If you’re like many quilt shop owners, you’re in the business because you’re passionate about making quilts and you love being a part of the quilting community. Opening a local store allows you to earn income from your skill and gives you the opportunity to connect with quilters – novices and pros alike. However, your ability to grow sales and profit will be limited to your specific area. Expanding your shop to an online store is a great way to take your business to the next phase.
Why You Should Consider an Online Storefront
Recent statistics support that the world of ecommerce is growing, with 70% of people in the US shopping online and 20% of all retail sales happening online. There are numerous benefits that come with selling your products online.
For one, you can expand your reach to hundreds or thousands more people. With an online store, you can essentially sell to anyone in the country and many parts of the world.
Additionally, an online store practically runs itself. There are no store hours, no cashier, and no physical space to rent. Customers can shop wherever and whenever they want to. This means they can shop the moment they see an ad or become interested in quilting materials – making it that much more likely that they’ll actually follow through with the purchase.
The Best Software for Starting an Online Quilt Store
When you own a brick-and-mortar store, you can try to get by with a simple cash register. You may even perform your bookkeeping and inventory management with pen and paper. A digital store, on the other hand, requires more sophisticated software.
Fortunately, there are quilt shop software solutions that can automate many of the processes you’re already doing and expand your capabilities:
- Inventory management: Always know how much stock you have on hand and unlock insights into which products are selling best so you always have just enough.
- Data collection: Automatically gather information on your products, website, and customers, and harness this data to make educated decisions for your business.
- Virtual cutting table: Worried your customers won’t know how to calculate what they need without your knowledgeable hands at the cutting table? A specialty POS system for quilting shops can take this on for your online customers.
- Payment processing and checkout: Your POS system can handle all payment processing for your in-store and online clients, ensuring a speedy checkout every time.
- Customer loyalty and gift cards: Start a rewards program, send out promotional texts and emails to customers, offer gift cards, and more with a modern POS system.
Boost Your Digital Marketing Efforts
A physical store can draw in customers with a flashy sign, word of mouth, or even a big roadside billboard. However, an online store will require a different advertising approach. You’ll need a solid digital marketing plan to get the word out and beat the competition.
First, you’ll need to ensure you have a high-performance website that is optimized for search engines. This website should integrate with your quilt store software, such as your POS system, and serves as the foundation of all your marketing efforts. Since many people shop on their smartphones, ensure your website is mobile optimized.
You should also consider organic, or unpaid, methods for attracting new customers to your website. Tactics you can consider include posting blogs on your website, creating and posting regularly on social media platforms, sending out email newsletters, and creating other types of media, such as videos or podcasts.
You’ll also want to add paid advertising to your digital marketing arsenal. Google search or display ads, YouTube ads, and Facebook ads are some of the most popular options. These platforms all have a large reach and offer a wide range of targeting options.
Track Performance With Data Analytics
Data should fuel all your business decisions. You can gather information on purchases and customers using a modern POS system. Website analytics and marketing data are also vital for understanding where people interact with your brand most, how they find you, what pages and products they’re looking at the most, and how many visitors purchase products.
While opening and running an online quilt shop is a unique process from owning a brick-and-mortar location, your efforts are well worth the reward. The right software can streamline the process and maximize your profits.