8 steps to move your micro-grocery store online
- Determine your delivery region
- Devise your marketing strategy
- Set up your e-commerce website
- Implement an order tracking system
- Make your online store mobile-friendly
- Focus on security
- Leverage social proof
- Offer incentives to attract customers
In the digital age, consumers expect convenience. As a micro-grocery store owner, your small establishment may only sell a limited range of local produce compared to commercial supermarkets, but that doesn’t mean you can’t appeal to a large audience.
With your unique product line and personalized service, adding an online sales channel can drive significant business growth.
In this article, we provide a step-by-step guide to help you move your micro-grocery store online — and show you the e-commerce solution that can help you along the way.
8 steps to move your micro-grocery store online
It may be daunting to think about starting an online service for your micro-grocery store. However, if you break it down into manageable steps, you can cover all the bases. Follow the eight steps below to launch your online store.
1. Determine your delivery region
It can be expensive to deliver to far-flung destinations, so micro-grocery store owners should start by focusing on their local area. Plan your delivery region based on expected sales and budget. What are the nearest locations where a majority of customers reside?
You can always expand your scope once your online store starts performing well in the immediate area.
2. Devise your marketing strategy
Your existing marketing plan is probably based on having a brick-and-mortar store, but by going online, your business enters a new chapter. Before you dive into e-commerce, think about how you’ll promote your online business. A well thought-out marketing plan will go a long way toward ensuring the move pays off.
Create a marketing strategy that details how you’ll nurture strong relationships with your current customers and persuade them to start using your online service.
By focusing on SEO and leveraging paid ads, you can build brand awareness and optimize your online store so that it’s easy for people to find through online searches. With the right marketing strategy and tools, you can stand out from the competition.
3. Set up your e-commerce website
The technical aspects of setting up an online store might seem overwhelming, but with the right e-commerce solution, your site can be up and running in no time — without the need to learn a coding language.
Jotform Store Builder is a no-code e-commerce website solution with advanced features that support selling products, marketing your business, and managing orders. Best of all, it’s easy to use — even if all you have are basic technology skills.
Here’s what to keep in mind when you create your e-commerce store with Jotform Store Builder:
- Start with a template. With over 100 online store templates, most of the heavy lifting is done for you. Choose from industry-specific templates for your micro-grocery store.
- Customize your store with drag-and-drop functionality. Jotform offers over 80 e-commerce widgets such as product lists, product images, forms, and videos, so you can build a store that appeals to your micro-grocery audience.
- Add robust product information. Online stores must work hard to entice customers with engaging product descriptions and images. Jotform also has search bar functionality so your shoppers can find exactly what they’re looking for.
- Bring your brand front and center. Make your online store an extension of your brick-and-mortar store through branding elements. Make the colors, style, and visuals of your e-commerce website match your in-person store.
- Offer multiple payment options. Today customers want choices when it comes to making payments. Jotform Store Builder offers 25+ payment gateways such as PayPal, Stripe, Google Pay, Apple Pay, Venmo, and more.
- Make your store easy to find. Create QR codes leading to your store and place them on physical flyers and brochures. You can also email the link directly to your customer base. If you have an existing WordPress website, you can add your Jotform store to it using a shopping cart plug-in.
4. Implement an order tracking system
Delivery logistics are a key factor in the success of an online micro-grocery store. If items are lost or damaged while in transit, customers are unlikely to do business with you again.
With a robust tracking system, you can monitor deliveries from the point of purchase until delivery.
With Jotform Store Builder, it’s easy to keep track of all your orders in one place. The details of every order are stored in Jotform Tables, where you can view transaction information, manage logistical issues, and create customized reports for tracking and monitoring orders. Having this level of visibility into store operations ensures your micro-grocery customers are satisfied with your e-commerce services, since no order gets forgotten, damaged, or left behind.
5. Make your online store mobile-friendly
A mobile-friendly website is crucial — around 56 percent of consumers use their smartphones to shop online. Test your website on mobile devices to make sure that it functions properly and offers a simple interface, smooth navigation, and an all-around enjoyable user experience.
If you make it easy for customers to find your products and place orders on your website using a mobile device, they will be more likely to return or recommend the site to others.
In addition to making sure your online store is mobile-friendly, another way to encourage orders is to offer a mobile app. If creating an e-commerce store and a mobile app seems too daunting, don’t worry. With Jotform Store Builder, it’s simple to make a mobile app — again, no coding experience required.
6. Focus on security
One of the most important aspects of moving your store online is ensuring that your customers’ data is safe. Around 62 percent of customers are worried about “a hacker taking over a bank account to steal money,” while 65 percent are anxious about “losing personal data through a breach.”
Jotform takes security seriously, so neither you nor your micro-grocery customers have to worry about data breaches. Jotform uses industry-standard 256-bit SSL and has PCI DSS Service Provider Level 1 compliance — the highest available. Not only that, but our form submissions are encrypted so data is transferred and stored in a secure format.
7. Leverage social proof
Nearly 78 percent of consumers value the advice they get from friends and family above all other marketing efforts. Social proof is a major driving force for local businesses, helping them build a trustworthy reputation that convinces new prospects to become loyal customers.
Once your micro-grocery store gets some traction and begins to grow, encourage customers to leave reviews — which you can display on your store’s website or social media profiles. This will help strengthen the reputation of your online store, which will attract even more customers.
8. Offer incentives to attract customers
Some customers may be apprehensive about shopping online, especially older generations, as they may worry about their groceries going missing in transit or credit card details being stolen. To ease their fears, don’t make an immediate, 180-degree shift in your business model, as this may deter once-loyal customers.
It’s better to offer incentives to persuade customers to transition gradually to using your online store. For instance, you can hand out coupons for online order discounts to customers in your shop, or you can send them through direct mail. Be sure to add a QR code that leads to your online store on printed materials, so your store is easy for customers to find.
An online option is the natural evolution of your micro-grocery store
With people less inclined to visit physical stores, micro-grocery stores can thrive with the increasing demand for delivery services.
Businesses in all industries are realizing that going online is no longer an option — it’s a vital step in ensuring the longevity of their operations. Moreover, the move to online ordering enables a small local shop to reach a much larger audience.
While this may be a momentous shift in your business model, there has never been a better time to start an online grocery store. Jotform Store Builder can support your venture into the online world and help make it a success over the long term.
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