Tips for opening an online store as a small or midsize business
January 09, 2014
Businesses of all sizes can benefit from investing in technology that makes it easier to accept credit card payments online. As more shoppers become interested in purchasing products from the convenience of their own homes, the potential for e-commerce has expanded in such a way that small and midsize brands now have more opportunities to increase revenue channels than ever before.
The online shopping software company Bigcommerce recently published an infographic about the impact Internet retail can have on traditional brick-and-mortar establishments. In fact, the company said smaller businesses are much more flexible than larger corporations when it comes to adapting to changing consumer behaviors. Rather than letting the growth of the e-commerce industry damage in-store sales, these firms can invest in new payment processing technology that enables managers to operate online stores with relative ease.
"The dirty little secret is this first wave of e-commerce has been dominated by a handful of giants - and, up until now, they've crowded out many of the independent merchants," Steve Case, a former AOL executive, told Venture Beat. "The dynamic to date has been the big have gotten bigger while most others have been marginalized. The giants will continue to grow and be successful, but a big trend over the next decade will be the emergence of a network of independent merchants."
Stores can successfully launch online stores by considering the following tips:
Use technology to streamline back office management
Integrated payment systems are a valuable supplement to any multichannel retail initiative. Businesses that suddenly find themselves responsible for keeping track of a wider variety of transactions may experience an initial learning curve in the early days of the switch. However, advanced technology can connect these seemingly separate revenue streams in a user-friendly interface that eliminates any potential complications.
Boost marketing to increase multichannel sales
Any company can get an online shopping portal, but experiencing true success with e-commerce requires the ability to spread the word to potential customers. Store owners must be sure to keep track of consumer behaviors to develop marketing initiatives that speak to individual needs. Accepting credit cards online has the potential to attract shoppers who are interested in specific products but lack the ability to visit a brick-and-mortar establishment. Businesses must be sure to communicate the existence of their e-commerce branches to a wide audience.