Constantly we hear about the “death of brick-and mortar stores” in the news. As sad as it sounds, there’s a reason why more and more businesses are moving online every day. Selling online reduces overhead costs, expands your customer base, and makes managing transactions easier than ever.
So why wait? This article will cover the basics to start selling online in 2022.
Before You Start
Firstly, you’ll need to evaluate what changes will be needed to move or expand your business online. Some questions to ask yourself are:
· Is my product easy to ship?
· Do I have enough inventory to handle large increases in volume?
· What overhead costs will I save by moving online?
You’ll often hear about new online businesses being unable to fulfill orders from clients because of the increased volume from moving online. It’s important that your business can meet this demand so that you can keep growing and maximizing revenues. Therefore, you should carefully consider the infrastructure needed for your business to meet this increase in demand before fully committing to an online store.
It’s also important to note that e-commerce is not for everyone. For example, businesses that sell food will face massive headaches with a transition to online. Shipping food goods requires intense logistical planning and investment in materials for shipping. Therefore, don’t feel like you’re missing out on the e-commerce wave if upon evaluating your company, you feel a move online wouldn’t be beneficial.
Make an Online Store
Great! You’ve decided you’re ready to move your business online. The first thing you’ll need to do is make an online store.
Building your online store may seem difficult, but there are a variety of tools to help you get started quickly. For starting out, we recommend using Jemi. Jemi gives you great templates to get your business’ website up and running quickly. The best part about Jemi is they offer free e-commerce integration into their sites, so everything you’ll need for selling is ready to go right out of the box.
To start, go to jemi.so and create a free account. From there, follow the onboarding steps to create a website for your online store. Make sure to pick a style that resonates with you the most and is a good reflection of your business brand. It’s also important to pick a domain name that is simple and represents your business well. After you’ve gone through the initial setup, feel free to start adding images and text using the website builder to make your online store feel like a store.
Once you have your online site set up, navigate to the Commerce tab on the left of the website builder (as shown on above). Here you can add your product(s), manage community memberships, and track your orders, earnings, and payouts. Jemi will intuitively guide you through the setup process for each of the five sections.
Get the Word Out
Now that your online store is up and running, you should consider investing in some form of marketing or advertising.
One of the downsides of selling in the online space is the increased competition from other online sellers. Therefore, running ads for your business will be crucial for bringing traffic into your site. Here are three effective ways to advertise your business:
- Facebook Ads: Meta for Business (formerly Facebook Ads) is a great place to start for promoting your online business. It’s easy to set up and offer powerful insights into who is viewing and buying your product. You’ll need to create a Facebook account for your business to take full advantage of this service. As for pricing, Meta for Business utilizes an ad auction system. This means you can budget a set amount for ads, and Meta will use the budget to find ads that fit your price range. This pricing model is useful for those on smaller advertising budgets, as it offers greater flexibility pricewise.
- Google Ads: Another great option for promoting your business is through Google Ads. Google runs a more traditional pricing system compared to Meta for Business. Typically, you can expect to spend around $9,000 - $10,000 a month for an effective ad campaign, which comes out to about $1 per click on your ad.
- Social Media: The final method to promote your business online is through social media. This method is more time intensive than the other two but can save you some serious money. You can leverage apps such as Instagram and TikTok to make videos about you, your product, and/or your company to help grow your customer base. This form of marketing requires a bit of creativity and time-commitment but is worth a shot if you’re on a tight budget. Here’s an example from Jemi!
Take a Look at the Data
Congratulations! Your store is fully operational and is now chugging along. The last step to ensure your online business stays busy is to invest in data analytics.
At this point, data is the most valuable asset to your online store. Understanding how, why, and where your customers interact with your product is essential for growing and staying ahead of the competition. Data analytics will allow you to allocate your resources more efficiently, such as increasing inventory leading into a high-volume season, decreasing shipping times to certain regions, and dropping unprofitable products.
The Jemi Pro Plan offers analytic integrations through Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel. These are the two industry leaders in driving business insights, so it’s highly recommended you use these for your online store. If you used Meta for Business or Google Ads to market your online store, Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel will be able to synergize well with their respective service.
Even better, both Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel are completely free! You won’t need to pay an extra subscription if you choose to use them on Jemi. Keep in mind that part of the price for the Jemi Pro Plan is for connecting these services to your online store. Adding these analytics services is a complex and difficult process otherwise.
With these tips, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle the challenge of entering the e-commerce market. Remember that even when taking all the steps necessary to succeed, nothing is guaranteed. This is especially true with the online space, as it has the most competition for any business. Despite this, always stay perseverant and hopeful for growing your business. With the right patience and mindset, selling online can take your business to the next level.
Get started today for free with Jemi.
Best of luck!