If the pandemic taught us all anything, it’s that we can do more from home than we realised. And that when it comes to retail businesses, not everyone needs a physical storefront and to pay huge amounts of rent to set up on a highstreet or retail park. In fact, ecommerce and shopping online had already been growing at an incredible pace before the pandemic, but lockdowns sped up the process even more and pushed us beyond the boundaries of what we thought we could do. Even now that things have returned back to a new ‘normal’, many entrepreneurs have chosen to keep their company home based or to set up home based companies in the first place. If you want to start your own retail store, here are some of the ways you can go about it.
Find the right ecommerce platform
There are all kinds of ecommerce platforms out there these days that give you the option to list your products with a secure cart, and essentially enable you to run an online retail business in any niche from. Each differs slightly and will have pros and cons, the one you choose ultimately should work best with what you sell and how your customers are likely to want to shop. For example, some will be ideal for businesses that sell to other businesses, whereas others will be better suited for selling to customers. Some will be better if you’re a new business since it will be simpler, and others will be better suited to those who are more experienced or have a bigger budget since they’ll offer more complex and in depth features.
How will you fulfill orders?
If you’re running a retail business from home, then you’ll of course need a way to store, ship and generally fulfil orders. Using a fulfilment company means products are stored, picked, packed and posted which enables you to run everything from home. Software defined as reverse ETL gives you the ability to sync data from your warehouse to the business apps you love giving you even more control over this area of your company too. If you’re running things on a smaller scale, you may be able to get away with storing and fulfilling orders from your home address. Consider turning a garage or outbuilding into a storage area, you would need to ensure everything is watertight and labelled and organised well to make things as quick and efficient and possible.
Marketing is an important element of any business, but when it comes to retail you’re in such a saturated environment. If you want to run a retail store you need to be clever about it, work out what it is that your company does which is different to all other businesses out there. Defining your niche is so important, that way you can target a specific kind of customer who is more likely to choose you over other similar businesses. Work with a marketing agency to pin down your branding and to then get the message out there about your company.