If you’re running a commercial business currently, then you might not think that technology applies to you in the same way that it perhaps does for an office-based business. What use would you possibly have for super-computers or new-fangled office software?
Actually though, there are many ways that commercial businesses with physical locations can make great use of new technologies, and embracing these opportunities might just be the key to your ultimate success. Whether you decide to start using an iPad for your Point of Sale System, whether you opt to add a self-service kiosk to improve your turnover, or whether you decide to provide support for NFC payments on mobile phones.
Either way, at the very least you should have a website in order to promote your business – and better yet you should set that site up to take online orders so that you can reach a wider customer-base and sell more products with lower overheads. Here we will look at how to add an online aspect to your highstreet store and start earning a lot more money.
Creating Your Site
When creating your website you have two options. The first is to create the site yourself, in which case the easiest method is probably to use WordPress. WordPress is completely free and can be installed onto your server providing you with a ‘content management system’ or backend from which you can alter your layout and create new pages. Your other option is to outsource the process which will give you less creative control and cost more, but at the same time be much quicker and possibly result in a more professional final product.
Adding the Shop
Next you should add the online store to your website, for which there are once again a number of different options. If you only want to sell a few items, then you can do so using PayPal to create a simple shopping cart with a checkout option. Otherwise you can use other free options, including a number of WordPress plugins, or you can again outsource the process.
Either way, you want to be able to securely take transactions and then receive a notification of those transactions so that you can deliver your product.
With an online store you’ll be able to serve more customers, but of course that only works if more people know about your online shop. To start with then, make sure that you promote your new website to all your existing customers who will likely enjoy the ability to buy products from the comfort of their home. Hand out fliers, include your website on your bags, and promote the new site in any advertising.
To bring new customers to your site however you can use SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) to make your store discoverable from Google (make sure to target local keywords in particular), as well as PPC which is a form of advertising that you only pay for when someone clicks on it to visit your site.
Now just make sure you’re ready for all that new custom!