ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How To Take An Existing Retail Business Online

Updated on December 18, 2015

Taking Your High Street Shop Online

If you already have a 'bricks and mortar' business then taking your business online could benefit you in many ways - creating more awareness of your brand - and more sales - but it's worth weighing up the pros and cons before deciding whether or not to take the plunge.

Ecommerce Marketing
Ecommerce Marketing

Want To Take Your Existing Business Online? Here's Where To Start .

If you currently run a 'bricks and mortar business' have you considered how you could benefit from selling your goods online too?

Before you rush headlong into signing up for one of those ecommerce stores that are frequently touted online, here's what you need to know . . .

1. Begin With The Bestsellers

It's usually true that 80 per cent of your sales will be generated by 20 per cent of your products. Therefore your main focus should be getting that top selling 20 per cent of products into your 'virtual' store first. It may be that you will want to add other lines from your inventory as you go along.

Alternatively, if your bestsellers are doing such a great job for you, you may decide to stick with them, freshening up the look and feel of your store every quarter (if seasonality is a factor). Also, if you stock thousands of products, putting an entire catalogue online can really amount to a lot of hard work.

2. Maximise Supplier Relationships

Use your existing relationships to help your virtual store take off. Sell sheets, product images, style guides, articles, manuals (PDFs), are all potentially available from manufacturers and wholesalers. These marketing tools can add interest and authenticity to your site as well as increase visual appeal for your customers.

And don't be afraid to ask for a link from a manufacturer or supplier's website to yours, so you can get added traffic, improve your website's page rankings - and crucially - make more sales. Many traders are reticent about asking for a link, but think of it this way: if your wholesaler helps you do more business online then it's a win-win situation because it means you will be buying more stock from them in the future!

3. Be Where Your Customers (And Competitors) Are

Your customers are online already and so are your competitors - you need to be too. According to the Centre For Retail Research: "ecommerce is one of the fastest growing markets in Europe." Online sales in the UK alone were £50.34 billion, equivalent to 12 per cent of UK trade overall. Who wouldn't want a slice of this enormous pie?

4. Make It Easier To Get Found

To get a stream of regular traffic to your ecommerce store you need to be found easily. Start by getting your website URL listed in industry directories and Google Places. Learn and implement the basics of search engine optimisation, or find a professional who can do it for you - and do it well - and consistently.

5. Create Loyalty Among Your Visitors

Don't be content with getting 'random' traffic, you need to convert your visitors into happy customers. One of the best ways to do this is to create a lead capture form on your website, or a dedicated 'squeeze page' where visitors leave you their name and email in return for something of value. This could be as simple as a loyalty voucher or branded card they can use for future purchases.

6. Use Your Email List To Develop Trust And Build Lasting Relationships

Some ecommerce organisations only mail their list when they have something to 'peddle' which is a huge mistake. People will soon get fed up with businesses who ask them to spend money in every communication - they will simply click on the 'unsubscribe' link and you will have lost them (and their business) forever.

The best thing is to put yourself in your customers' shoes and think how you can regularly add value to your relationship with them. You could even do a brief survey on your website asking customers what additional products or features they would like to see in your store. Or perhaps what kind of loyalty gift they would prefer - branded items - or money off their next purchase.

Some business owners congratulate themselves on making the leap from offline to online trading believing that in itself is enough. The harsh reality is, having a web presence or ecommerce website for your businesss is only the beginning.

New Guestbook Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Ovver the course of the initial period, they began tto form grooup gdekadceekcg


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)