Every day, more conventional offline retail businesses join the click-and-mortar bandwagon. This way, traditional retail stores can enjoy the best of both worlds. Traditional retail outlets already have invaluable customer service experience, established rapport with reliable suppliers, marketing planning insights and brand names that have seen years of PR investment. Steps to starting an Internet business for a traditional brick-and-mortar company aren’t rocket science. By taking their brands online, companies can look forward to widening their market, increasing their brand awareness, improving their economies of scale and making more money in the process. And companies can achieve this without having to rely on heavy financing.
We’ve previously gone over some of the steps to starting an Internet business in an earlier article, along with the costs involved. For small but established businesses, the cost of expanding your business to the Internet is trivial compared to the potential long term benefits.
You may need to hire staff to oversee certain aspects of your online store but most transactions are carried out automatically by the shopping cart software and other related solutions. Seeing as how suppliers are also expanding into the realm of online drop shipping, you could integrate their system into your own to make the whole process even more efficient, thus saving money with the shorter supply chain. In this scenario, you wouldn’t even need to increase your warehouse storage space as all your Internet orders can be shipped directly from your suppliers. Some retailers have even tied up with drop shippers to only offer certain products online at special prices. They can afford to do so because of the savings gained from a shorter supply chain.
You can target a local market first by utilizing geographic keyword modifiers. Geographic keyword modifiers are names of locations placed at either end of related long tail keywords. This technique works for any business out there. You could be starting your own business Ireland, Australia or any country or city in the world – a geographic keyword modifier will make your business easier to locate. For instance, if you have a 24 hour home cleaning business or house cleaning business in Denver, your long tail keyword should contain the location where your service is offered. Your long tail key word could read “Denver 24 hour house cleaning“, which returns only 60,000 results against 1.7 million results for “24 hour house cleaning“.
Many site visitors actually prefer buying offline but go online to do a bit of price comparison and to seek slightly more information about a particular product. For cases like this, having an Internet presence will certainly aid your bottom line. You can also make use of features like Google’s My Map to create a personalized map to your real-world store for customers who have found your online site but who have never heard of your offline store.
Many retailers are already reaping the benefits of taking their businesses online by signing up with InstanteStore. It’s definitely a cost-effective way of expanding your business.
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