Taking your business online is like opening a new store, you must consider the location, set goals and track progress. The easy part of a virtual store is the platform on which the catalogue is shown, users register and orders are made. The difficult part is to maintain the product, deal with the online client and monitor visits. A virtual store must be monitored just like an offline business: updating products, reviewing orders, reviewing clients and advertising.
The functions of a virtual store can be as simple as showing a catalogue of products with a shopping basket, to creating an e-commerce platform with a user community, user opinions, etc. At Lotura we have implemented e-commerce projects for all kinds of products with different functions:
Social networks and e-commerce
More and more consumers from all over the world spend time on all kinds of social networks, therefore it’s normal for them to publish comments and recommendations on products and services that they are going to buy or need. Many e-commerce companies are beginning to get involved with and use Facebook and Twitter not only to communicate their products but as an area for customer care. Therefore, if you’re going to start-up a virtual store you must think about your strategy on social networks of interest.
Discount cards, coupons and purchasing groups
Depending on the type of product on sale, it’s interesting to implement one of the following options:
- Discount cards and coupons:: offered online and/or offline. Clients that register receive a discount on their purchase by entering a code of the discount card or coupon.
- Discounts for purchases: regular clients that spend a monthly amount of xx can be grouped and offered specific discounts on all products or some specific products.
- Purchasing groups: offer an important discount for a certain period of time to a group of purchasers.
- Real-time purchases : offer a different item with an important discount each day until the time or stocks last. E-mail alerts or social networks are used for greater coverage.
- Auctions: bids to acquire a certain product.
Including the store on other networks or websites:
- Prices comparison sites such as Ciao, Twenga, Kelkoo, etc.
- Facebook or ebay store.
- Mobile store: developing a specific application for Android mobiles, iPhones, etc.
- Purchasing from a mobile: an application that allows you to make an order via a mobile by taking a photo of the product code. This opens up many possibilities in terms of offering products on their own display, shelf or in the client’s home.