Tips for Moving Your Business Online

Apr 21, 2020
6 minute read

With the Canadian government announcing the temporary closure of non-essential services, many businesses are struggling financially. Thankfully, business owners can arm themselves with the tools to help their businesses adapt in this uncertain economic climate by transitioning online. 

First, evaluate the state of your business

Now is the time to sit down and critically evaluate where you stand. Where are the financial risks, competitor threats, pre-existing or new business opportunities that the physical closure of stores present for your specific business? Taking your business online can help you mitigate your risks as well as allow you to take advantage of new opportunities.

Part I: Do what you can immediately

Now is the time to move your business online

With non-essential business physical store closures and essential hours limitations, Canadian businesses coast to coast are showing up where the customers are – on the web.  Moving your business online or expanding its online offering may be beneficial to your bottom line because:

  1. Customers are beginning to see traditional business transitions to online sales and delivery models as the new norm
  2. Customers have more free time to discover your product
  3. Not having traditional storefronts can give you a chance to re-evaluate the need for physical square footage

Moving your business online is a big undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be intimidating. 

To start, you can move your business online with the help of third-party local delivery apps. If your business sells a physical product that travels well and is portable enough to be delivered by a single individual, signing your business up for this service also means you don’t have to worry about organizing a delivery fleet since that’s taken care of.

You can get started using apps like UberEats, Doordash, Fantuan, which focus more heavily on prepared food and beverage delivery. Foodora is one of the first apps that has expanded its delivery services by adding a “Shops” category, including independent grocery stores, pharmacies, breweries and even florists. Toronto has been beta testing the feature since Fall 2019, with more cities joining the ranks in 2020.

These apps connect customers with your product and provide you with an opportunity to evolve your existing offerings.  For example, some restaurants using local food delivery apps have taken a creative approach to marketing their products to home-locked customers in recent weeks. They have transformed their food and drink menu items into deliverable “meal kits” so that customers can enjoy recreating the experience in their home.