Unless you reside in a cave somewhere near one of the polar caps, eCommerce has had an impact on your life over the past couple decades. Online shopping mega-powers like Amazon® and eBay® have quite literally changed the way we shop, both for business and personal necessities. Yet, the thought of operating an online store can be a bit overwhelming and the competition is capable and widespread.
BridgeHouse Marketing offers a wide range of customizable eCommerce services including consultancy, research, general website construction and renovation, product onboarding, SEO, and more. Whether your business is currently selling online or still dancing around the decision to enter world wide web commerce, we can help make the process easier.
Depending on the products or services offered by your business, you could be missing a lucrative opportunity to double down on sales without the need for costly expansion and increased overhead. Online stores offer the flexibility to scale quickly or slowly based on the offerings, budget, and infrastructure.
There are a multitude of refined, easy-to-use eCommerce platforms worth considering for a business ready to enter the fray. The decision is less about which will prove successful and more about how it fits what your business already does well.
There is no reason to reinvent the wheel every time you and the business partners or consultants decide to expand in a new area. The eCommerce universe is big enough to find a robust platform that syncs up with current inventory management, shipping, accounting, and the like.
It's fair to say, launching a new eCommerce venture is a lot of work. But the benefit is massive when you consider multiplying your existing buying audience by 10, 100, 1000 or maybe more?
The king of eCommerce fulfillment is without a doubt Amazon®. Their Prime® customer base is estimated to be in the 60-70 million range globally. If we need a lesson in eCommerce fulfillment, the platinum model is sitting right in front of us.
Customers are increasingly more demanding when it comes to how and when their order arrives. And for the record, why shouldn't they be? We live in a world with incredible technology and logistic companies are feverishly working to keep pace.
When it comes time to pencil out the eCommerce game plan, one of the top priorities should be how quickly can your team process the order, package it, and procure the fastest (and most reliable) delivery method. If customers are to be held waiting, then the product had better be so exclusive it cannot be replicated.
If eCommerce is a new endeavor for your business, it can be challenging to integrate quickly and efficiently. Like any new skill, it will be frustrating at first but progressively easier once mastered.
The process is best when broken down into smaller components, and then rebuilt for speed and accuracy. Maybe packaging and shipping is a breeze, but bottlenecks exist in shipping or accounting. eCommerce integration requires team integration.
The key is to avoid overwhelming any one department by delegating responsibility to each individual department that is best suited for the task. And there are lots of tools available, software and hardware alike. The point is to start moving forward. As Lao Tzu said, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step."
Onboarding inventory items from the stock room to the online store requires some patience and the ability to imagine every question the digital consumer would have. The better and more comprehensive the presentation is, the better customer satisfaction will be.
For retail businesses selling products that enter through the back door (shipping & receiving) and leave through the front door (walk-in customers), eCommerce represents an opportunity to monetize what is happening in the back room.
Increased buying power, better margins, and direct insight to competitors are just a few advantages to selling online and swallowing the integration pill. A larger customer base provides better feedback, creating an efficient selling machine on both ends of the spectrum.
For as long as anyone can remember, the slogan in retail product or service sales has been "The customer is always right." It's a tenet that many, many successful businesses live by. Behind the scenes, however, we know better.
The customer is not always right. But guess what, they will never hear those words directly! That is, not if you plan on being in business for long. Customers simply want a few basic things, to be heard, to be appreciated, and to be valued before and after the sale.
For eCommerce sales, this level of attention requires more than just a friendly smile. The customer will need resources and reassurances constantly nearby while they browse and shop. They need a connection in the digital world that simulates the feeling of walking through the front door of your business. Customer satisfaction must be top priority before scaling, or both parties will be left frustrated.
Building and launching an online store are two very different but equally important tasks. The construction should fit the decorum and feel of its products and services. Launching the site and positioning in front of customers willing to shop is another animal altogether.
For many, the first days, weeks, months of new eCommerce business are like opening a store in the middle of a baron desert plain. Hope doesn't bring a line of customers through the door. So perhaps the business shouldn't be located in a desert?
The same can be said for an online store except where you build it is not as critical as where you display it. Optimizing pages for search engines plays a huge role. Connecting the store to external sites that provide juicy referral traffic is important. And deep study into customer search queries that pertain to your offerings will save tons of wasted money in advertising, and help the customer find your corner location on the Internet.