We’re seven weeks into New York’s PAUSE order due to the Covid-19 pandemic. All non-essential businesses are closed and there is no clear indication as to when things will open again. Small business owners are trying to figure out how to earn an income without putting themselves, their workers and their customers at risk. One option: selling online.
If you’ve been considering selling online, now may be the best time to get started. We have all made changes to our shopping behaviors. We’re changing what, when and how we’re making our purchases. This change will not end anytime soon and will likely have a profound impact on holiday sales. Your ability to adapt now can make a big difference to the success of your business for years to come.
While the big online retailers are seeing unprecedented sales, we also know that loyal local customers want to support their favorite shops and restaurants. They know that this current situation will not last forever and they are willing to go out of their way to be supportive.
However, you want to be sure to step into this new territory of online sales carefully and thoughtfully. A bad experience could mean losing customers. An experienced web developer can help held you find your way and avoid common pitfalls.
Getting started selling online
There are many things to consider when setting up an online store:
1. Which products to sell
2. Packing, shipping and receiving
3. Inventory management
4. Credit card processing
5. Sales tax
6. Return policy
It’s important to have a thorough understanding of your options for each. Again, working with an experienced web developer will help you find the right options for your unique situation.
One of the trickiest parts of selling online is getting found. Sometimes the most prudent option is to use an already powerful platform such as Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Craig’s List or Ruby Lane. These companies spend millions of dollars getting people to visit their website.
However, if you would rather have your own online store, you will need to promote it in some way. Social media is a great way to reach people who already know and love you. Email marketing is another powerful tool. Digital advertising such as Google AdWords can also be effective.
More information about selling online
Over the years we’ve written a number of articles addressing questions about selling online. Below is a list of our most relevant posts.
- Skills Needed to Run An Online Store
- Is An Online Store the Right Option For Your Business?
- Is Running an Ecommerce Business for You?
- Eleven Tips To Boost Online Sales
- E-commerce Checklist for Business Owners
*Please note, these were all written before the Covid-19 crisis, so some points may not be applicable in the current situation.