In our work developing, selling and supporting Point of Sale software and Shopify and Magento websites connected to our POS software, we have been fortunate to curate advice for retailers who embark on the journey of selling online.

In this article we explore the most common challenge we see retailers confront: what to sell online.

Taking your retail business online is critical, right?! Especially since COVID-19 hit.

The need to offer click and collect, curbside pickup as well as local and further afield shipping is a vital customer service.

Reaching shoppers who are not nearby and may never visit your area is also critical as it broadens the reach of the business.

A big challenge we see experienced retailers confront is what to sell? They know they do not want to take everything in their physical shop online. Often, they want the website to be specialty, to stand for a unique need or product niche.

The question is what? What to have the website be known for, to focus on?

It’s a business start-up question in many respects, a question anyone starting a business from scratch needs to consider. This is why some experienced retailers find it challenging to know where to start as they first have to disconnect thinking about the website only in the context of the current physical business.

Our suggestion is that you own the challenge for yourself. While you could have someone come up with the idea for you, then the idea would be theirs.

Think about your website as a start-up, but probably related in some way at least in part to what you do or could do in your shop. By being known for something, a product category or niche you can be more easily found online. And that right there is the key – being found online.

So, the real question is what are people looking for? We can help with that as we have access to tools that track what people in Australia are looking for. We will gladly do this research for people getting a website developed by us. However, we need a starting point for the research – which back to the entrepreneurial question about the niches that interest you. This has to come from you. You have to own the site focus.

We appreciate that it can feel daunting to start a business from scratch. Maybe, for you, an easier option is to take one or two departments of what you sell currently online. That can be an easy start. We suggest this as it gets you experiencing online. That experience can be leveraged as you evolve your online business.

Remember this – where you start online is never where you will end up. That is our own experience with our online businesses. We have learnt a ton and continue to evolve our sites.

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