5 Principles of eCommerce for Brick-and-Mortar Retailers
If you are a traditional retailer with several brick-and-mortar stores in your chain and you’re ready to go full steam into eCommerce, you might have some questions. One of those questions may be, “What’s the most efficient and cost-effective way to launch our eCommerce platform as we integrate it into our total operations?” Today, ChainDrive would like to share five principles for eCommerce to help brick-and-more retailers do just that.
- Price & Product Management Don’t End at the Bricks – You might think you can sell your products online for less and make a higher product. You can, but the principles are not exactly the same. With brick-and-mortar, you have overhead expenses every month, but with eCommerce, you have ongoing equipment and maintenance expenses. Both are a necessary cost of business. Use discounts effectively, but don’t discount your products online just because you think you’ll sell more units. Otherwise, you may decrease your sales in your brick-and-mortar stores.
- Think End-to-End Operations – You should see your eCommerce store as an extension of your brick-and-mortar stores. In fact, it’s all one continuous operation. Your Web interface is what customers see when they land on your website, but it’s your back end operations that you must integrate into the brick-and-mortar processes already in place. That means integrating your inventory so that sales from your website are reflected in your total inventory count.
- You Must Still Manage Your Customer Relationships (CRM) – In fact, we’d say CRM is more important online where you can capture e-mail addresses and other critical information. But you need to think about managing your customer relationships more holistically, acquiring information on their purchasing habits across all devices and in all storefronts and then using that information wisely.
- Control Your Inventory – You need real-time analytics that tells you accurate inventory counts on all merchandise and how sales in each channel affects your inventory counts. Tie your product purchasing to your inventory counts so that you minimize stock-outs and maximize sales.
- Capture Orders Seamlessly – Your shopping cart is one of the most important parts of eCommerce. Make it easy for customers to place orders, then fulfill those orders through the most efficient fulfillment channels.
If you’re ready for eCommmerce, do it right with the eCommerce Gateway.