How a Brick-and-Mortar Store Can Sell Online

How a Brick-and-Mortar Store Can Sell Online

There are three major phases of setting your brick-and-mortar store for online success.

  1. Building a foundation before launching your online store
  2. Setting up your online store and optimizing it
  3. Marketing

Building a foundation Before Launching Your Online Store

1. Understanding Your Main Customers

Before launching you your brick-and-mortar store online, you must create a proper strategy. And the first step is to understand –

  • Who are your main customers?
  • How can you attract them to your site?

Your primary customers will be the same people who have already been buying from your brick-and-mortar store. 

Your offline and online stores must work in sync to appeal to the same user base.

2. Selecting Domain Name for Your eCommerce Store

Your customers must find you online, and you need a domain name for that. You have two options for a domain name – 

  1. Using your existing brand name
  2. Go for an SEO-focused domain.

Using your current brand name will make it easier for your existing customers to find you online. 

Choosing an SEO-focused domain name has its pros and cons.

Cons – 

  • Can’t leverage your established brand
  • Have to create brand awareness from scratch

Pros – 

  • Capture new customers with a marketplace optimized for search traffic and rankings

3. Choose Your First Online Products

Initially, you must choose products that appeal to a larger customer base. You can pick out your top 50-100 products that are –

  • Best-sellers in your brick-and-mortar store
  • Sold frequently (2-3 requests or reorders a month)

4. Upload High-Quality Product Images

Choose high-quality original product images instead of stock photos to get an SEO boost.

Invest in a good camera and use tools like Photoshop to create attention-grabbing images.

5. Customized Titles and Descriptions for Product Pages

The next step is to add product page titles and meta descriptions. Writing lengthy product descriptions for hundreds of products is not feasible when you start. You can do the following instead – 

  • Gather all your product data in an Excel spreadsheet.
  • Use product names as Titles.
  • For descriptions, use this template – {product} is a type of {category} used by {target audience} in/for {use case}.

6. Finalize the Payment Methods 

Ensure that the POS system you pick must be – 

  • Easy to integrate into your online store. 
  • Usable by a broader set of users

It will be better if you can also access data like sales metrics, cart abandonment ratio, etc.

7. Finalizing the Cost of Shipping and Taxes

If you don’t want abandoned carts, you must determine your shipping costs right in the beginning. According to research, shoppers tend to cancel their purchase if shipping charges are too high or shipping isn’t free. 

You can try the following methods to reduce abandoned carts – 

  • Highlight shipping costs and other fees (taxes and processing fees) on the product page.
  • Offer free/discounted shipping over a certain spending amount 
  • Offer BOPIS options to your local customers
  • Highlight free/discounted shipping in your metadata

Ensure your eCommerce store has been tax compliant since day one to avoid trouble later. 

8. Ensure Customer Data Security

The last thing you need is a data breach on your online store. Protect your customers’ data by adding an SSL certificate to your online store.

9. A Perfect Shipping and Refund Policy

Your shipping and refund policies can make or break the trust of your online store. 80% of customers do not remain loyal to a brand after a bad return experience.

Therefore, create a shipping and refund policies page. And always add a link to shipping and refund-related FAQs in your emails. 

Develop and Optimize Your eCommerce Store

1. Mobile-Responsive Design

Your online store must look professional. Also, you need to make the design mobile-responsive. 

  • Mobile phones generated 63% of total digital sales in 2022.
  • A mobile-responsive eCommerce site is essential for search engine rankings. 

2. Keyword-Rich Product Descriptions

Write product descriptions and implement relevant keywords to start getting organic traffic. Provide all the essential product-related information.

  • Use attention-grabbing headlines
  • Use bullet lists for specifications and crucial details

3. Good UX for Good Conversions

Make the shopping experience convenient for your customers with a simple design and prompt customer service.

  • Minimum number of clicks during checkout
  • Various payment methods 
  • Arrange your SKUs into categories with relevant subcategories
  • Ensure consumer safety with SSL certificates and secure checkout

4. SEO-Optimized Content For Organic Traffic

Google search contributes to 43% of the total traffic on an eCommerce site. Work on SEO-optimized content to attract visitors – 

  • Add short keyword-rich descriptions on category pages. Keep the products above the fold.
  • Add SEO-optimized content to your brand pages but keep the products above the fold.
  • Find what your ideal customers search for on Google and create FAQ page/pages for those queries.
  • Create a blog around the common pain points of your audience and optimize it.

5. Google Search Console for Growth

GSC gives you the data about how many impressions and clicks you get for various keywords users search on Google. 

You can compile a new keyword list from the queries you found on Search Console if You are getting good impressions for those queries.

Implement these keywords in your product descriptions, metadata, URLs, and image alt texts.

Marketing Your Online Store

1. Create An Outbound Marketing Strategy

You need to create brand awareness and engage with your customers constantly. So make an outbound strategy that focuses on both. To start with, invest in tools rather than hiring an agency.

2. Focus on CRO

Getting traffic is the first step. Converting that traffic into customers is the second and more important part.

  • Make your site load speed faster to reduce bounce rate.
  • Survey your customers occasionally to know what they prefer and what not
  • Analyze analytics to optimize your organic and paid campaigns for better results 

3. Merge Online and Offline Marketing 

Your successful brick-and-mortar store can help you get the online boost too. Use all your offline and online data to create a smooth omnichannel customer experience.