We are all aware of the changes happening around the world right now and how, in a matter of weeks, life as we know it has been upended. Stores forced to close their doors, business halted, meetings canceled, and countless other professions impacted during this time of COVID-19. From the outside, things look rather bleak.
But, if we change our perspective, right now might be just the opportune time to implement new ideas and systems into your business. In light of the current situation, I think we can agree that online shopping is the way of the future. And ecommerce is the future of shopping.
I'd like you to consider the following questions. Was your business prepared for the devastation of COVID-19? Or, were you devastated by it? Did sales come to a halt when non-essential businesses were ordered to close? Did your online presence increase as your brick and mortar presence decreased?
It is safe to say that all companies need at least some online presence to survive. We've seen how technology has progressed and how easy it is to shop online. Now we see how vital it is in the grips of a crisis.
Setting up a business for ecommerce isn't an overnight task or even an easy endeavor, but it is an essential part of keeping a business alive. We're in the middle of the COVID-19 outbreak, and logistic companies and supply chain businesses are still operating. Trucks are still delivering goods to stores, businesses, and homes. And people are still purchasing products, only now they're doing so online rather than in stores. They can't go out, but their online orders are still coming in.
There can be many challenges when setting up your online business and figuring out the logistics. But, there are also numerous resources and tools to help along the way. ecommerce platform tools like Wix, Squarespace, and Shopify can help you get started. They can also assist in building an online store and website.
Once you have chosen a platform, you can then build a website, determine the forms of payment you will accept, and which shipping methods to offer, and your return policies. If free shipping is something you are considering, be sure to calculate the expenses necessary to ship products. With shipping, you will need many supplies: boxes, printers, labels, packing slips/invoices, packaging supplies, etc. This all adds up, but there are ways to minimize the cost of supplies by combining some of these items into one, for example, using forms/labels that combine packing slips and shipping labels.
eFORMz is a software tool offered by Minisoft, Inc. that provides business documents and templates to combine the packing slip, invoice, and shipping label into one product. You can even include advertising and marketing on it. Combining these reduces your label and consumables. Choose from a variety of materials that work well with different types of printers and volumes of shipping.
Make sure to keep an eye on the big picture as you develop your plan and build your ecommerce site. Streamlining order processing, inventory management, and combining packing slips/invoices with your shipping labels from the start will help reduce your costs and set you up for a more successful launch.
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