Hannah Whittenly
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The Five Steps to Integrate Your Brick and Mortar Into Cyberspace

Hannah Whittenly

October 16, 2013

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It's estimated that seven billion people worldwide use the internet. Even if the number is only a fraction of that, your brick and mortar business can no longer be without an internet presence. Setting up a website and integrating an online retail business into your already existing store is essential for increased sales and overall visibility. There are five easy basic steps to creating an online web presence.

1. Domain

The name you choose for your website is the single most important decision you can make. If your business name is "Joe's Joke Emporium", you don't want to name your website "JoeJohnson" because that's the owner's name. You want the website name to be as close as possible to the business name. Customers won't buy if they can't find your web site. Website names are bought from various places but all are registered in a central location. Shop around for the best price on the domain name.

2. Best Web Hosting

Once you have your domain name, you'll need to consider server hosting. The best web hosting sites will cater to your specific needs. Some cheaper hosting services might not provide the best interface for the novice. Most have flexible payment plans.  The best web hosting will have easy to use interfaces, special site builder templates and e-commerce integration.

3. Design and Content

If you have business branding, you'll want to include that in the web site. Customers should be able to recognize that the website is a reflection of the brick and mortar business. You'll need to incorporate your logo and color scheme. Spend time thinking of how you'd like customers to interact with the website. Consider the look and feel of the site overall. Content is important, so be prepared to spend time populating the website with essential details.

4. Payments

Without a payment software, the website can't be considered an e-commerce site. You'll need to research payment software options, set up a merchant account with those services and link with your web site to process payments. Paypal is one option for credit card and payment transactions but there are many others. You'll have to find one based on the best rates per transaction.

5. Marketing

Once your shiny new site is up and running smoothly to your satisfaction, you can sit back and wait for the money to come rolling into your bank account. That is a false statement. You'll need to market your new site like you did when you opened your brick and mortar store or business. Ranking high on search engines is essential. You can team up with other businesses in your area or with others online to create a symbiotic relationship and exchange marketing services. There are many ways to market and researching creatively is vital.

It takes some planning and research to start a website, but it's a great way to increase customers and cash flow to the business. Be prepared to put in a lot of work to the web site before it starts to show any profits.


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