How to Take Your Retail Store Online

Over the last few months, the world has been flipped on its head -- and to be honest, I’m not sure if it will ever return to ‘normal’.

In my mind, this could mean the death of brick and mortar retail stores, as online shopping becomes the norm (hell, it already is). Which is why if you own a retail store, now is the time to make the shift.

And here is how you do it.

1. Pick A Domain Name

If you already have a retail store, I am going to make the assumption that you already have your niche and products sorted -- I mean, if you hadn't, you probably wouldn't be reading this article, right?

Now it is time to get your web domain.

However, this can get a little tricky if you already have the name of your business sorted (which you probably do).

The reason I say tricky is because you might find that someone has already registered a web domain with your business name, which means you cannot use it. A simple way to check for this is to head over to the website Name, and quickly search for your business. This will tell you whether it is available or not.

If it is available, register it as soon as possible -- I mean, the last thing you want is for someone else to get it.

And if it is taken, you might have to get a little creative with your domain name and make some slight changes. This could mean adding a word to your business name, or even changing it slightly.

Whatever you do, just make sure that it:
  • Rolls off the tongue nicely
  • Is still relatively short and snappy
  • Does not contain any numbers

2 Build Your Website

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Once you have registered your domain, it is time to build a website -- and fortunately, in modern day this has become one of the easiest steps in the entire process.

There are a number of web platforms like Squarespace, Wix, and Wordpress that provide templates from which you can create your online retail store. All of these also come with great themes, and integrate a variety of payment features into your website.

In short, they do all the groundwork for you, so you can focus on marketing and sales.

Which brings us to our next point quite nicely...

3. Start Creating Content

Creating your website is a great first step -- but that's all it is -- a first step.

Next up you want to start filling it with content.

Providing a body of content on your website makes it more likely to appear on the first page of search engines like Google and Bing. This is essential if you want to bring new customers to your business.

Moreover, offering your customers free content that is useful and of a high quality builds your reputation as a trustworthy business. This is what improves your ability to turn one-time-visitors into-long-term customers.

What sort of content?

Well, I like a combination of long blog posts, short opinion pieces and helpful tips, and longer product review articles. Being broad and consistent is a great way to get news customers on a weekly basis.

4. Go Social


Last but not least, you need to create a social media presence.

Social media has become one of the constants in our society. Almost everyone on the planet has a social media account -- and many make purchases through social media platforms.

As a result, you need to create profiles on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin (and maybe even things like TikTok and Youtube), and get active. These platforms are the perfect place to promote your content.

They also provide the opportunity to share content from other people that is relevant to your customer base.

As long as you remain consistent, you will slowly build a following of loyal customers that like what you have to say. Once this is done, you can use your platforms to host competitions, share information about sales and new products, and simply interact with your customers.

This further builds your reputation as a ‘real business’ and goes a long way to creating a community of loyal customers.

The Other Option


With all this great information, I would be remiss if I did not mention the other option.

See, starting an online business is hard. It involves a huge amount of work, and in the early stages, comes with very little reward.

But there is an alternative.

You can always buy an already-established online business.

While this may not be the most suitable option for some, there are websites like Exchange Marketplace, where people can buy and sell online business. With this option, you can see their profit margins, whether their products and customer base align with yours, and how successful their social media platforms are.

Then it is as simple as buying it and getting it working for you.

Final Takeaway

In the current landscape, taking your retail business online is a no-brainer — or you could always buy an established online business and save yourself some time.

The choice is yours.

But whatever you do, make sure you do it quickly. The business landscape is constantly moving forward, and you do not want to get left behind.

Featured photo: Unsplash.
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