E-commerce is a tremendously fast growing sector of the retail industry, making it impossible for traditional retail stores to ignore the inevitable: the need for an online presence. No matter the size of your retail business, integrating into the world of e-commerce places your business at the fingertips of millions of new customers, allows you to make sales every minute of the day and gives you visibility even the best retail locations in the world can’t offer.

That’s why it’s time to take your physical retail store online so let’s get you prepared!

Prepare product descriptions and photographs

The first step to take your physical store online is bringing your products to life with powerful product descriptions and attractive product photos. Depending on your inventory size, this could take some time but find comfort in knowing that getting it right the first time will save you the painful regret of having to do it all over again. Start by understanding that your product descriptions and photos are a marketing tool to increase your sales and traffic. Check out these two super helpful blog posts to guide you during the process:

- How to Write Product Descriptions that Increase Sales and Boost SEO
- Improve Product Photos for your Online Store: The 5 Mistakes You Don’t Want to Commit

Synchronize your physical and online stock

When you create your online store, it’s very important to make sure that everything is synchronized between your online and offline shop. To ensure this harmony, PrestaShop allows you to sync your inventory and see the full picture of your physical and online business.

The management of your customer data should also be taken into account: establish a connection between your store and website sales. I recommend using a CRM and ERP application to unify your customer data into one space.

Order Management

Shortage of inventory is a situation no merchant wants to run into. By offering both an online and physical store, you’ll improve the shopping experience for your customers – if an item is unavailable in-store then the customer can order online and vice versa!

Give your customers the option for in-store pick up. This is very popular for local customers since it saves them the costs of shipping and will help you reduce your abandoned carts! Also, don’t forget to pay special attention to the packaging of your orders. Customers notice the small details so invest in attractive packaging that represents your brand the best way possible. Also, research the best shipping carrier to work with based on their pricing and where you’ll be shipping to geographically. Want to be organized? Take a look at this blog post to help you professionally manage logistics for your online shop.

Start Driving Traffic with an Effective Marketing Strategy

One of the big differences between your physical and online store is the lack of foot/drive-by traffic which doesn’t really exist online. This is why it’s important to implement effective marketing strategies to attract customers to your e-commerce site. Here are some ideas!

- Promote it within your physical store to drive customers you have already built a relationship with to shop more often without having to leave their home
- Encourage customers to shop online by offering them exclusive items and/or sales for online shoppers only
- Communicate with your current e-mail subscribers – read more about this on my blog post on how to use newsletters to increase traffic to your online store
- And last but not least – check out this must-read blog post on the 5 ultimate ways to drive new traffic to your online store

The retail world is quickly evolving towards a digital age – keep up with your modern customers and get on the web! Start an online store for free today and find out why over 150,000 online stores prefer PrestaShop. Try out the Demo or Download PrestaShop to get started!

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