If you have a start-up or an already established business, have you considered your online presence? It is vital to your business’ future success that you have an online retail identity. E-commerce is expanding at an unprecedented rate. The Centre for Retail Research forecast an increase of 11.2% in online sales, from £60.43 bn. in 2016, to £67.38 bn. in 2017.
Why haven’t you opened an online store?
You may think that opening an online store is difficult, you need to involve yourself with coding, that it isn’t worth your while because integrating it with your high-street store is too complicated. In the past, this may have been true. Now you have no excuse. On-line shopping platforms have come a long way in the last few years and if you haven’t ventured into the world of virtual shopping, you stand to be left behind by your competitors.
The complete package
First appearing in 2009 Shopify’s online shopping platform has been used to establish 500,000 online stores and currently has 1,000,000 users.
All you need to open a store is an Internet connection and a web browser. There’s no need to install any software or set up web hosting, it’s all done for you. Imagine accessing your store from any device with an Internet connection, add their pos equipment and take payments anywhere too.
How does it work?
Firstly Shopify offers a 14-day free trial, so you can get a feel for how the platform operates, without having to part with any money.
When you sign up for the platform there are 4 packages to choose from and a Lite option which enables selling on Facebook pages.
The basic package is the cheapest and provides all you need to get started. Pay more and you get greater functionality, such as profiling of customers and shipping calculators. With all the packages you have the option of customizing your store with Shopify’s themes and apps.
Point of Sales hardware
With this you can accept sales anywhere you are. This feature really does help them stand out from their competitors. Whether you are in your high street outlet or just out and about, their EMV reader will enable you to take credit card payments and have them synced with your on-line store. You can also email receipts and offer store credit, instead of having to refund your customers card. If your business uses this hardware, you can also offer layaway and part payment options, which will help expand your customer base.
If you operate a dropshipping business they have you covered as well. Oberlo app, which is exclusive to them, takes all the hard work out of sourcing suppliers and dealing with shipping companies, freeing you up to concentrate on keeping your customers happy.
This is an ideal platform for starting a new retail business If you are already trading it can help you expand into new areas of sales. Don’t get left behind, E-commerce is set to stay.