As a growing manufacturer or maker, it might feel like a dream come true to open your local store. But after selling locally for some time, the next step is to think global and start selling online.
The internet is the biggest market place in the world – you can buy goods from all around the world in just a few minutes and without purchasing an expensive plane ticket to go to the country where it comes from.
In February 2019, the share of online sales in the US was higher than general merchandise for the first time ever.
Selling online is becoming more popular each year and the market is not likely to stop growing, yet.
That should convince even small businesses that they could benefit from selling online and step up their business game.
All you need is a good business strategy and some courage to join the online selling game.
1. Set Up An Online Store
Even if you are not a technical guru, you will be able to set up a decent looking web store, thanks to modern technology.
There are platforms like Shopify or WordPress plugins like WooCommerce that can be used easily to integrate an online shop into an existing website. There are some simple rules that you should follow when setting up the store:
- Focus on the design as this will be an important factor to drive sales. You can always use a template if you don’t feel like you have a good sense of style.
- Use high-quality pictures to present your products. If you don’t have one, you should consider hiring a professional photographer to take some photos for you. Since your customers can’t see your products in reality, they need to get a good impression from product photography.
- Additionally, you should write appealing product descriptions. These descriptions should answer all potential questions your visitors might have and make the product sound irresistible at the same time.
- Furthermore, you should read some articles on SEO-guidelines, so you make sure that your store is visible in search engines.
2. Launch Your Store
Before you publish your store, you must think about your marketing strategy. How will your customers find your website? How will you advertise your online store on social media? Who is the target group that you want to reach with your strategy?
You should be able to answer all these questions before you publish your shop. Furthermore, review your business operations, as this can be crucial for small manufacturers to survive in the future.
How are you currently scheduling production? Will that strategy still work if your orders increase in the future? Think about getting help by implementing smart workshop software that can handle inventory, production, and planning for you.
3. Don’t Be Afraid!
It is a big deal to turn a small, local business into an online shop that sells to a new audience on the internet.
Of course, it takes courage to take the first step but soon after publishing your store you will see that hard work pays off and your sales and revenue will grow, undoubtedly.