As a content creator, I write for a business that is selling products online. Even in pandemics and recessions like the one we are experiencing now I can still work from home and get paid, which makes me one of the lucky ones out there. In this article we take a look at how a brick-and-mortar business can make a comeback after the pandemic.
I haven’t stopped working even during quarantine days. I kept my salary, paid my bills and looked after myself. However, several other people aren’t so fortunate. Right here, I’ll stop you.
There really is nothing emotional about this. It’s only one thing: to make a Brick and Mortar business prosper in the world of post-Coronavirus.
We are going to look into where owners of a brick and mortar business can start and how they can take their physical store to the internet and sell online.
The consequences of COVID-19
I think the retail sector has been hit especially hard by the pandemic besides the travel and tourism industry.
People just began to buy for their everyday needs. Let’s see a monthly retail sales comparative analysis of the negative effect of Coronavirus in the USA.
The Atlantic has written:
“Shopping centers and clothes shops are faced with an extinction after years of decline.”
The more sales fell, the more companies began firing people, leading to more empty pockets, leading to even less sales, and also more empty pockets. It is like a snake that is eating his own tail.
But are things that horrible?
The situation is bad, but there are some stuff that we can do. This pandemic has not reduced brick-and-mortar sales. The reality is that consumers have shifted their way of shopping.
This is certainly a misstep for your company, but you can as well adjust how you sell your stuff.
Today’s first thing you can do.
The truth is that I wandered about the term “dark shop” when I was writing this blog post. I was fascinated, of course.
Then I was annoyed that I did know what the term was all about, but I didn’t know there was a name there for it.
A Dark Shop is therefore a retailer or warehouse which only provides online shopping.
Brick-and-mortar businesses are being transformed into distribution centres and a ship-by-store system is being implemented.
Bed & Bath closed all its shops at the start of the pandemic, but after 85% more online shopping, 25% of shops were reopened as distribution centers.
So what are you supposed to do? Do you want to open a dark shop?
The first thing you need to do is two things:
- Turn your store into a dark shop.
- Start online sales.
I understand it feels like a lot of work and in fact it is. But it’s something that can save your business and create future opportunities.
I have no knowledge of the method of converting a retail store into a dark shop. The regulatory requirements can vary by state or country. It is worth asking someone, preferably a lawyer, to assist you with that.
Meanwhile you should be getting ready to start selling online.
Take a brick-and-mortar business online.
This is short of a part of technique. You can either decide to do the technical part on your own, or pay someone to do it. The latter will cost you but you’re going to save a lot of time.
Basically, here’s how to take your brick-and-mortar business online in five steps:
- Buy your domain.
- Run a campaign to prelaunch.
- Create your online shop.
- Start selling.
Buy your domain.
That is a fairly obvious step. Your online shop needs to have a domain name. One can be bought using a service such as GoDaddy or Hostinger.
What you need to do is choose a reputable domain registrar, search, purchase and sign a desired domain name.
I’m not going to get through the precise specifics of how those measures will be carried out. To do this, you can check the “How to Buy a Domain Name-A Simple Guide” from Hostringer. It’s the best guide you could find when buying a domain.
Run a prelaunch campaign.
There are some things that are so important is running prelaunch campaigns.
The first thing that you need to do is build a “coming soon landing page.”
The example in the image above is also a great idea. It is a subscription model.
If you have products that you think people will buy repeatedly, you can combine those products, offer packages and make them part of your prelaunch campaign.
To build a good coming soon landing page, there are 3 tools that you will need:
- A landing page builder, or CMS.
- A Platform for Email Marketing.
- A referral marketing app.
The role of the landing page is to illustrate what comes from your shop, and also to obtain emails. This is it.
You can give people incentives to make them to sign up for your newsletter or refer their buddies .
You will then use an email marketing app (like Mailchimp) the day you start your online shop to notify pre-launch subscribers.
Building and launch of an online shop.
The first thing that you have to do before you start to build your online shop is to determine which eCommerce CMS you should be using.
You could always employ someone to create a custom CMS for you, but custom solutions do bring custom issues. And custom issues are costly.
I would go for Shopify, if I were in your position.
This is currently the most common choice for eCommerce shops, meaning there is a large audience, and a lot of online information.
Also there are a wide range of Shopify applications that make things easier. Shopify provides a set of themes that will enable you launch your stores layout faster.
The initial rollout of your online shop is heavily dependent on the prelaunch process I discussed in the prior section of the post.
Even if a pre-launch initiative is a big push, it can’t carry the burden of the whole program. You have to ensure it is already configured as much as possible before the online shop opens.
On the more tech side, then, you must:
- Optimize your online shop for search engines.
- Start making use of social media.
- Produce corresponding content.
- Creates a mechanism for building lists.
- Run advertisements.
- Sell through referrals.
One creative approach to drive traffic to a shopify store will be to mix list building with Facebook advertising and referral marketing.
You will slash the Facebook CPL (Cost Per Lead) by a large amount by dividing your followers into their respective adset and running tailored promotions.
Upon the end of the Corona epidemic.
The effects of COVID-19 has yet to be seen on the global economy. Whatever occurs, customer preferences were forever influenced by the crisis. It would be inevitable for your brick-and-mortar business, even when everything goes back to the way it was, attempting to make an opening to the online market.
And once your retail shop is once again opened to the public, you can try to “push” them out to buy from your online shop.
For example, your cashier could sign them at your online shop and offer them a discount from you for their next online purchase.
The Coronavirus pandemic caused major damage to the retail sector, and closed several brick-and-mortar businesses.
Customer habits are changing, too, and online sales have increased. It sounds like the right time to go online for a brick-and-mortar business. You can do this in 3 steps:
- Transform the physical shop into a dark shop.
- Open an eCommerce shop.
- Use this dark shop as hub for order fulfillment.
You could even use your physical store to sell to customers online after the pandemic ends. Your online shop could be a cost-effective option to grow businesses as well as a very suitable choice for your existing and new clients.