Forced self-isolation in 2020 brought almost all shoppers online. The closed cafés and shops forced the business to go online, so as not to lose their customers and save income. According to statistics, 3 months of self-isolation brought a lot of people to online stores, and most of them will continue their online purchases after all restrictions have been lifted.
Even the most ardent opponents of online shopping have come online and learned how to use online shopping. The greatest demand was for everyday goods and household appliances.
In this article, you will learn how to transfer your business online and how to main
How business shifted to online sales
Online stores are adapting to the new reality, coming up with more and more new hacks to retain customers. Some 5-7 years ago, no one could have thought that supermarket sellers would collect purchases for you from a list, and now all major retailers provide this service.
In addition to grocery retailers, there are companies that can deliver not only products from a particular store, but cover several outlets at once according to your order. And that’s not to mention all the local deliveries from specific restaurants.
Services for the sale of clothes and shoes have introduced the possibility of trying on without leaving your home, earlier these functions were available from some sellers, but for an additional fee. Contactless delivery methods have become the norm for all couriers and postal services.
Businesses have also begun to expand their target audience. If earlier the focus was only on young people and adolescents, then during the pandemic, companies reconsidered the possibilities of selling to other target audiences, and many organisations note that every fifth purchase during the pandemic was made by customers whom they had not previously counted on.
Is it possible to count on the continuation of the trend
The main drivers of market growth were the growth of online sales and the influx of new customers. The effect of the pandemic, according to analysts, will continue until 2024.
Many employees do not plan to return to the office and are not ready for the conditions in which they worked before the COVID-19 pandemic: someone appreciated the delights of remote work, someone does not want to find themselves in crowded places. One way or another, the world will no longer be the same, and business must reckon with these new realities.
How to transfer your business online: step-by-step instructions
If you are still thinking about how to move your business online, we are offering you an algorithm with which you will definitely not miss something important:
1. Make a website
Create a site through which you plan to conduct sales. It can be one or several sites: your own website with a product catalogue, the Facebook group or an Instagram page, you can register on a marketplace such as Amazon. Only registered legal entities can work with most of the sites.
2. Connect the payment service
Buyers can pay in two classical ways: in cash and non-cash. In cash, as a rule, payment takes place upon receipt of the goods at the point of issue or purchase from a courier. Cashless payments take place directly on the website.
Cashless payments can be made in several ways:
In order to connect the possibility of non-cash payment on your site, you need to conclude an agreement with an acquiring company. Some work only with individual entrepreneurs, others – with ordinary citizens. Rules and rates are constantly changing. To find out exactly, go to the website of the payment system and see the conditions.
Note that in 9 out of 10 cases, in order to accept payments from individuals on the site, you will need an online checkout.
3. Online cash register
You can connect an online cash register using a cloud service, without even purchasing a cash register. You can also use some cloud-based cash registers that is serving online stores of various types. It can provide integration with popular CMS systems and payment services, payment security and queue distribution of transaction flows. Convenient management through your personal account, as well as assistance with the registration with the Federal Tax Service.
4. You will need equipment and good quality software
No online business can function without good modern technology and quality software, which will do most of your work. For example, no insurance company can survive online without quality insurance distribution software. Make sure your employees work with quality equipment and have everything they need. If the business functions well from the inside, it will be able to progress and improve.
4. Arrange delivery
If you have organised a place for selling your goods on the marketplace, then, for an additional fee, the platform itself can provide you with opportunities for the delivery of goods (couriers, self-pickup, delivery to points of issue or to checkpoints).
If you decide to organise self-sales, then take care of the logistics and delivery processes of goods to buyers. Such a process can be organised:
-Using a transport company, then you will need a contract with transport workers and a prescribed procedure for the delivery of parcels;
-Self-pickup – consumers can pick up orders on their own, although this delivery method is the most uncommon in online stores;
-By courier, then you need to hire a courier to the state or on the terms of a work contract. It is worth noting that the courier can also accept cash payments immediately from consumers for the goods delivered, for this he will need an online checkout so that he can immediately issue a check to the buyer after receiving the money.
-Through checkpoints. Couriers can deliver goods, not to the buyer’s door, but leave them in the parcel terminals, such delivery is now gaining popularity among online retailers.
-Your own transport. Some small organisations at the beginning of their activities independently deliver orders: take, for example, confectioners or balloon sellers.
The COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed the trading world and provided businesses with many additional opportunities, despite the complexity of the situation. Enterprises received new consumers, new sales opportunities and new working conditions. If you are still thinking about going online, then it’s time to act.