Convenient, Far-Reaching, & "Pandemic-Proof"
As we enter Summer of 2020 we are in a completely different and unexpected environment than we have ever seen before. COVID-19 epidemic has left businesses in a strange place to have to adjust to the new landscape. Many newer technologies are stepping up to the plate for businesses to utilize to help adjust, but the one that is probably the most prominent and helpful for brick and mortar businesses, is e-commerce. Even if you did not think your product had a viable use in e-commerce before, now is a good time to reconsider that function.
Your Competitors Are Doing It
It has become the savior for many businesses, large and small, even locally here in our town of Asheville. Many local businesses have switched to e-commerce to create a new stream of revenue, like our friends at Hi-Wire Brewing, who began selling their beer online around the country and have seen a huge success. Katie Button at Curate has begun selling groceries, packages, spices and even some dishes through their e-commerce platform, for pick-up and for shipping. It is clear that if you sell any kind of product or service, there is a way to have your customer pay in advance, online. Having the conversion online, rather than in-store, is a much quicker and more convenient way for the customer to purchase, making less steps for your sales funnel conversion.
E-Commerce: Getting Started & What to Expect
Okay, great, e-commerce could help me create a new sales funnel… but it sounds difficult to set up and manage. What platform do I use? How will I handle shipping and fulfillment? What am I going to need to invest to get it running?
There are many e-commerce options out there, and many of which you can manage yourself. We have two simple recommendations. If your number of product options and sales will be minimal, or you have little to no money to invest, we recommend starting with Shopify. Shopify is a great starter platform, but lacks customization and scalability. If your business has more than a handful of product options, and your sales are daily, we recommend WooCommerce, which is an open-source plug-in for WordPress websites. This route, you will need a web designer, but if you are looking to save, you can likely still manage the back-end by yourself.
So I Can’t Build the E-Commerce Platform Myself, What Am I Going to Have to Invest?
This will depend entirely on how many different product types you have and what your content needs are. Typically, you can expect to invest between $4,000 and $15,000 for your e-commerce development. Unless your inventory is changing daily, you can likely learn to manage your back-end in-house. But if your sales are rapid, or you don’t have the time or manpower to manage your back-end, Dolo Digital charges between $200-$300 per month for hosting, maintenance, and e-commerce management.
Shipping and fulfillment can be a pain to find the best prices. Especially if you are shipping a perishable good. However, there is always a solution. You can start by speaking with FedEx, UPS, or USPS about rates. Or you can go to a private fulfillment company, such as ShipBob or ShipStation, that will help you set everything up and store your product. We help our clients find the best possible solution to shipping and fulfillment to make sure we are seeing the highest return we can on our client’s new revenue stream.
Drawing Traffic to Your New E-Commerce Website
Now that your e-commerce platform is set up, it’s time to drive qualified traffic to your new e-commerce website! Fortunately, advertisers have more tools at their disposal than ever before, including cost-effective solutions like pay per click (PPC), email marketing, and influencer marketing. We start by taking inventory of the tools available to us and then working with clients to create a robust strategy that meets their objectives within budget. After the fine-tuned plan is approved, we implement conversion tracking into the backend of the website and campaign so that every consumer action can be recorded, tracked, and analyzed based on performance.
NEW: Dolo Digital E-Commerce Package
Our e-commerce package is available now! You can call or email us to set up a free consultation. Our e-commerce package starts at $6,000 and includes the following:
- E-Commerce Wireframe Design
- E-Commerce Design and Dev
- Hosting, Maintenance & Store Management [1 Year]
- Shipping & Fulfillment Set-Up
- E-Commerce Product Photography