Is Your E-Commerce Strategy Working? Do You Have One?
Retail management today almost invariably involves e-commerce. It could be said “invariably,” but there are a few holdouts in isolated pockets of the world. The problem is that those holdouts can’t compete with the rest of the retailers who are making their businesses available online. The majority of shoppers expect to be able to buy products as conveniently as possible, and to shop when they feel like it. That means the retailer who is not selling online will only be able to profit during business hours, but their competitor is utilizing e-commerce to be profitable around the clock.
In order to be competitive, E-Commerce needs to be planned for carefully and function seamlessly. The communication between the webstore and the distribution, order fulfillment, and back office needs to be accurate and provide real-time inventory updates along with all the details of every customer’s web purchase.
What happens if there’s not adequate communication between the webstore and the rest of a business? It’s like walking into a store and being ignored by the sales staff. When you ask if an item is available, they point to a sign that says you must wait for an answer within 24 hours. Most people will decide that if another store is open, they will go there. If that store is online, they will be buying their item before the staff in the first store realizes there was a problem.
An inadequate e-commerce strategy is almost worse than not having an internet presence at all, because nobody will expect the retailer who isn’t online to function strategically. Dysfunctional webstores are quickly abandoned for more rewarding sites. ChainDrive’s E-Commerce Gateway provides the tools and the functionality that keeps communication flowing from one end to the other and seamlessly integrates all your channels for maximum effect.