Move your offline store online in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, situations in the last few weeks have been predictably grim for countries across the world. India is no different. Multiple sectors have started to suffer and are experiencing the struggle to conduct business. Retail sector is one such area to have been badly hit.

With the pandemic making it difficult to move products on the offline market, our priority is helping independent retailers making a move from offline-to-online where they can function seamlessly. It is to keep things ticking and helping as many as possible.

It doesn’t take a lot of time and money setting up a simple Shopify store these days to sell what you have in your physical store. Thanks to the comprehensive Shopify services available. Right now might just be the ideal time to take your inventory online and see how you can pivot with the times to deal with and create the best possible outcome of an unpleasant situation.

There are a few starting points you need to pay attention to. In this article, we will discuss some of the best ways to create an online store and make a shift from your brick and mortar store to online selling. We'll also include additional resources that can help to get your products out of the virtual door and help you every step of the way.


1. Start a Shopify 90-day free trial


Shopify is offering a 90 day extended free trial to the merchants for more time to set up and design your store using ready-to-use store themes. Choose the domain name and browse to find the theme that best suits your brand.


2. Have your standard pages ready


Before you launch your store, ensure to prepare your essential pages. Have some static pages for your visitors to click through and read once your Shopify store is launched.

At the very least have a homepage, contact, about, shipping (return and exchange policy) and frequently asked questions page at launch.


3. Add Products to your store


Add products to your store and write product descriptions that sell and add good looking product photography. If you have a large catalog then adding your products may take some time. If you want to quickly get started you may opt for our data migration services.


4. Set up digital gift cards


Gift cards can help you attract more customers to your Shopify website. Buyers can buy and choose to have the gift card emailed to them instantly and can redeem it in their future purchase. By default the gift cards you create do not have any expiry and can be redeemed at checkout.


5. Set up shipping


Keep the shipping cost low and reasonable. An unexpectedly high shipping cost may result in shopping cart abandonment.

Set up a pick up facility for local customers.

It is better to choose manual shipping to send shipping notifications to the customers, generate print labels and shipment tracking number.


6. Set up payments


Set up payments on your Shopify website for accepting online payments. You can find multiple choice in payment service providers out there. All leading payment service providers are available on Shopify. Choose the payment methods you want to offer online. There are many differences between the various online payment systems in regards to fees and rules. Based on these criterias you can decide which one is right for you and meets your needs.


7. Communicate to your customers that you’re open for business


You need to promote your online store as there is no guaranteed foot traffic when you open an online business. Here are some of the effective ways you can adopt to let the customers know where you are:

  • Send out an email to your customers about the recent changes and tell them how they can purchase online using gift cards.
  • Notify your local foot traffic about your new online store by adding signage to your storefront.
  • Branch out with social media. You can tweet or share a status update on Facebook with a link to your new store URL.
  • Add or update your retail business for Google local listings. You can also list special promotions or discounts running at your store to boost your online traffic.
  • Market online using targeted ads, such as facebook ads. Advertise your business to targeted people on social media and search engines.

As the uncertainty prevails COVID-19 continues to give rise to digital shopping. The survey conducted by Capgemini Research Institute noted, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the retail industry to review its operating model.

According to its report “46% of urban Indians will shop at physical retail stores compared to 59% of Indian consumers who shopped at physical retail stores before the pandemic”. (Ref:https://www.livemint.com/news/india/post-coronavirus-urban-indian-shoppers-may-pivot-to-online-shopping-survey-11587735727994.html)

Urban Indian consumers will reduce their shopping at physical stores and will prefer shopping online post COVID-19 pandemic.

How can StorePlace help?

We are a trusted partner to make a transition to online retail business. If you are looking for Shopify experts for specialized work we can certainly help. Regardless of your need, we’re here to help you remain optimistic about COVID-19 recovery through our services.

For our services and help, please contact us at <STOREPLACE.COM>.

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