It is hard to overstate how much the internet has revolutionized the way you conduct business. What are the advantages of starting an online shop and easy ways to start? Both consumers and producers operate in ways that would have been unimaginable just a few decades ago. Can you do better with both an online presence and a storefront?

With tourism restricted during the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses had to move online. Instead of having to open physical stores and advertise through tangible mediums, companies can now start an online shop quickly and easily and begin reaching customers online. With 79 percent of Americans opting to shop online, it’s clear that this trend is mutually beneficial. Companies get to save on operational costs, which results in lower prices for buyers. If you’re considering opening an online shop, here are some ways to simplify the process.

Invest in a Dedicated Office Space to Manage Your Online Shop

There’s a stark difference between operating a brick-and-mortar store and having a dedicated office space to work. You can still reap all the benefits of having an online store while also finding a place where you can work from in your home or at a leased space. It is easiest to convert a room in your home instead of spending extra on professional office space. Plus, you do not have to commute across the islands. Here, you will handle all day-to-day tasks associated with running an online business, including emails, managing orders, updating the site, and more.

You should invest in a comfortable chair (can be purchased for just under $50 on Amazon), ergonomic desk, the right office equipment, internet outlets, a separate phone line, and have enough space to work. You can also hire a local handyman to build a custom desk, shelves, and cord organizer for you. Handyman services average $2,574 per project in Honolulu with a range of $500 to $7,350 according to HomeAdvisor. Don’t forget that these investments are deductible on your taxes as business expenses.

Choose Between Custom or Off-the-Shelf Platforms Like Zoho Commerce

The most apparent advantage of opening an online store is the simplicity and affordability of the process versus investing in a physical location and paying rent. The only difficult decision you need to make is between custom software or off-the-shelf platform. Some providers offer fully equipped and functional online stores that only require you to list products, prices, and other pertinent information. In other words, online stores have done the hard work. Although customized options need a little bit more work, you’ll have more influence over the result. Fortunately, you don’t have to know any coding for either option.

For example, the module Zoho Commerce provides everything you need for an online stop for eCommerce. For a complete turnkey business solution that includes interfaces with Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and Shopify so you can expand your reach. Zoho One provides a comprehensive platform for your new or expanding business. You can learn more by attending a K2 conference or course on accounting software and supporting add-ons.

Find the Best Marketing Practices for eCommerce

Affordable marketing is another benefit of online shops. Instead of focusing on physical space, the best marketing practices often focus on internet space. Internet store promotion can be in the form of guest posting, social media platforms, or paid advertisements. These strategies get your brand or product in front of many people. Creating brand awareness can help give your company a face that is instantly recognizable to potential customers. So, you need to scour the internet to find out where your target audience is most active and find a way to establish a noticeable presence. 

Avoid the Most Common Mistakes Promoting Online Stores

Even though e-commerce is a relatively new concept, there have been enough attempts to highlight some apparent mistakes to avoid at all costs. With an estimated average failure rate of 80 to 97 percent, you must avoid these pitfalls on the path to success. One of the first mistakes that beginners make is complicating the process and never making it off the ground. Simplify your store’s theme, choose one or two products to focus on initially, and only expand when there is enough income to justify it. Another common mistake is expecting customers to arrive on their own accord. Being active on social media and advertising consistently are necessities, not just suggestions.

Summary

Online shops boast numerous advantages over brick-and-mortar stores. However, owners must put in a significant amount of resources to get their business off the ground. Keep in mind that the strategies used for online stores will be different from those employed for physical ones.

More Info:

For more information about eCommerce and Online Shops, look for Enhancing Small Business Accounting with Add-Ons in the K2 OnDemand website. Yes, we are trying to follow our own advice!