It has been predicted that by 2040, 95% of all purchases will be made online through Ecommerce. This is a huge jump from the 20% of sales we are currently seeing, but with the rise of mobile technology combined with the impact of COVID we’re guaranteed to see a major increase in online purchases.
In the past, it was expensive and difficult to start an online ecommerce store, with the focus being on creating better in-store experiences. Thankfully that’s not the case in 2020.
With the current challenging retail environment, it’s becoming crucial for businesses to transition into online selling and luckily there are platforms available to make this process incredibly simple.
For small businesses trying to manage inventory across multiple channels, integrating your Ecommerce store and with your Point of sale system is invaluable. This will help your business evolve into a multichannel sales organisation with an international reach.
One of the most popular website builders out there is Shopify which powers over 500,000 businesses worldwide which is why we’ve decided to integrate directly with them.
In the following article, we take a look at the key reasons why Shopify is the most popular Ecommerce platform for small businesses in 2020 and the reasons why you need to integrate your Ecommerce store with your point of sale system.
8 key reasons why small businesses should use Shopify.
Just because a business is small doesn’t mean that it has to think small. As a small business owner, you should aim to expand your reach and future proof your business by building an Ecommerce store.
Often business owners will avoid taking their store online whether down to lack of technical experience or time constraints however with simple website builders this is no longer the case.
Shopify is the natural choice for small businesses who unlike Amazon give retailers the ability to create and manage their own sites for a monthly fee while keeping virtually all of the sales they make. Small business owners like you can build an Ecommerce store with relative ease.
Below we have outlined the 8 key reasons why Shopify is the most popular choice for small businesses and why you should consider it for your Ecommerce platform.
2. Detailed reporting
Shopify offers professional reports as part of their “Shopify” and “Advanced Shopify” subscriptions. As well as this with Advanced Shopify, you will have access to advanced report building letting you customise existing reports so that you can see the most relevant information for your business.
You can combine this with your Point of sale reports to create a wider overview of your businesses operations.
3. Useful Marketing tools
As you start to make sales you can start to grow your marketing list. If you have an existing customer base and email list, you can upload them here too. You can then use this info to create a targeted and far-reaching marketing strategy utilising the integrations offered on the Shopify platform.
With Shopify, you will be able to take your marketing above and beyond with the ability to market your business. You now have the tools to run paid advertisements across connected channels such as Facebook or Instagram, targeting those people who have visited your Shopify store.
Your marketing doesn’t have to be solely focused on sales either. You can drive customers to your site to visit your blog or allow them to sign up to your mailing list for exclusive offers.
You can also push your online strategy in your physical store, collecting customer data whether for email receipts or encouraging them to visit your site to add them into this cycle.
An added bonus is that Shopify gives you the ability to design landing pages for your marketing campaigns, which is a big distinguishing factor from other Ecommerce platforms.
4. Make sales 24/7
Possibly the most attractive functionality of any Ecommerce site is that it allows you to make sales anytime, anywhere. Even in the current economic climate, you will never have to close shop as you can continue to serve your customers online 24/7.
In as little as a day, you can start your Shopify site and ensure that your business can continue to sell no matter the restrictions.
Once we are at a stage when a business can return to normal you will now have two successful sales channels that can integrate as one making your sales fully multichannel.
5. Integrate with Socials
Social media is a cheap and effective way to grow your brand’s presence, establish a voice and expand your reach. The opportunities are endless, allowing you to partner with other brands, showcase products and importantly run adverts.
It’s crucial that your socials are connected to your Ecommerce site so that your new visitors can find your products with minimal effort.
Customers now more than ever are using social media to make their decisions on what to buy. It’s been found that 74% of people will conduct their research on Social media channels before they make a purchase.
You can easily add your products to Facebook and Instagram, and connect directly with your Shopify store to make sales.
6. Improve your Customer Experience
With Shopify, you can improve your customer experience by giving them the choice to buy both online and in-store.
The advantage of having an online store is that you can add eye-catching imagery and copy to entice your customers to buy.
Using a tool like Shopify makes this process easier as their themes are set up and ready for you to sell right out of the box.
7. An Ecommerce platform with SEO in mind
Shopify offers a wide variety of SEO plugins and also makes it easy to update and optimise even for beginners. This means you can start to get some organic traffic and rank in search engines.
As well as this you can use Shopify to build a blog for your business which is the most effective way to target keywords in Google and start building out your SEO strategy.
8. Great Customer support
Shopify offers 24/7 support as part of their subscription fee. The only difference is that on the “lite” tier, this support will be limited to live chat and email.
Shopify has been praised for their support and with many of their competitors charging premium prices for things as simple as weekend or evening support, you can be sure that you’re in good hands with Shopify.
5 reasons to integrate Shopify with your POS
As a retailer managing stock between your stores and online can be difficult.
That’s why it’s important that you choose a point of sale system and ecommerce platform that can integrate seamlessly, making stock management much simpler.
That’s not the only benefit, take a look at 5 key reasons why you should integrate your POS with Shopify.
1. Keep track of stock across all sales channels
One of the most attractive draws of an integrated system is having complete visibility across all of your inventory. If something sells out in the store, it will also be sold out in your ecommerce store.
This is super useful if you are a business that has multiple stores you want to ensure all can be connected to your website.
Not only will this help you with your reporting but it will ensure customers have the best experience with your store.
By integrating your physical location and ecommerce store you will ensure your customers will never be disappointed buying a product online which is actually out of stock.
When you consider that as many as 88% of users are less likely to return to a website after a bad user experience it’s crucial that you remove any opportunity for them to have a poor encounter with your store.
2. More accurate and detailed reports
Save time and get business insights with reporting.
With an integrated system, you will have consistent data across all of your locations allowing you to generate accurate reports.
You can get rid of your spreadsheets and start focusing on uncovering some key data.
This will enable you to build better marketing strategies both online and offline based on buying patterns.
Maybe you have products that sell better in-store which aren’t as popular online. This will impact how you market your products, dependent on location and what promotions you want to run.
The only way you will be able to see this kind of data is through integrated reports.
You’ll also be able to highlight who your most valuable customers are once you open up all your data both online and offline.
You may notice one of your in-store customers has visited your online store multiple times and with this knowledge, you can make sure to email them offers and keep them in the know with all updates in your business.
3. Make Multichannel sales
What could be better than one sales channel? Two.
Whilst you’re in your physical store speaking with customers, building relationships, your online store will be continuing to sell and increase your exposure to a wider audience.
Having an online store is like having an extra employee that does everything for you.
4. Improve your Customer Experience and loyalty schemes
By integrating your ecommerce store with your physical store you will be able to reward your customers better than ever before. Build an integrated loyalty scheme that will allow customers to acquire points both when they shop online in-store.
This will encourage customers to shop with you more often knowing that they are building credit on your rewards scheme that you can redeem no matter where you shop.
As well as rewarding your customers you are giving them a flexible buying experience giving them more options on how to shop with you.
Offer your customers options in payment and purchasing, allow them to buy online and collect in-store or even enter unique online promo codes.
5. Future Proof your Business
Building an integrated Ecommerce store is the future of retail. Consumer buying habits are quickly evolving and their expectations are higher than ever.
This combined with the challenging retail environment means that it has become more important than ever to ensure that your business can survive physical closures.
Particularly now with all the platforms easily available to retailers there has never been more reason to build your Ecommerce store.
Having an ecommerce store in 2020 is super important for small retailers to help survive the current economy and to offer growth.
Integrating your ecommerce store with your point of sale system will make this process simpler for you but also ensure that your customers have a positive and consistent experience every time they interact with your brand.