We live in a digital age, where online presence is an essential component of business to remain competitive and reach a wider audience. However, simply having an eCommerce website is not enough to succeed in today’s current competitive marketplace, making it imperative for business owners to continuously grow their eCommerce platforms in a bid to adapt, stay relevant and meet customer expectations. Fortunately, there are a number of strategies and tools such as retail payroll available for businesses to take advantage of when building an online empire, more of which we will touch on below.
If you’re in the retail industry and looking to take your enterprise to new heights, here are some tips on how to start an online retail business:
How To Start An Online Retail Business
- Choose the right eCommerce platform
- Invest In Social Media Shopping
- Look Towards Automation
- Set Up Pop-Up Shops
- Streamline Your Checkout Process
- Use Data Mining To Learn About Your Customer Preferences
1. Choose The Right eCommerce Platform
It is no secret that the eCommerce platform is the backbone of any business that operates both physically and online. However, it is important to note that not every eCommerce platform is made the same, with varying platforms offering different levels of functionality. With this in mind, it is important to choose a platform that meets the specific needs of the business, including features such as payment processing, inventory management, and shipping options.
Additionally, your chosen platform should be easy to navigate and provide a seamless shopping experience for customers. Your chosen platform should be customisable to the specific needs and branding of your business, including the ability to tweak the design and layout of the website, as well as add or remove features as needed. In terms of scalability, as a business grows, so do its eCommerce needs. It is important to choose a platform that can grow and scale with the business, accommodating increased traffic and sales volume without compromising the user experience.
If your current eCommerce platform is holding your business back or is no longer meeting your needs, it may be time to consider switching to a new platform. By carefully evaluating your current platform and its limitations, you can make an informed decision about whether or not to switch, understand how to start an online retail business, and choose a platform that better aligns with your business goals and objectives.
2. Invest In Social Media Shopping
As you know, social media is an excellent tool for promoting your retail business online. The term ‘social media shopping’ refers to the entire buying process occurring on a social networking platform – and recent consumer buyer trends show it’s becoming an increasingly vital strategy for retail businesses in Australia and worldwide.
Social media shopping allows businesses to showcase their products or services directly to their followers on social media, making it easier for customers to discover and purchase products without having to navigate to a separate eCommerce website. If your business has yet to dip its toes into the world of social media and social media shopping, now may be the perfect time to start. Create accounts on popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and use them to showcase your products, engage with customers, and run promotions.
With that said, however, it’s important to choose the platforms that best align with your business goals and target audience. For example, if your main customer base favours teens or young professionals, platforms like Instagram or TikTok may be more effective, while LinkedIn may be more appropriate for retail businesses with an older demographic.
3. Look Towards Automation
Automation is an effective way to expand your retail business online, as it allows you to streamline processes, save time, and focus on growth opportunities. Here are some ways to use automation to expand your retail business online:
Retail Payroll: Managing payroll can take up a significant amount of time and resources, particularly as a business expands. Retail payroll can help to streamline and automate payroll processes, freeing up time and resources for other aspects of the business. Australian owned and operated, i3 Group’s enterprise payroll services allow your business to maximise your efficiency through improved processes.
Automated Accounting: Automated accounting software can save you valuable time that can be spent on other areas of your business. With automated accounting, you can reduce the time spent on manual data entry, reconciling accounts, and generating reports. Moreover, manual accounting processes can be prone to errors, which can lead to costly mistakes. Automated accounting can help reduce errors and improve accuracy, ensuring that your financial records are up-to-date and reliable.
Automated Social Media Posts: Social media is a crucial channel for expanding your retail business online, but it can be time-consuming to create and post content regularly. By using a social media automation tool like Sprout or Hootsuite, you can schedule posts in advance and ensure that your content is consistent and engaging.
Automated Sales & Product Reports: Automated product and sales records provide online shoppers with real-time data on inventory levels, allowing businesses to track their stock levels and avoid stock outs or overstocking. This helps ensure that products are always available when customers want to purchase them online, improving the customer experience and reducing lost sales.
CRM: Automated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems provide businesses with a centralised database of customer information, including purchase history, preferences, and behaviour. This information can be used to personalise communication and provide a more tailored online shopping experience, thus vastly improving customer satisfaction and loyalty.
4. Set Up Pop-Up Shops
Pop-up shops offer a unique opportunity for online businesses to showcase their products or services in new physical locations, allowing customers to interact with the brand and gain a better understanding of its offerings. Pop-ups are also a great opportunity for businesses to trial new products and offerings, in addition to creating a sense of urgency and exclusivity, as they are only open for a limited time. This can create a sense of excitement and encourage customers to make purchases before the shop closes. Pop-up shops can be promoted through a variety of channels, including social media, email marketing, and local advertising. By leveraging these channels, businesses can reach a wider audience and drive traffic to both the pop-up shop and the eCommerce store.
5. Streamline Your Checkout Process
When was the last time you finetuned your checkout process? The checkout process is often considered the “make or break” point for an online store for a number of reasons. Upon considering how to start an online retail business, if the checkout process is too complicated or time-consuming, customers may abandon their cart and not complete their purchase, resulting in lost sales and revenue for the business. Secondly, a professional and secure checkout process can help establish trust and credibility with customers. If the checkout process is clunky or unprofessional, customers may be hesitant to share their personal and financial information, which can lead to lost sales and lowered trust in the brand. A streamlined checkout process can give businesses a competitive advantage over competitors who have a more complicated checkout process and can also benefit businesses by increasing efficiency. By automating certain aspects of the checkout process, such as shipping and payment processing, businesses can save time and reduce the risk of errors.
6. Use Data Mining To Learn About Your Customer Preferences
Finally, data mining can help businesses identify trends in customer behaviour, such as which products are popular, which marketing channels are most effective, and which customer segments are most profitable. By analysing customer data, businesses can personalise their marketing and sales efforts, such as recommending products based on previous purchases or targeting specific customer segments with customised offers. Additionally, data mining can also be used to analyse competitors’ data and identify areas where a business can improve or differentiate itself in the online space. By analysing large sets of data, businesses can gain valuable insights into customer preferences, as well as identify trends and patterns that can help them optimise their marketing efforts and improve their bottom line.
If you are curious about how retail payroll can help to elevate your retail business to the next level, look no further. At i3Group we understand that the payroll system a business needs varies according to their industry, size, products and services. That’s why we tailor our payroll services to suit the needs of your business. Our retail payroll services relieve the burden of managing day-to-day transactions, staff wages and remaining compliant responsibilities with ATO regulations. Contact i3Group or call us at 1300 927 367 today.