Does E-commerce Present a Crisis?
Every year, Black Friday shoppers descend upon malls, shopping centers, and department stores to purchase gifts for their loved ones, but there has been another phenomena taking place in the last 10 years. More and more people are doing their shopping online. Fundivo reports an increase in online Black Friday spending year over year from 2006 through 2014 even in years when total Black Friday spending went down. This may at first sound like a crisis looming for retailers with brick-and-mortar stores. But is it?
Retailers can respond to this information in one of two ways. You can see it as a crisis that is leading customers away from your store, or you can see it as an opportunity to reach more customers through e-commerce. We would like to suggest the latter option.
Why E-commerce is An Opportunity, Not a Crisis
Customers are going to shop where customers are going to shop. You can advertise your store, your products, and your brand, but customers are going to make buying decisions based on what is important to them. Your goal as a retailer is to present to customers what is important to them. That’s why e-commerce is more of an opportunity than a crisis.
We’re not saying you should close your brick-and-mortar stores, but it has been proven that multi-channel retailing works. If you don’t get customers to buy from you through one channel, present another one.
With E-Commerce Gateway, you can link your online customer interface with your retail back end operations and manage both channels from one solution. With more people making online purchases, there’s no reason you shouldn’t make online purchasing available to them. By using one operations management tool for your brick-and-mortar business and your e-commerce channel, you will save a bundle on technology costs.
E-Commerce Gateway allows you to manage your products and prices, control inventory, manage customer relationships, and capture and process orders online, and you can integrate it easily with an e-commerce solution you already have in place.
Analyze Customer Sales Across All Channels
There are very few retail operations management tools that allow you to manage sales from all of your channels–online and off line. E-Commerce Gateway gives you the power to set prices, ensure you have the proper amount of each product on hand, and empower every customer you have with real buying decisions, whether they purchase from your website or in one of your physical stores.
With this kind of functionality, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t sell your products online as well as off line. It’s not a crisis. It’s an opportunity.