Things to Ensure while Making the Offline to Online Shift in Your Business
Given the unprecedented popularity of digitalisation, more and more people are hopping onto the digital bandwagon and making digital tools an active part of their lifestyle. Considering current trends and buyers’ demands, a shift in the shopping pattern from brick-and-mortar to online is unexpected. By 2025, India’s e-commerce segment is expected to reach a market size of $188 billion, with up to 350 million shoppers.So, if you haven’t yet made the online shift, now is the time! And while making the transition, here are some pointers to keep in mind:
1. Purchase a domain name
Getting a suitable domain name for your business is an important step towards giving your brand online recognition. Ideally, your domain name should be the same as your business name.
2. Create a website
This is the next crucial step in taking your business online. Hire an agency or web developer to design your website. Remember, your website will be a digital representation of your entire business. So, make it attractive, efficient, and easy to navigate.
3. Enable multiple payment methods
Aim to provide a simple checkout page where a customer can make their payment and complete the transaction. Configure a user-friendly payment system by offering multiple payment options – Credit/Debit Cards, UPI, mobile payment, digital wallets, and cash on delivery. Having multiple payment gateways reduces the possibility of cart abandonment and ensures more conversion to sales.
4. Ensure quick shipping/delivery
Shipping and delivery are the mainstays of being a successful online seller. Prompt delivery will ensure that your customers keep coming back to your website. Tie up with regional courier services to guarantee on-time delivery to your customers. Remember, buyers are often willing to pay extra if it means they receive their purchases faster.
5. Plan marketing and SEO wisely
When making a move towards an online presence, you need to inform your brick-and-mortar customers that they can now buy products from their beloved store online. Create a buzz among your target audience and entice new customers with proper marketing and SEO planning. Ideally, marketing and related planning must start before your website goes live. Effective ways to market your online venture include emailers and building a social media presence on popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Also, try sponsored ads to attract customers who may be looking for products that you sell.
6. Check if you are tax-compliant
Before you start selling online, you have to meet certain compliance requirements. So, look at various factors like GST return filing, ITR filing, trademarks, TCS and TDS applicability, etc., and make sure they are duly met.
7. Get on e-commerce platforms
There are many easily accessible e-commerce platforms and marketplaces that are ideal for beginners who have little experience in setting up or managing an online store. These platforms offer quick solutions for small businesses and individuals who wish to set up an online store. Almost everything is taken care of, so you won’t have to (say) set up payment processors or deal with transactions.
8. Let your website go global
One of the most significant advantages of online business is that you are not limited to your geographical location. Your business can transcend boundaries; you have the ability to take your business global while staying local. So, take the leap and start selling your products on any marketplace anywhere in the world with an automated integration tool.
9. Create great content for your website
Create content for your website that enhances the appeal of the products you are selling. Your content is your salesperson; it should not only describe the product but also convince potential customers to click on the ‘buy now’ button.
Transitioning to an online business may seem daunting at first, but it is the way forward. With a Business Loan from HDFC Bank, you can adapt to changing customer needs and technological advancements to scale your business effortlessly. The loan process involves minimal documentation, no collateral, and quick disbursement of the loan amount.
Thanks to competitive interest rates, you can borrow up to Rs 40 lakh (Rs 50 lakh in some locations) and select a flexible repayment tenure ranging from 12 to 48 months. Online EMI calculators can help you assess how much you will have to repay. Apply for your Business Loan today – either online or at an HDFC Bank branch!
Read more on how you can nurture your online business in today’s economy here.
*Terms and conditions apply. Business Loan at the sole discretion of HDFC Bank Limited. Loan disbursal is subject to documentation and verification as per Banks requirement.