. You’ll be surprised just how many people will want to directly ask you questions instead of emailing. You can earn or lose customers based on how accessible you are to them. Even when you are not online, these chat apps can still help you get leads as seen below.

live chat app

Reach out via LinkedIn to varied staff and/or employers/owners. Many are out of a job at this time, and you might get lucky and land a few experienced minds for your online business transformation.

Landing Your First Order – How To Make It Happen

ecommerce customers

Marketing options for your blog or website will not come free. This is where your business loan or savings can come in handy. You need to invest in good marketing. This is not really an option for small businesses eager to win the attention of online shoppers.

Learn Opportunistic Marketing from Amul

Opportunistic Marketing is the biggest source for getting your brand across. Amul has been on the top since its beginning in terms of opportunistic marketing. Here is a recent example of Amul spreading awareness about Corona Virus.

amul opportunistic marketing
The first fact to keep in mind concerning Marketing is that you need to target the right audience. Be it housewives or teenagers, you need to sing to the right crowd or your song is going to go unheard.
Facebook ads are taking a hit, but Google ads are still going strong. You can start generating interest followed by sales by buying Google ad space. You can start by creating a Google Shopping Campaign.

Right Ad placement can do wonders

You can buy ad space based on the interest of people. As you can see below, SEMrush has bought ad space on the domain buying blog, as the person who is building a website will need marketing tools for sure. Smart move, isn’t it ?

display ads example

Several orders are made via chat platforms. Suppose the free version mentioned earlier has expired, you can leave your Whatsapp business number on the blog or website to redirect people to come chat with you. They can place orders after quickly clarifying their doubts.

This is the most valuable e-commerce option for small businesses. Whereas your website or blog sets you up as a dignified and trusted service provider, your Whatsapp may well become the hub where all the shopping action takes place.

Conclusion – This Is Only the Beginning

online shopping

Putting in the effort is only half the effort. Think of it this way: without a sound strategy, all your hard work will only drain your energy levels as well as potential sales. ‘Less is more’ works beautifully for small businesses looking to transform from offline to online during the Covid-19 coronavirus crisis that has affected a plethora of businesses all over the globe.

Learn to Earn

Help is readily available for you online, in the very realm where you are now planning to branch out. Portals like Website setup are interesting pages to spend a day on, so you can figure out what will work for you and what won’t. From Affiliate Marketing and Online Publishing to creating Youtube videos, there is so much you can learn to benefit your small business in this crucial transition phase.

It is all about familiarity, which is why we recommended that you sit at least one day doing research. It may seem tedious, but at the end of the day you will have taken all the right notes to help you narrow down on the essentials. This in turn will help you target all the right customer bases and business factors, getting you that much closer to online success in a relatively short time.

Know How to Increase Sales on Amazon, Flipkart & Other eCommerce Marketplaces

Do you own a store at Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal or any other eCommerce marketplace website? Not getting sales as per your expectations? Here you will learn how to increase sales by following these simple yet effective ways followed by big brands online.

The e-commerce industry is booming greatly in India over the past few years. With e-commerce portals like Snapdeal, Flipkart, Jabong, Amazon etc, shopping has become a cakewalk for people. Place orders for products by sitting at the comforts of your home and get the item delivered at your doorstep. It has been estimated that the e-commerce industry in India will be worth USD 38 billion by end of 2016. This is a great jump from USD 23 billion in 2015 and is sure to extend its boundaries even more. Beginning at USD 3.8 billion in 2009, revenue sales have increased exponentially by leaps and bounds over the years.

One of the main reasons for increased e-commerce shopping is higher rates of internet and mobile penetration. With facilities of online payments via credit cards, debit cards and online banking, one does not need cash in hand for the payments. However, many e-commerce portals are now providing cash on delivery facility for customers who are not comfortable with other online payment methods. With exceptional deals and discounts made available on the various products, prices of commodities are way lesser than in general markets. With smartphones, e-commerce is making way for m-commerce (mobile commerce) rapidly. People are ordering stuffs via their smartphones on the go. In fact specialized mobile apps for the e-commerce portals have also been developed.

With increasing competition in the e-commerce industry, sellers have to look for innovative ways for increasing their sales. Here are some tips, which might be of help:

#1 Uploading rich catalog information

Product-description

When a customer looks for a product in an e-commerce site, he should get complete information regarding the same. It is recommended to provide unique product description with specifications, relevant images and price of the item so that customer can make the choice properly. The product description should be crisp and to the point.

#2 Effective utilization of product listing ads

Product-ad

For new and fresh sellers on e-commerce sites, it is difficult to find the top spot when a particular product is searched. Majority of leading e-commerce portals offer product listing ads so that products can be displayed with appropriate search results. With use of right keywords and a suitable image, these ads truly show great results.

#3 Product Reviews

Product-reviews

Product reviews from customers can help in increasing sales by manifold times. Positive reviews of products have helped in improving conversion rates for sellers. Whenever, a customer purchases a product, ask for a review. Politely force the person to give a review, which you can post with the product. Higher positive reviews mean increased sales.

#4 Leveraging Social Media

Social Media is the in-thing now. Anything that happens goes viral on the social media. Majority of e-commerce sites are using this platform for reaching out to more and more numbers of people. There are billions of active users on various social media sites and each one is connected to more numbers of people in their network. Spreading the word of mouth gets way easier on social media.

#5 Avoiding disputes

No seller will want disputes regarding the products it sells. Higher disputes will affect the organic ranking of the seller. It is important to ensure that there are no disputes with the products like late delivery, broken or damaged products, wrong products, faulty products etc.

Keeping the above mentioned points in mind will definitely help in boosting sales in various e-commerce platforms. However, it is also important that the sellers remain updated on the changes which are coming in this industry so that they can make necessary adjustments accordingly. Flexibility is the keyword in the dynamic e-commerce and m-commerce industry. Keep trying new things to draw attention of customers on these platforms.

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