13 Tips for Retailers Planning to Offer Online Shopping

How to prepare for online shoppers this season

Match Your Brand Online and Offline
“Make sure that your brand image is reflected in your online shopping experience. Are you using the same logo and colors as your storefront boutique? Are you using high-quality photos? Is your customer service as good or better than in the store? Make a list—and check it twice!”

- Benjamin Leis | Founder, Sweat EquiTees

Don’t Forget Online Marketing

“Once you launch an online store, it will be crucial to spread the word in order to get traffic and sales. You’ll need a marketing plan in place that encompasses organic traffic, pay-per-click advertising, affiliate marketing, and social media—to name a few. Look into various options and networks and have a marketing budget planned out.”

- Josh Weiss | Founder and President, Bluegala
Offer an Alluring Experience
“Offering an online shopping option, if done thoughtfully, will add an attractive revenue stream to your boutique business’s bottom line. Provide an enjoyable user experience on the front end of the website, have dedicated and responsive customer service, and ship goods in aesthetically pleasing branded packaging. Dedicate a portion of your in-store cost of sales to going the extra mile online!”

- Lauren Maillian Bias | Founder and CEO, Luxury Market Branding
Consider Inventory Control
“Inventory control may be the least sexy part of business. But if you’re considering setting up an e-commerce site, you’ve got to figure out how to manage inventory before you can even decide how to set up your site. Are you going to ship yourself? Outsource to a fulfillment company? You need to decide where your inventory is going to sit, how you’re going to process orders and other details first.”

- Thursday Bram | Consultant, Hyper Modern Consulting
How Far Will You Go?
“Engaging in business with people in distant lands means exposing yourself to the regulatory regimes of those far away places. Within the US, this could include new state-level tax requirements as well as federal-level rules and restrictions regarding interstate commerce. These layers of regulation only deepen once an international border crossing becomes part of the transaction.”

- Peter Minton | Founder & President, Minton Law Group, P.C.
Online Also Means Mobile
“All signs are pointing to an increased focus on mobile Internet usage over people logging in from home or work. Make sure you’ve got a solid mobile presence, and that people who check out your online shop from their phones and tablets find it to be an experience worth telling friends about.”

- Colin Wright | CEO, Asymmetrical, LLC
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.

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