The retail landscape is changing and online shopping is turning the landscape upside down, ushering in major changes in the way people shop.

Take advantage of this growing trend by setting up ecommerce for your business.

It is no secret that technology has disrupted the traditional idea of shopping. Consumers now have the ability to shop from a computer without ever leaving home or on a mobile device on the go. Though the convenience and simplicity of shopping online has changed the way people purchase products, this doesn’t mean that customers have completely abandoned the idea of going to a traditional brick-and-mortar to make a purchase. Being multi-channeled is the new trend in retail. It provides customers with the option to frequent your store via their preferred channel, whether that be online or in-store. Because ecommerce is becoming a more common way of making purchases, setting up a webstore has also become easier and more manageable for small businesses than ever before.

While online shopping sometimes seems like a threat to traditional retail, offering customers an online option provides a number of benefits to a brick-and-mortar store. Think of ecommerce not as a threat, but as another vehicle used to drive customers to your business. With this in mind, we’ll take a look at how incorporating ecommerce to your business model can add value to your store.

Before we dive head first into setting up your online store, let’s take a look at the benefits of adding ecommerce to your business’ repertoire.

small business customer - setting up ecommerce

Broadening and Deepening Customer Relationships

One of the most important benefits of setting up ecommerce is that it creates an additional access channel to your business. A customer may not be aware of your store, but by doing a simple web search they can yield a link to your business that becomes an instant introduction. The detailed product information from your website educates them on your products and your business’ expertise.

Ecommerce not only generates buzz for new customers, it also deepens relationships with already-existing customers. It creates another easy and convenient way for them to repurchase their favorite products when they can’t come into the physical location.

Running an online store also opens up a whole new segment of your demographic that might otherwise be too far to visit your brick-and-mortar. Your online store allows more people, from an infinite number of locations, to access your store and what you have to offer.

Sixty-nine percent of customers do their research online before visiting a store to complete their purchase. So for those customers that do discover you online and are within travel distance, they are more likely to visit you after seeing online what your store has to offer. They’ve learned about what you sell, gained interest in your products, and are more apt to pay a visit to your physical store. Think of it like fishing. You hook your customer via your online store and then reel them in with the quality products listed on your website. And, an added advantage for customers who visit you in-store is now when they like what they see, they can make a purchase and take home your products instantly, rather than waiting to have the items shipped. In this way, you are combining the best of both online and in-person shopping. It’s an option that your customers will recognize, appreciate, and remember for future purchases.

Now that we’ve convinced you why setting up an ecommerce store is advantageous to your business, let’s take a look at how to accomplish this with ShopKeep and BigCommerce.

woman working in coffee shop - setting up ecommerce

Setting up Ecommerce with ShopKeep

Let’s learn about the steps for setting up ecommerce with ShopKeep. ShopKeep partners with the ecommerce platform BigCommerce. BigCommerce allows you to sell the products from your ShopKeep inventory through an online platform. As a leading ecommerce platform, it offers a customizable online shopping experience, engaging webstore designs, and responsive templates to elevate the online shopping experience for your customers.

The Benefits of BigCommerce

BigCommerce offers many benefits when setting up your online store such as customized store designs, accurate inventory tracking, and options for payment gateways.

BigCommerce also offers a number of options for customizing your webstore so you can give it a similar look and feel to what you have at your physical location. In addition, BigCommerce has both free and premium templates that can be used to convey the brand of your business.

Accurately keeping track of products that are being sold both in-store and online is crucial as your products fly off of the shelves. Being that you have created an additional channel with which to sell your products, making sure that the products are available for the customers who want them (whether to purchase in-store or online) is very important. When an item is sold from your BigCommerce webstore, the item quantity is automatically updated in your ShopKeep BackOffice.

In addition to inventory accuracy, accepting payments online with your BigCommerce store is simple. BigCommerce won’t charge extra for using an alternative gateway. This allows you to stick with your preferred gateway for accepting online credit card payments.

Getting Started with BigCommerce

Now that you know more about BigCommerce, let’s talk about the best way to get started setting up your store. For more detailed step-by-step instructions visit our ShopKeep and BigCommerce support article.

Once you add the feature via your Point of Sales Specialist or your ShopKeep Expert, the first step involves linking your ShopKeep and BigCommerce accounts. From your ShopKeep BackOffice, select ecommerce from the integrations on the settings menu. Tap Go to BigCommerce to install the ShopKeep App from the BigCommerce App Marketplace. You’ll be taken to the BigCommerce portal to create your account. After you create an account, click Install on the app installation page. Once the installation is complete, enter your ShopKeep credentials and choose the ShopKeep location you’d like to link and click connect to join the two accounts.

Adding Items and Categories to Your Store

With your ShopKeep and BigCommerce accounts linked, choose the inventory items you want to sell online. Be aware that the fields that BigCommerce uses, vary slightly from those of ShopKeep. Though they have the same functions, they do have different names. So before selecting your items, familiarize yourself with the fields for BigCommerce and their ShopKeep equivalent. You can read more about this on our support site.

Now that you have a sense of the items you’d like to sell online, return to BackOffice to enable items for online sale. In the ecommerce settings, click Enable Items. The next page you’ll see is a list of your inventory items and “switches” to make particular items available for purchase online. Scroll through the list and toggle the Available Online switches to make these items ready for sale in your webstore. Don’t worry if you make a mistake, items can be enabled and disabled as needed.

person using tablet - setting up ecommerce

With your inventory items enabled for online sale, the next step to setting up your ecommerce store is creating categories within BigCommerce. These categories will be different from the categories that you’ve set up in BackOffice. Categories set up for ShopKeep items are used for inventory organization, rather than navigable categories as they are used in BigCommerce for online shopping. Create your webstore categories to be intuitive to make it easier for customers to find what they need.

In BigCommerce click Products then Product Categories from the Dashboard. Under Product Categories you will see a category called Imported from ShopKeep. This initial category is hidden from the customer view in your online store, ensuring that your ShopKeep items are imported to BigCommerce but not visible to customers until you are ready to make them available to sell. From here, select Create a Category and enter the details for the category. Details can include the name and description of a particular product, what order it should be on the category list, and any SEO information you’d like to include. Click Save & Add Another to create more categories, then Save & Exit when you’re finished. When you are finished creating categories, go back to the products list to designate items to the appropriate categories. Choose an item and check the box next to the category name. Items can be added to as many categories are you’d like.

Accepting Payments

With your items and categories now set up, enable your account to set up payment processing. Linking your existing ShopKeep Payments account is easiest when allowing the same account that you use to run credit card sales at your brick-and-mortar store to be linked to your webstore. If you don’t have a processor yet, set up a new ShopKeep payments account. If you’re an existing customer or new to ShopKeep payments, just contact us with the name of your store and we’ll help you get set up. If you’re processing using another gateway, verify that it is compatible with BigCommerce before completing set up.

SEE ALSO: How to Choose a Credit Card Processing Company

Launching Your Store

The setup of your online store is almost complete! So far, everything that you have done in BigCommerce has been private and invisible to online shoppers. Make the items visible to customers by clicking View from the products list. The eye icon (yes, it looks like an eye) lets your choose which items are visible to customers and which items you don’t yet want visible in your online store.

The BigCommerce Store Launch Guide will assist you with the important and final steps to launching your webstore. This includes choosing a theme, adding tax rates, purchasing an SSL certificate, and more. Be sure to review the information you have entered and then preview your store to ensure that it looks just the way you’d like.

After completing these final steps in BigCommerce, the bottom of your Dashboard will contain a Launch Store button. After clicking the link, your online store is now open for business and items are now searchable and able to be purchased!

By setting up ecommerce, you bolster your brick and mortar business by giving your customers an additional avenue of access to your business. This additional outlet will not only increase sales for your store but will also increase shopping convenience for your customers and market awareness for new potential patrons. At the end of the day, this added convenience will leave a lasting and positive impression on your customer base.

Now that you’ve learned the ins and outs of ecommerce, are you ready to take the plunge?

Coretta Stembridge

Coretta Stembridge

Coretta Stembridge is a Product Documentation Specialist at ShopKeep, the #1-rated iPad Point of Sale System. She enjoys sharing helpful, in-depth information about hardware and software through the ShopKeep Support site.