Customers Still Need You: Here’s How to Start Your Online Business Quickly

My Post (10).pngA lot of small business owners are feeling immense pressure right now. With everyone at home to help curb the current global pandemic, many retailers with brick and mortar locations are experiencing a steep decline in foot traffic (and some are even temporarily closing up shop). Florists, restaurants, breweries, hair salons—right now, all sorts of people are researching how to move their business online where possible.

But while getting into the ecommerce game may sound complicated or even a little bit intimidating, it’s actually never been easier or more profitable to sell your products online. Customers are actively looking for ways to support local businesses like yours during this period (and there are a whole lot of tools to help you reach ‘em). Some reports even say that ecommerce sales may double amid the COVID-19 pandemic and that we may be entering a transition to life online.

So while it can be tempting to close up shop and work on your quarantine jigsaw puzzle skills for the unforeseeable future, there are things you can do today to keep your revenue up during lockdown. In this post, we’ll cover how you can adapt your business model for online shoppers (without necessarily having to open an entire online shop) and make your first sales with a quick online promotion via landing page.

The Good News: You Might Not Need to Build a Whole Online Store

Online Store Example from Allbirds.
An example of an online store. Putting a hefty one of these together can be somewhat overwhelming.

When most people think about starting an online business, they think about creating an entire digital storefront. This means category pages, product pages, filters, search bars, branding, a professional photoshoot—the works. (It’s stressing me out just thinking about it.) But before you get in touch with your web dev buddy from college, take a moment to reflect on whether you really need all of this.

If you have a lot of product lines or items to sell generally, a classic online store is a terrific option for you (I’d recommend a good ol’ Shopify store for this). But for some shops with fewer product lines or inventory (or if you’re just looking to test the waters with your first online promotion), you might be able to get an offer out to your customers much faster with an ecommerce landing page outfitted with a form for processing simpler orders.

Online Stores vs. Ecommerce Landing Pages

Ecommerce Landing Page Example from Trade Coffee
An ecommerce landing page example from Trade Coffee. Click to see the whole thing.

Unlike a full online store, an ecommerce landing page is just a single, standalone page that focuses on getting visitors to make a purchase. There are no distractions for visitors (like pesky menu bars or links to other pages) and everything on the page is there for one purpose and one purpose only—to help make the sale.

You can use a landing page to get a really focused offer out quickly to your customers. The easiest way to do this is to set up a simple order form on your page and then charge customers in-person on delivery or pick-up. They’re fast to create with a drag-and-drop builder and you can easily customize your landing page to look just like the rest of your brand and website. – Read more