Having your business online used to be a nice thing to have. In a matter of weeks, due to physical distancing measures, all the rules of business have changed. Having an eCommerce solution has suddenly become a must-have. As quarantine measures are in place, many businesses of all industries and sizes are struggling to adapt.
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Some businesses are expecting that everything will go back to normal. However, as we have already discussed in our future retail scenario analysis, that is highly unlikely. Companies need to have an online retail solution for these chaotic times we are living.
At Koombea we believe that Shopify offers the best solution to help businesses large and small adapt to the new normal. This post discusses the basics you need to know about Shopify in order to successfully set up your eCommerce retail site for your online business and get the best out of it. The digital transformation of your business does not have to be a burden.
Setting Up Shopify
The first thing you need to do is set up Shopify for your business. Shopify is one of the leading eCommerce platforms. It helps you to easily configure your preferences so that you can run and grow your digital business. It allows you to sell products (physical and digital) as well as services.
Shopify requires you to create an account, install the platform on your site, and configure certain parameters like deliveries and payment methods. Setting up these elements should not be difficult. Nonetheless, if this is something you are having trouble with, we recommend you check out Shopify’s blog; it has important tips to make the most out of your online business. Another important source of information is Shopify’s Youtube channel.
In order to use Shopify, you will have to pay for a plan after your free trial expires. The platform offers different alternatives depending on the needs of your business.
If you definitely feel like you cannot set up your business on your own, we highly recommend you contact an experienced development partner like Koombea.
Setting Up Your Products
It is important to set up your product pages so that users know the details about what you sell. This sounds complicated, but luckily it is very easy. One of the best things you can do is take pictures of your products so that they look very professional. This can even be done with a good mobile phone camera. How the product looks on your site can make all the difference for your customers at the moment of deciding to buy.
Configure Payment Methods
In order to sell your products you will need to choose your preferred payment gateway method. Shopify offers various alternatives, including their own, for different regions across the globe. If you choose a third party payment method we recommend you check out the fine print, as some of these services may charge you an additional fee.
Thanks to Shopify Fraud Protect you need not worry about fraudulent credit card chargebacks. Your sales will be protected, so even if you get a fraudulent chargeback, Shopify will reimburse you. The platform will notify you which items in a customer’s order are protected and which aren’t.
Delivering a great experience to your customers is always a good idea. The easier customers can find what they need and complete their transactions, the better it is for your business. Your goal is to create a win-win situation. The success of this depends on how you customize your website. You may want to customize your theme, product pages, and your shopping cart. Shopify allows you to use different templates and to add different apps and add-ons to improve the buyer’s experience. Some might be more expensive than others.
If you want to make major changes and customizations to your site you can do them on your own. However, this might require some coding knowledge. Depending on what you need, hiring a retail development partner like Koombea might be the best option.
Manage Your Orders and Pickups
Once you’ve got everything set up and running smoothly, it is time to sell! Shopify allows you to manage your orders easily. You can manage each customer’s orders and keep track of your inventory. Customers will receive a notification once you have approved their order. This will become your new day to day of your online business, so make sure you understand how to do it.
A great option that simplifies the delivery process while making it safe is to offer customers the curbside pickup option. In this delivery method, the customer safely picks up his purchase inside his car while you place it on his trunk. This allows customers to claim their purchase without having any physical contact exchange.
Brand Your Online Business
You are gonna want people to know that you have an online presence. It is important that you use different channels to get your message through. A good thing is that the regular Shopify version has extended its free trial up to 90 days so that businesses have time to consolidate their online presence.
If you don’t have social media accounts for your business you should consider opening them. Social media lets your business gain visibility and allows you to inform your customers about products and services, promos, or other important information.
Other alternatives to brand your new platform are promotional emails. You may want to send them to your existing and new customers, so make sure you have a complete and updated database with their information.
Customer Service and Loyalty Programs
Just because you now have an online store does not mean you can forget about customer service. The rules of the game change, but the principles remain the same. Be sure to deliver your customers the best possible service, that way you can maintain them. Things like sharing clear information on products, delivery, and refunds will still be important for your business. Make sure to have an email address or a phone number where they can contact you.
Loyalty programs are another way to help your customers while maintaining them. Shopify offers various loyalty apps that can easily be integrated into your site.
Don’t forget you are selling through Shopify, not on Shopify. The success of your business depends on you.
Gift Cards and Promotions
Many companies are experiencing a reduced cash flow due to the sudden change in business conditions. A good way to leverage your business’s immediate finances in this crucial moment is to sell gift cards; luckily, Shopify allows you to do so. This strategy will help you increase your available cash without having to immediately restock a sale. It is also a good way of connecting customers who might be short of cash with those who wish to help. Helping customers in every possible way should be one of your priorities.
Don’t forget to share this option or other promotions with your customers. Otherwise, they might not even know they exist.