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[Sponsored Content] How to Expand a Brick-and-Mortar Store Online

If anyone were looking for your products a few years ago, they’d simply call your store or walk right in. Today, people turn to the internet. Using the net to find what people need is so prevalent that it’s hard to ignore. According to Statista, 80% of all shoppers choose to shop online. Not having a webpage to connect with would-be shoppers is like throwing money away.

Believe it or not, it’s easier than ever to bring your brick-and-mortar store online.

Considerations for Moving Online
There are many advantages to moving your business online.

  • Increase customer numbers and sales. With the right marketing, you can widen your customer base and reach more people than ever before.
  • Grow your market share. Since customers don’t have to come to just your brick-and-mortar store, you can earn sales from anywhere, even internationally.
  • Decrease costs. If you’re looking to save money, moving online could be the way to go. You won’t have to worry about keeping up a physical storefront and could do business with less staff.

But before you move things online, there are a few things to think about, including scalability, hosting, search engine optimization, and website security.

Web Store Security
This is important: Customers want to know that the online stores they use can protect them from hackers and malware. If they see that your store isn’t secure, they’ll click away fast.

Here are a few things you can do to ensure your online store is safe.

  1. Choose a safe ecommerce platform. See what each platform offers in terms of cyber security and choose one that works best for you.
  2. Get an SSL Certificate. This encrypts the information you and your customers put on the website so hackers can’t access it.
  3. Ensure your URL starts with https instead of http. As you may already be aware, http stands for hypertext transfer protocol. Https stands for hypertext transfer protocol secure and often displays a small lock icon next to your URL. This lets users know the site is secure and can be trusted with their personal information.

Ecommerce Set Up with an Online Store Builder
Maybe you’re a small one-person shop and you need a simple, no-code solution to get your store up and running quickly.

The online store builder from Nexcess is perfect for this. StoreBuilder designs a beautiful website very quickly using AI technology about your industry to spin up a unique look.

Other benefits of StoreBuilder:

  • It’s secure from the moment you sign up.
  • Site maintenance is automated, which takes another thing off your plate.
  • Many design options to choose from without needing to hire a web designer.
  • 24x7x365 support, so you’ll get any site issues resolved fast.
  • It’s built on WordPress and bundled with premium plugins.
  • Managed Hosting is included.

Hosting an E-Commerce Store
A beautiful storefront is just the start of the e-commerce journey. Next, the site will need an online hosting service. As mentioned above, hosting is included in StoreBuilder with different level options to align with the varying needs of the business…

Nexcess is one of the top hosting providers for e-commerce and has three great hosting options that each come standard with:

  • 24x7x365 support.
  • Free SSL certificates
  • Malware monitoring so your online store won’t have any security issues.
  • Website backups, so no data is truly lost

The hosting service you should choose will depend on your store size and your goals.

WooCommerce Hosting
Are you a small business just starting out? WooCommerce Hosting might be what you need. Below are some key benefits of WooCommerce.

  • Prices starting at $13.30 per month.
  • Ideal for small to medium e-commerce stores (1 to 30 stores).
  • Great for stores that need alerts of sales trends, slow site speed, and checkout problems.
  • Built-in CDN with 22 locations and advanced caching for the fastest loading.
  • Cart abandonment technology, Affiliate WP, ConvertPro, and advanced analytics with Glew.io.
  • Custom order tables that reduce query loads by 95% and increase capacity by more than 75%.

WordPress Hosting
WordPress Hosting is ideal for sites that need speed and want the ability to scale up. Key benefits of WordPress Hosting are:

  • The prices start at $13.30 per month.
  • Made for sites that need speed and anticipate scale (up to 250 sites).
  • Sites load fast with premium image compression, built-in CDN, and advanced caching.
  • Includes free automatic plugin updates with visual comparisons.
  • No overage fees, traffic limits, or metered pageviews.
  • Free migrations! That means you can migrate your site over without worrying about cost.

Magento Cloud Hosting
Is your business on the larger side? Are you growing steadily and would like to keep growing? Managed Magento Hosting could be just what you need. Reasons to consider Magento are:

  • Prices start at $34.30 per month.
  • Ideal for large sites that need scale and security compliance (up to 50 domains).
  • Includes staging sites, dedicated IP addresses and instant auto-scaling.
  • Allows for on-demand performance testing to troubleshoot and improve site speed.
  • Includes 30-day backups and unlimited email accounts.

Search Engine Marketing that Brings Customers In
Now that you have a beautiful online store, it’s time to let the public know. This is where inbound marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) come in.

In the past, you might have used ads and commercials to let people know about your business. This is called outbound marketing because it involves going out to find the customers. With inbound marketing, the customers come to you.

How do customers find you? That requires using search engine optimization. Suppose you want to buy some new speakers. A few years ago, you might have gone to your local electronics store to see what’s out there. Or maybe you saw a sign for a store  specializing in radios and speakers and decided to check it out. Today things work a little differently.

Instead of going to a store, you’d first turn to Google. You’d probably type something like, “best speakers for music,” and hit the enter key in the search bar. A page would load with all types of websites that mention your search phrase. You would probably look at the website title and description to see which one has the words, “best speakers for music,” in it.

This is how people could find your online store — by typing terms into Google related to your business and industry. Here’s how you can ensure they click on your website and not someone else’s.

  1. Make sure you research the terms people use to find businesses like yours.
  2. Add those terms into your webpage titles and descriptions.
  3. Accurately describe what each webpage is about in the website descriptions.

These are just a few things you can do to optimize your website for search engines (SEO) and customers. If you want to optimize your website thoroughly, check out some SEO companies and see if they have any optimization suggestions.

Elevate Your Ecommerce Store and Hosting
Nexcess is your one-stop shop for all your store-building and hosting needs with plans to fit any budget. We have been helping both large and small businesses for over 23 years. Come check us out at Nexcess today to see what we can do for your business.

Act now and get up to 60% 3 months on Nexcess WooCommerce & Magento Plans. Sale ends March 20!


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