If you own a successful retail shop, you might be looking at ecommerce as an expansion opportunity. Alternatively, your retail shop might be struggling and in need of some extra avenues of income. Whatever the case, online sales are certainly a huge market. But is it a good move for your business? How much will it grow? And how do you get started?

Read on as we explore the world of ecommerce for retail shops.

Are your products suitable for ecommerce?

Ecommerce success is no doubt a benefit to businesses, but there are some products suited to it more than others. If you’re selling something particularly big or heavy, for instance, you may find it problematic shipping to online customers, but there are some ways around it.

Firstly, customers will be happy to pay extra to ship valuable or specialist products. So there will be no loss on your end. Otherwise, you may have to consider a pick-up agreement, where customers buy online and collect their goods in store.

Next you should consider whether customers will be happy to buy your products online. Things that are quick and simple to sell in-store will easily work for ecommerce. But products that require technical explanations or demonstrations could pose more of a problem. In most cases, you can get over this hurdle by offering phone assistance or even web chat, but first decide whether this level of commitment works for your business.

The scale of the operation

If – like most – you have a product that works for ecommerce, your next step is working out how your ecommerce store will fit in (or around) your retail shop. Do you plan to run the operations side by side? If so, you will benefit from streamlined costs. You might want to look at extra staffing though. It’s all well and good capitalising on the space and resources available in your shop, but you don’t want to overstretch them and have a negative impact on your retail shop in the long run.

With ecommerce removing the location boundaries, you will be opening your business up to the huge online market. As a result, you may find your business growing pretty fast. Are you prepared to start a separate ecommerce operation if required? Nobody wants to turn away business, so it’s probably worth making plans for scaling up just in case.

An online presence

An ecommerce site can actually help boost your retail shop. With a strong online presence, you can persuade more people to visit your shop in person. And this can be enhanced by social media too. Shopify found that Facebook presence can increase online orders by 129%, so getting your brand out there on the likes of Facebook and Twitter is important for both ecommerce and physical sales.

Getting started

With ecommerce growing rapidly – by around 15% annually in the UK – it’s high time for retailers to get involved. But how? It’s not really something you want to venture into alone. Fluid Digital can help. We are a team of Magento Certified Developers with an abundance of ecommerce experience and expertise. Whatever you’re selling, we can build you a bespoke website that reflects your brand perfectly and continues to generate sales. Call us on 0161 452 1350 to discuss your project, or use our online enquiry form and we’ll get back to you.