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How to Build an Online Component for Your B&M Retail Outfit

August 5, 2016

In today’s digital marketplace, brick-and-mortar (B&M) retail stores face fierce competition from e-commerce outlets. However, this presents definite opportunities. If you own a B&M store, don’t be scared of competition; let it work for you. Use the strengths of B&M retail to create your own e-commerce outfit and help it grow.

Tips for Starting an Online Store

Don’t Procrastinate

Most business owners think an online store must be perfect to succeed, so they try to get all the details in place before starting the process of creating it. It’s natural to want your store to be the best it can be, but perfection isn’t a realistic goal. Furthermore, the more you procrastinate, the harder it will be to start. Begin right away and deal with details as they arise. If you make a mistake, don’t beat yourself up. Mistakes are fixable.

Choose an E-commerce Builder That Grows With You

When choosing an e-commerce service, look for a flexible, low-cost builder. Additionally, find a builder that allows you to add tools to your online store as you go. You’ll want to start with the bare minimum for your e-commerce outfit, but add to it as your business gains more attention and momentum. If one builder doesn’t work for you, make sure you have the confidence and financial cushion to walk away and find another.

Decide Which Products to Sell Online

Some products do better online than others, so decide now which will be sold online and which you’ll sell at the B&M store. To do this, evaluate which products are selling the best right now and which could benefit from an online sales boost. Retail analytics can help you answer this question. Customer feedback can help too, so stay engaged face-to-face and through email and other media.

Research the Competition

Again, competitors can be adversaries—but they’re often your friends. By researching competitors, you learn what they do that works and how you can improve on their weaknesses. For example, if you’re an online bookseller, don’t let Amazon intimidate you. Instead, ask yourself what inventory Amazon offers that you don’t and how to bring it to your store.

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