Internet sales are necessary for any SME. We have gone from having a more or less professional corporate website, with contact details, some information about the activity and services, etc. to being absolutely necessary an online shop for the exhibition and sale of the products we have.
This is not a whim, but a tool that allows a user to see a catalogue with prices of everything we have for sale, so without having to be physically in the shop to be able to compare what we sell.
The tool we must use is simplicity. If we want to advance in the world of online sales.
We all see around us blinds that have not been raised in the neighborhood, even some establishments of some success have had to cease their activity definitively because of the Covid-19. An economic standstill like the one we have experienced has slowed down many businesses completely for weeks, and this is something that cannot be faced by those who do not have financial muscle.
We have commented that it is a time crisis, that is to say, we must gain time to wait for business to pick up and return to green numbers, but it is also a crisis of adaptation to prepare for new ways of selling.
Those who had an online shop have been able to continue their activity, and some have even made a killing thanks to this channel, but a good part of the SMEs and the self-employed did not even have this option.
The onmicanality of sales is soaring. Online sales complement offline sales or the opposite. Shops are looking for all the ways to sell and improve the experience of the user who thus becomes a prescriber.
With the current uncertainty and what may come in the future, many have realized that they need that digital presence that allows them to expand their possibilities and remain active if everything stops again. It doesn’t matter if you’re a neighbourhood haberdashery, a guitar teacher or a butcher’s shop: in these times, if you’re not online, you don’t exist.
Price, nowadays, is not the main obstacle, although if we do not have a minimum knowledge of the digital environment we will not be familiar with terms and budgets.
Nowadays there are many packaged options that work on the basis of templates which, as well as being economical, can be a quick and easy method even for the uninitiated.
But there is much more that we should consider if we have made the decision to launch an online shop. Here are some tips that can be key to success when selling online:
Mastery. Having a website with your own domain name is a step that shows that we are serious about our digital business and will help us to generate trust among our visitors. It is possible that the name of our shop or service already exists as a registered domain, so first we will have to check it and, if so, we will have to register it,
look for other viable options that fit the company.
Branding. The name of our shop and our image -logo, corporate colours, style…-, are much more important now that we are competing in this new channel. It must be our usual brand, so that customers can always find us, but attractive so that digital passers-by can find us.
Images. Images are one of the aspects that must be taken care of the most in digital environments, and not just any photo taken with a mobile phone, but they must be quality images.
Texts. Explaining well what our product consists of, its characteristics and technical specifications is key for the sale.
Privacy and data protection. In the EU it is necessary to comply with the privacy and data protection regulations of the General Data Protection Regulation.
Logistics: if we are going to sell online we must be able to distribute our products efficiently, either in collaboration with a transport company, or by linking up to a platform with home delivery service or on our own. Delivery times must be consistent with the product and at the same time flexible, in order to adapt to consumer demands and guarantee optimum conditions.
Remember that when selling on the Internet our buyer may be far away, and we must be prepared to manage this opportunity well if it arises.
The time is now. Tomorrow there may be other situations like the one we experienced, or perhaps they will never be repeated, but the experience of these months has given a great boost to e-commerce and we cannot look the other way. On the Internet we can sell anything from a pencil sharpener to a washing machine, the important thing is to offer a premium service with every purchase.