Online to Offline: Bringing Your Meals to More Customers

We’ve previously talked about tips on how to start your own catering business and how you can sell food items online. With the internet giving you access to thousands of potential customers, you don’t need a large investment to start a business in the culinary industry.

The market is growing too. It is not uncommon for an e-commerce site that sells homemade cookies to have thousands of customers across Australia. That growth is something you can benefit from as well.

Since you already have a strong customer base, opening your own store or even a restaurant is a good step to consider. To help you bring your homecooked dishes to more customers, here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind.

Start Small

Moving from a home business that caters to online customers to a brick-and-mortar establishment is a big step, but it is a step that many online giants now make to expand. Even Amazon is opening offline stores to get closer to more customers.

While the transition is a big leap, you don’t have to invest big to get started. In fact, you shouldn’t. The best way to approach the online-to-offline migration is by taking it slowly. Start with a small store and use the insights you already have from online customers to create the right user experience.

UX Matters Offline Too

Offering simplicity, delivering the best products, and making the in-store experience exceptional is just as important when you are starting a new offline unit. Similar to the way you design your website to please the customers, you also want your retail space to represent that same user experience or UX.

Once again, you can rely on the insights you already have from your e-commerce store. Learn about the things that please the customers and incorporate those elements into your brand’s offline experience.

Break Some Rules

One of the biggest advantages of moving from an online-only business to offline operations is the extra flexibility you already have. You don’t have to follow all the norms; as a matter of fact, you shouldn’t.

The buying process, for instance, doesn’t need to conform to the conventional rules used by brick-and-mortar establishments. You can use a point of sale app and have customers enjoy a more pleasant shopping experience in general.

That point of sale app can also be integrated with your e-commerce site. The best e-commerce platforms like Shopify already support this level of integration. You can manage your inventory better, create a more seamless experience, and even offer in-store pickups as a delivery method.

Make the Leap

The extra overhead costs that come with running an offline business may scare you off a bit; they have scared many online business owners from transitioning to offline operations in the past. However, the leap is worth taking.

What you are doing by establishing an offline operation – whether it is a restaurant or a cookie store – is getting closer to the customers. You are adding value to your brand in the process too. These advantages are too good to pass up.